A more effective and democratic Union


Finally, it’s Lisbon Day. Just a few hours ago, the Lisbon Treaty entered into force. The process initiated by the European Council in December 2001 has now finally resulted in a clear and comprehensive set of rules, which will be governing the European Union for the foreseeable future.

I dare to say that the Lisbon Treaty is the result of the most transparent and democratic process in the Union’s history. Member State governments, national MP’s and the European Parliament were all part of the European Convention that tabled the proposal for the Constiutional Treaty back in 2003. Although the outline is different, the actual contents of the Lisbon Treaty is very similar to the Convention’s original draft.

With the Lisbon Treaty, the EU will be able to take a great leap forward. New provisions will pave the way for more effective and transparent decision-making, a more democratic Union, and a clear focus on citizens.

The discussions on how Europe should be governed has gone on for years. This debate has been important, but it has also prevented Europe from delivering on important policies. As from today, we will need commit all our efforts to take on the great challenges currently facing Europe. It’s climate change, it’s creating conditions for jobs and growth, it’s the fight against cross-border crime and it’s the challenge to turn the Union into a stronger global actor.

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