The Lisbon Treaty was signed by the then twenty-seven European Union (EU) member states on 13 December 2007 and entered into force on 1 December 2009. Although it was the most significant reform to the EU since the Maastricht Treaty, it was the product of a long and drawn-out series of negotiations that had commenced at the Laeken European Council of December 2001 when EU leaders committed to make the EU ‘more democratic, more transparent and more efficient’. The so-called Laeken Declaration sparked a series of discussions to reform the EU’s decision-making processes and to review the policies and structures within it. This led to a proposal for an EU Constitutional Treaty which faced popular unrest among the electorate of many EU countries who were, among other factors, concerned about the very use of the term ‘constitution’. When French and Dutch voters rejected the Constitutional Treaty in 2005 it was clear that the Treaty could not succeed. Two years later in 2007 the baton to reform the EU was taken up by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel who sought to inject new impetus into the discussions. This in turn led to the creation of an intergovernmental conference (IGC) that was chaired by Portugal in the second half of 2007 and which concluded with agreement on the Lisbon Treaty.
Citation : Blair, A. (2016) 'Lisbon Treaty'. In: G. Martel (ed) The Encyclopaedia of Diplomacy, Wiley
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