Institutions, Policies and Challenges
Edited by Normann Witzleb, Alfonso Martínez Arranz and Pascaline Winand Winand
Chapter 2: The institutional structure of the European Union after the Lisbon Treaty
Even though it was drafted as a second-best choice after the failed Constitutional Treaty of 2004, the Lisbon Treaty represents a substantial achievement. Now the European Union (EU) is facing a new type of challenge, which will probably lead to further treaty modifications. The pace of the evolution of European integration, which so far largely depended on the political will of Member States (especially France and Germany) is now constrained by external factors, such as the global financial crisis of 2008 and, in its wake, the ‘sovereign debt’ crises in the Eurozone. This chapter argues that, contrary to the discourse of European leaders and the provisions in the Lisbon Treaty on the democratization of the EU decision process, these external pressures will lead back to the technocratic ‘Jean Monnet’ method of small steps, creating de facto solidarity between Europeans, instead of asking European citizens to make a (democratic) choice for Europe.
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