General Issues and Regional Groups
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Edited by Miroslav N. Jovanović
Chapter 12: A New Era for Europe: The Lisbon Treaty – From Constitution to Lisbon Treaty
12 A new era for Europe: the Lisbon Treaty* – from Constitution to Lisbon Treaty Dušan Sidjanski** L’expérience de chaque homme se recommence. Seules les institutions deviennent plus sages . . . les hommes soumis aux mêmes règles verront non pas leur nature changer, mais leur comportement graduellement se transformer. Henri-Frédéric Amiel1 1 INTRODUCTION Once again, the European Council reached an agreement on the reforms to be made to the Constitution just before 23 June 2007. Its desire to create a ‘Constitution for Europe’2 was thwarted by two of the founding members of the European Community, France and the Netherlands, who voted no. With the Constitution stopped dead in its tracks, the Commission adopted a pragmatic strategy made up of concrete projects and achievements, such as its energy and environment initiative. Meanwhile, everyone was taking the time to think things over until Chancellor Angela Merkel took over the presidency of the European Council (first half-year of 2007). She openly stated that her ambition was to save the core of institutional reforms in the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe which was solemnly signed in Rome on 29 October 2004. From then on, while respecting the signature of all the members and the 18 ratifications, the idea was to work around the problems raised by the French and Dutch referendums and by the announcement that the Constitution would be rejected if a referendum were to be organised in the United Kingdom. The combination of three key figures, Angela Merkel,...
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