The Lisbon Treaty is in power since November 2009. Since the dynamisationof EU poltics in the mid-1980s, there were only few years without Scratching at existing treaty structures. We had in power
- 1986/1987 in power – the European Single Act,
- 1992/1993 in power – the Maastricht Treaty,
- 1997/1999 in power – the Amsterdam Treaty,
- 2001/2003 in power – the Nice Treaty,
- 2007/2009 in power – the Lisbon Treaty
Between the two latter we had the attempt to adopt a European „Constitution“ which for petit-bourgeois reasons was rejected by the people – but only in two countries, Netherlands and France, both voting not under too rational considerations.
Before 1986, there were not really treaty adaptations of the 1957 Treaty of Rome, besides „cosmetic“ ones. One can say that the real dynamisation of the EU started with the Single Market inf the mid-80s.
Now it is time to prepare the successor treaty for the Treaty of Lisbon. This treaty we have at present needs urgently to be revised:
- The „Greek Drama“ has shown clearly that we need a common fiscal policy and a common budget policy. This means of course that every EU Member State should have ist own budget policy, but the Framework, i.e. the Maximum aberaation figures should be set by the EU. If These should be a common currency – and it should, of course – then Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Cyprus etc. have shown clearly that not only an EMS remedy should exist but also an effective prevention mechanism.
- In this context we also have to say „yes“ to a horizontal financial support mechanism in the EU. If we have federalism in Germany, which has a strong and effective likewise mechanism (which is attacked by the one or other region = Land, all couple of years – but this is legitimate and a permanent task of politicians to discuss about percentages) , then it must be legitimate for the EU, too, as this grows into more and more federalism (or call it different, if one it ins countries where federalism is occupied negatively, by tradition. But tradition as such can not be valid for serious political reforms.).
- The next version of the EU Treaty must radically delete the legal necessity of unanimous votes in the Council, thus ending a preponderance of this instrument of national egoism. This may have been useful in the first time of the EU, when we had six founding members, but with 28 and possibly more in the future it is harmful. One state should not blackmail all the others just with a veto.
- In particular, we need a clear enabling of the EU for a common foreign policy. This may end in common embassies and consulates in third countries, which will bring many billions € of savings, but also a qualitative improvement of the EU representation and of ist Member States.
- We also need urgently to establish European Army structures, at first for outward interventions. This has been a taboo for a long time, which is ridiculous in view of the necessities.
- What came into everybody’s mind during the last weeks and months: Europe needs a real refugee policy, as well as an immigration policy. What we have now as a result is urgently to be changed and Europeanized.
- We also need an effective sanctions mechanism against EU Member States who evidently follow a corrupt policy or follow policies diametral to European values. While Hungary, still officially under communist regime!, cut a hole into the Iron Curtain, literally, the successor government under Viktor Orban sets up a fence against Syrian and Eritrean refugees – this is not only hard to swallow, this is frankly unacceptable and cries for sanctions.
All this is for a future Lisbon Treaty. Maybe it is called then the Rangendingen-Höfendorf Treaty, or Horndon-on-the-Hill Treaty, or St.Moulinex-les-bains Treaty – it is the content which counts. And the time should be over that European federalists discuss only from the defensive side.
Chief Editor, European Union Foreign Affairs Journal