Understanding the Lisbon Treaty

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Understanding the Lisbon Treaty

The European Council, which met in Lisbon on 18th and 19th October 2007 approved the new reform treaty so called "Lisbon Treaty", which replaces the draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe. This new treaty introduces modifications both to the Treaty on European Union (Maastricht Treaty) and the Treaty establishing the European Community (Rome Treaty).

The 27 Member States of the EU have ratified the Lisbon Treaty. This will now be implemented rapidly, possibly by 1st December this year.

The 27 Heads of State and Government appointed on 19 November 2009 Herman Van Rompuy as President of the European Council and Catherine Ashton as High Representative of the EU and Vice-President of the European Commission.

In addition to the official text approved in December 2007, the Robert Schuman Foundation provides you with 10 explanatory sheets including the main innovations contained within the Treaty together with the ratification dates of each Member State. You will also find the Foundation's latest publications on issues raised by the Lisbon Treaty.
Ratification map
The ratification procedure by country
Download the ratification procedures in PDF format
Country Mode of ratification Date Result
Germany parliamentary 24/04/2008 (Bundestag)

23/05/2008 (Bundesrat)
Yes (Bundestag (lower chamber of the german parliament) : 514 votes for, 58 against, 1 abstention;
Bundesrat (upper chamber of parliament): 15 Länder out of 16 vote in favour);

Following a decision of the German Constitutionnal Court on 30th June 2009, the Bundestag and the Bundesrat adopted on 8th and 18th September new accompagnying laws to the Lisbon treaty. By signing these laws on 25th September, the German President Horst Köhler ended up the ratification process.
Austria parliamentary 09/04/2008 (Nationalrat)

24/04/2008 (Bundesrat)

28/04/2008 (President)
Yes (Nationalrat (lower chamber of the Austrian parliament) : 151 votes in favour and 27 against;
Bundesrat (upper chamber of parliament): 58 votes in favour, 4 against)

28/04/2008: Signature of the Lisbon Treaty by the Austrian President.
Belgium parliamentary 06/03/2008 (Senate)

10/04/2008 (Chamber of Deputies)

08/07/2008 (end of the parliamentary ratification process)
Yes (Senate 48 votes in for, 8 against, 1 abstention; Chamber of Deputies: 116 votes for, 18 against, 7 abstentions). The 5 parliamentary regional assemblies approved the treaty.
Bulgaria parliamentary 21/03/2008 Yes (195 votes in favour, 15 against)
Cyprus parliamentary 03/07/2008 Yes (31 votes in favour, 17 against, 1 abstention)
Denmark parliamentary 24/04/2008 Yes (90 votes in favour, 25 against, 0 abstention)
Spain parliamentary 26/06/2008

15/07/2008
Yes (Chamber of Deputies: 322 votes in favour, 6 against, 2 abstentions; Senate: 232 votes in favour, 6 against, 2 abstentions)
Estonia parliamentary 11/06/2008 Yes (91 votes in for, 1 against, 0 abstention)
Finland parliamentary 11/06/2008

12/09/2008
Yes (151 votes in favour, 27 against, 21 abstentions)

12/09/2008: Signature of the Lisbon Treaty by the Finland Pesident.
France parliamentary 07/02/2008
and
08/02/2008
Yes (Chamber of Deputies: 336 votes in favour and 52 opposed; Senate: 265 votes in favour, 42 against and 13 abstentions)
Greece parliamentary 12/06/2008 Yes (250 votes in favour, 42 against)
Hungary parliamentary 17/12/2007 Yes (325 votes in favour, 5 votes against, and 14 abstentions)
Ireland referendum 12/06/2008

02/10/2009
No (53,4% against ; 46,6% votes in favour)

Yes (67.13% for; 32.87% against; 0.4% blank and void votes)
Italy parliamentary 23/07/2008

31/07/2008
Yes (Senate(Senato della Repubblica): 288 votes in favour);
Chamber of Deputies (La Camera dei deputati) : unanimity ratification.
Latvia parliamentary 08/05/2008 Yes (70 votes in favour, 3 against, 1 abstention)
Lithuania parliamentary 08/05/2008 Yes (83 votes in favour, 5 against, 23 abstentions)
Luxemburg parliamentary 29/05/2008 Yes (47 votes in favour, 1 against, 3 abstentions)
Malta parliamentary 29/01/2008 Yes (Approved unanimously)
Netherlands parliamentary 05/06/2008

08/07/2008
Oui (Tweede Kamer (Chambre basse du parlement néerlandais) : 111 votes pour et 39 contre ; Eerste Kamer (Chambre haute du parlement néerlandais) : 60 pour sur 75)
Poland parliamentary 01/04/2008
and
02/04/2008
Yes (Diet: 384 votes in favour, 56 against, 12 abstentions; Senate: 74 votes in favour, 17 against, 6 abstentions)

The ratification process will end up when the Polish president Lech Kaczynski will sign the text allowing the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.
Portugal parliamentary 23/04/2008

09/05/2008
Yes (208 votes in favour, 21 against)

09/05/2008: Signature of the Lisbon Treaty by the Portuguese President, Anibal Cavaco Silva
Czech Republic parliamentary 18/02/2009
06/05/2009
03/11/2009
Yes (The Chamber of Deputies : 125 votes in favour, 61 against ; the Senate : 54 votes in favour).

The ratification process has end up :the Czech Pesident has signed the text allowing the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.
Romania parliamentary 04/02/2008 Yes (387 votes in favour, 1 against, 1 abstention)
United Kingdom parliamentary 11/03/2008

18/06/2008
Yes (House of Commons: 346 votes in favour, 206 against; House of Lords: yes, an undetailed oral vote)

Royal assent
Slovakia parliamentary 10/04/2008

12/05/2008
Yes (103 votes in favour, 5 against and 42 abstentions)

12/05/2008: Signature of the Lisbon Treaty by the Slovak President, Ivan Gasparovic
Slovenia parliamentary 29/01/2008 Yes (74 votes in favour, 6 against out of 90 seats)
Sweden parliamentary 20/11/2008 Yes (243 votes in favour, 39 against and 13 abstentions; 54 deputies absent)
Germany
(art. 23 and 79 of the Basic Law of 1949). Parliamentary ratification by 2/3 majority in each federal chamber (Bundestag and Bundesrat).

Austria
(art. 50 of the Constitution of 1983). Parliamentary ratification by 2/3 majority in each chamber.

Belgium
(art. 53, 77 and 167 of the Constitution of 1994). Parliamentary ratification by absolute majority in both chambers in the absence of a constitutional amendment, or by 2/3 majority in each chamber (with a quorum of 2/3 members present) in the event of a constitutional amendment.

Bulgaria
(art. 85 of the Constitution of 1991) Parliamentary ratification by absolute majority.

Cyprus
(art. 50 of the Constitution of 1960). Parliamentary ratification by absolute majority. The president and the Council of Ministers can, however, veto parliament's decision.

Denmark
(art. 20 al. 1 and 2 of the Constitution of 1992). Parliamentary ratification by simple majority in the absence of a transfer of sovereignty, by 5/6 majority in the event of a transfer of sovereignty. In the latter case, if the parliamentary majority is less than 5/6 but more than half, the ratification proceeds by referendum.

Spain
(art. 94 of the Constitution of 1992). Parliamentary ratification by simple majority of parliament. The referendum procedure is purely advisory.

Estonia
(art. 121 of the Constitution of 1992). Parliamentary ratification by simple majority.

Finland
(art. 33 and 69 of the Constitution Act of 1995 revised in 2000). Parliamentary ratification by simple majority in the absence of a transfer of sovereignty, by 2/3 majority in the event of a transfer of sovereignty.

France
(art. 89 of the Constitution of 1958). Parliamentary ratification by simple majority in both chambers in the absence of a constitutional amendment, by referendum in the event of a constitutional amendement (except if the president asks for ratification by 3/5 majority of the joint chambers of parliament in Congress).

Greece
(art. 28 al. 2, 36 al. 2, 44 al. 2 of the Constitution of 1986). Parliamentary ratification by simple majority in the absence of a transfer of sovereignty, by 3/5 majority in the event of a transfer of sovereignty. Ratification by referendum at the discretion of the government or on "national questions of crucial importance".

Hungary
(art. 2 and 28 of the Constitution of 1949). Parliamentary ratification by 2/3 majority of parliament (with a quorum of ½ of MPs present).

Ireland
(art. 29 and 46 of the Constitution of 1990). Parliamentary ratification by simple majority in the absence of a transfer of sovereignty, by referendum in the event of a transfer of sovereignty.

Italy
(art. 72 and 75 of the Constitution of 2001). Parliamentary ratification by simple majority in each chamber.

Latvia
(art. 68 of the Constitution of 1992 revised in 2003). Parliamentary ratification by simple majority of parliament. Ratification by referendum in the event of "substantial changes in the terms of Latvia's accession to the European Union" and if demanded by half of its members of parliament.

Lithuania
(art. 138 of the Constitution of 1992). Parliamentary ratification by simple majority.

Luxemburg
(art. 37 and 114 of the Constitution of 1868). Parliamentary ratification by 2/3 majority in the absence of a transfer of sovereignty, by 2/3 majority with a quorum of ¾ members present in the event of a transfer of sovereignty. The referendum procedure is purely advisory.

Malta
(art. 71 of the Constitution of 1964). Parliamentary ratification by simple majority in principle, but the procedure varies depending on the constitutional amendments required.

Netherlands
(art. 91 of the Constitution of 1983). Ratification is at the discretion of parliament. In principle, it is solely parliamentary, by simple majority in the absence of a constitutional amendment, by 2/3 majority in both chambers in the event of an amendment to the Constitution.

Poland
(art. 89 and 90 of the Constitution of 1997). Parliamentary ratification by simple majority in each chamber in the absence of a transfer of sovereignty, by 2/3 majority in each of the two chambers with a quorum of half of the members present in the event of a transfer of sovereignty.

Portugal
(art. 115 and 161 of the Constitution). Parliamentary ratification by simple majority of parliament votes. Ratification by referendum at the discretion of the government and president on "significant questions of national interest".

Czech Republic
(art. 39 and 49 of the Constitution of 1992). Parliamentary ratification by simple majority in each chamber in the absence of a transfer of sovereignty, by 2/3 majority in each of the two chambers in the event of a transfer of sovereignty.

Romania
(art. 91 of the Constitution of 1991). Parliamentary ratification by simple majority in the 60 days following the signature of the treaty by the president.

United Kingdom
(no formal or written Constitution). Customary parliamentary ratification in each of the two chambers.

Slovakia
(art. 84 and 102 of the Constitution of 1992). Presidential ratification in principle. The president may call for parliamentary ratification by simple majority in the absence of a constitutional amendment or 3/5 majority in the event of a constitutional amendment.

Slovenia
(art. 3 of the Constitution of 1991 revised in 2003). Parliamentary ratification by 2/3 majority. Ratification by referendum if the National Assembly wishes – the result of the referendum is binding.

Sweden
(chapter 10 of the Constitution of 1989). Parliamentary ratification by simple, 3/4, or 5/6 majority depending on the extent of the transfer of sovereignty.
Foundation publications
After the Lisbon Treaty: Does the European Union finally have a telephone number?

European Issue n°151 - 30/11/2009 - Thierry Chopin, Maxime Lefebvre


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