This paper explores the political difficulties of treaty reform in the context of five pending revisions under the rules of the Treaty of Lisbon. It first looks at the Deauville Declaration and its translation into political and legal reality. The second part is dedicated to the four other treaty revisions on the European agenda. Finally, it focuses on some of the potential problems in the ratification phase.
The Deauville Declaration of Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy represents the most visible of the five treaty changes on the table since the Lisbon Treaty came into effect. This treaty change cannot increase Union’s powers. Even if it was feasible to write a treaty change in such a way that would include both a provision on the suspension of the voting rights (using the Art. 7 TEU) and provisions establishing “a permanent and robust framework to ensure orderly crisis management in the future”, the idea of suspending voting rights should be dropped. It is antagonising many national governments and could trigger – largely unwanted – referenda and court cases. It is important, however, to insert into the treaties an EFSF-type solution to equip the EU with a mechanism to address future crises.
Piotr Maciej Kaczyński is a Research Fellow at CEPS and Peadar ó Broin is an Associate Research Fellow at CEPS.