Argument: The Lisbon Treaty simply repackages the failed EU Constitution
Sally McNamara. "The EU Reform Treaty: A Threat to the Transatlantic Alliance". Heritage Foundation. February 20, 2008 - How similar is Lisbon to the draft constitution?
It contains many of the changes the constitution attempted to introduce, for example:
- A politician chosen to be president of the European Council for two-and-a-half years, replacing the current system where countries take turns at being president for six months
- A new post combining the jobs of the existing foreign affairs supremo, Javier Solana, and the external affairs commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, to give the EU more clout on the world stage
- A smaller European Commission, with fewer commissioners than there are member states, from 2014
- A redistribution of voting weights between the member states, phased in between 2014 and 2017 - qualified majority voting based on a "double majority" of 55% of member states, accounting for 65% of the EU's population
- New powers for the European Commission, European Parliament and European Court of Justice, for example in the field of justice and home affairs
- Removal of national vetoes in a number of areas.
Most European leaders acknowledge that the main substance of the constitution would be preserved.
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Zapatero - "A great part of the content of the European Constitution is captured in the new treaties."
Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen - "The good thing is...that all the symbolic elements are gone, and that which really matters - the core - is left."
Bertie Ahern, Irish Taoiseach - "They haven't changed the substance. 90% of it is still there."
Margot Wallstrom, EU Commissioner. - "It is essentially the same proposal as the old Constitution".
Czech President Vaclav Klaus - "Only cosmetic changes have been made and the basic document remains the same."