Lisbon – At an unofficial summit of the European Union in Lisbon, a political agreement was reached with regard to the text of the Reform Treaty, early this morning. With the Reform Treaty, a new legal framework will be established for the European Union, which allows the Union to act even more efficiently than previously.
“It is great that the leaders of the European Union were able to reach a consensus on such an important treaty,” said Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, who attended the summit. He expressed his satisfaction with the approved Reform Treaty containing all significant innovations that had already been agreed upon in the preparation of the European Constitutional Treaty.
With the Reform Treaty, the existing host contracts will be amended – the Treaty of the European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community. The aim of amending valid treaties is to intensify the activities of the European Union and make these even more democratic.
“As a result of the Reform Treaty, decision making in the European Union will be made easier, faster and more citizen-oriented,” noted Ansip. The Prime Minister referred to the growing role of the European Parliament in the decision-making process of the Union, as well as the increasing opportunities of the Parliaments of the Member States to participate in the work of the European Union.
The Reform Treaty strengthens the solidarity and security of the Union. The new provision on solidarity will make it compulsory for the Member States to provide help to each other in cases of terrorist attack and natural or man-made disasters. The new Treaty also gives the European Union a more important and influential role in the world.
In order to increase the impact and visibility of the external actions of the European Union, a new job position will be established – a High Representative for common foreign and security policy, who is also the vice president of the European Commission.
As planned, the Reform Treaty will be festively signed at the European Council in December. After that, all twenty-seven Member States must ratify the Treaty for it to enter into force. The leaders of the European Union have expressed hope that the Reform Treaty will enter into force before the next European Parliament elections in June 2009.
Government Communications Office