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Europe needs Lisbon. Now.

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European Federalists

Written by Matteo Garavoglia, PhD candidate, Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies (BTS), Research Group on the Transformative Power of Europe (KFG), Union of the European Federalists (UEF)

At a time of crisis, Europe needs the tools to effectively deal with new challenges.

Unfortunately, the European Union is an “unfinished project” which still functions with the flawed institutional architecture inherited from the 2000 Nice Treaty. The EU is therefore almost 10 years late in addressing today’s challenges.

Far from being perfect, the Lisbon Treaty is the only realistic option to try to quickly address the institutional shortcomings of the EU. All but 4 member states have ratified the Lisbon Treaty and it is time for the remaining ones to follow suit. The Treaty would contribute to make the EU 1) more democratic and transparent, 2) more efficient, 3) more responsive to the values and the needs of Europe’s citizens, and 4) a more effective actor on the global stage.

Without the Lisbon Treaty, the EU would risk remaining stuck in its old habits: there would be no stable Presidency of the European Council, no coherent foreign policy, a marginal role for national parliaments and so on. If the Lisbon Treaty is not ratified, there might even be the possibility of some more “integrationist” states to decide to move forward and forge a closer, ad hoc, Union.

The current crises are threatening the achievements Europeans enjoyed over the last half century: the common market, the Euro and freedom of movement are only some among such achievements. Europe is at an historical crossroads and it needs the tools to face the challenges of the 21st century.

Europe needs Lisbon. Now.