European Movement Italy – The Lisbon Treaty and the European Constitution

28 September 2023 | Members' Corner

After more than a year of complicated negotiations conducted away from the spotlight and civil society, the rapporteurs of the European Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee finally filed in committee a meaty report on the revision of the Lisbon Treaty that came into force in December 2009 along with the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

At the outset, the EPP had requested and obtained that a Polish MEP from the ECR group, to which Fratelli d’Italia and Vox belong, be associated with the group of rapporteurs, and the other groups made the serious mistake of giving in to the bluff of the EPP and Manfred Weber by underestimating the obstacles they would have to overcome in order to take into account the Euroskeptic hostilities of the ECR partly shared by the EPP.

The rapporteurs’ report has now landed in committee without the signature of the ECR group and, of course, with the exclusion of the other Identity and Democracy sovereignists reinforcing the prospect that “the table” of political balances in Europe after the Europeans will not be turned over in favor of an EPP-Renew Europe-ECR coalition.

The report confirms the orientations of pro-European and federalist organizations that the European Union – in view of its enlargement to the Western Balkans and Eastern Europe – must be made more effective and more democratic by updating the two Lisbon treaties with a different division of exclusive, shared and supporting competencies, overcoming the power of veto in many areas where the two treaties provide for European Council and Council decisions to be taken unanimously, and extending the powers of the European Parliament in the logic of a bicameral legislative and budgetary authority.

The European Movement is drawing attention to three issues for now by preparing to table amendments when the rapporteurs’ text reaches the floor:

  • The treaty retains its hermaphroditic nature after the decision by Angela Merkel, Tony Blair and Nicolas Sarkozy to abandon the draft prepared by the Convention on the Future of Europe, preferring the “male” of the Treaty to the “female” of the Constitution. At that time, the ill-considered decision of Angela Merkel, Tony Blair and Nicolas Sarkozy was unhelpfully challenged by the majority of the European Parliament, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt and Spanish Head of Government Zapatero
  • Governments retain their lordship (we are the owners of the treaties) over the treaties and retain the power to return powers from the European Union to member states (Art. 48.2 TEU)
  • The shift from unanimity to qualified majority voting in the Council risks being thwarted-as has often been the case since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaties-by the fact that a time limit for adopting its positions (Articles 289 and 294 TFEU) does not apply to the Council (and the European Parliament) at first reading, as is the case for the second reading, contrary to what was provided in Art. 38 of the “Draft Treaty establishing the European Union” adopted by the European Parliament on February 14, 1984, which set a time limit of six months for the Parliament and the Council.


We will present our proposed amendments to the report adopted by the Constitutional Affairs Committee, we will renew our request to the European Parliament to invite the eight hundred citizens involved in the Conference on the Future of Europe, the representative organizations of civil society, the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee, and the social partners to an agora preceding the debate and vote in plenary, and we will insist on the need for the next European Parliament to assume a constituent role by transforming the Lisbon Treaty amendment text into a new treaty-constitutional to be submitted to a pan-European referendum.


Rome, September 22, 2023

Pier Virgilio Dastoli