Czech President Vaclav Klaus, after much hemming and hawing, signed the Treaty of Lisbon this afternoon. It is expected to enter into force on 1 December 2009. This success is undoubtedly the highlight of the Swedish Presidency, which made concluding ratification a top priority.
Prominent changes include more qualified majority voting in the Council of Ministers, increased involvement of the European Parliament in the legislative process through extended codecision with the Council of Ministers, eliminating the pillar system and the creation of a President of the European Council with a term of two and half years and a High Representative for Foreign Affairs to present a united position on EU policies. The Treaty of Lisbon will also make the Union’s human rights charter, the Charter of Fundamental Rights, legally binding.
Now that that’s done, is everyone ready for the next round of enlargement?