Ambassador Dorian Prince, EU Fellow, LKYSPP, Ms Anne Pollet-Fort, Associate Fellow of the EU Centre, and Dr Nicole Alecu de Flers, EU Centre Visiting Fellow and Researcher, Institute for European Integration Research, Austrian Academy of Sciences (OAW)
24 Feb 2010
Seminar Room 902, Level 9, NTU@one-north campus, Executive Centre, 11 Slim Barracks Rise (off North Buona Vista Road), Singapore 138664
3.30pm – 5.30pm
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The Lisbon Treaty, signed in December 2007, took two years to be ratified by all Member States and finally entered into force on 1 December 2009. The Treaty aims to improve democracy, transparency and to make the Charter of Fundamental Rights binding. But it is in the area of external relations and foreign policy that some of the more profound institutional changes are put in place. For example, instead of a 6-months rotating presidency, the European Council will be represented by a full-time President. In another newly created role, the appointment of Baroness Catherine Ashton as Vice President of the Commission and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the creation of an European External Action Service, in effect merges the roles of the External Relations Commission with that of the Common Foreign and Security Policy High Representative. The European Parliament will also share more areas of co-decision with the Council.
These changes are meant to bring about a more coherent and coordinated voice by the EU on the world stage and even out the powers of the Council, Commission and Parliament. Yet there are already murmurings of a lack of administrative and policy clarity over the new roles. Commentators have mooted that at worst it may mute extended debate and strengthen the inter-governmental influence over the Union.