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Source: European Commission (video statements)

The Treaty of Lisbon entered into force on 1 December 2009. The occasion has been marked by a ceremony in the City of Lisbon organised jointly by the Portuguese Government, the Swedish Presidency and the European Commission.

The Commission believes that the new treaty provides significant new benefits for citizens and settles the institutional debate for the foreseeable future.
The Treaty of Lisbon allows the EU to fully concentrate on managing a smooth exit from the economic and financial crisis and pushing ahead with the 2020 strategy for greener growth.

The Treaty of Lisbon amended the current EU and EC treaties a this period, without replacing them. It provides the Union with the legal framework and tools necessary to meet future challenges and to respond to citizens’ demands.

The Treaty of Lisbon ensures European citizens to have their say in European affairs and see their fundamental rights set out in a charter. The EU is better equipped to meet expectations in the fields of energy, climate change, cross-border crime and immigration. It is also able to speak with a stronger voice on the international scene.

Among key improvements are: a more democratic and open and accountable Union – The European Parliament and national parliaments have a much greater say in the EU’s decision-making process, and citizens have the right to know what their Ministers are deciding at the EU level. All European citizens are given the opportunity to influence proposed EU laws.

A more effective Union – through effective and streamlined institutions. Including swifter, more consistent decision-making on law and order issues, giving the EU greater ability to combat crime, terrorism and human trafficking.

More rights for Europeans – the EU’s values and goals are set down more clearly than ever before. And the charter of fundamental rights has the same legal status as the EU treaties themselves.

A more prominent global actor – new posts have been created as part of work to bring more coherence between the different strands of its external policy, such as diplomacy, security, trade and humanitarian aid.

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