Lisbon Treaty "gave democracy a new face" - Charles Michel

Charles Michel says the Lisbon Treaty is part of the "European DNA." The former Belgian PM, now the EU's new High Rep, was speaking on Sunday at an event to mark the 10th anniversary of the landmark treaty.

He said,"There is so much to discover in every corner of Europe. This diversity living inside our common "European Identity" is what binds us together. Along with our values and institutions, it is what makes us Europeans this special feeling of "being European".

"We have overcome many obstacles to be standing here, prosperous and free in the heart of Europe. The Treaty of Lisbon, we celebrate today, clearly identifies this diversity as crucial part of our European DNA. It added another building block to the architecture of today's European Union making possible much of the progress in the EU. And its goal was to "enhance the efficiency and democratic legitimacy of the Union and improve the coherence of its action.

"I believe it succeeded on both points. It is just as relevant today as it was 10 years ago giving us the tools to tackle our modern-day challenges.

"One important reform is especially timely our common fight against climate change. The treaty gave the EU a new legal "personality", allowing us to sign vital international agreements, like the Paris Agreement."

He added, "The Treaty also gave democracy a new face, strengthened transparency and threw open the doors to Brussels law-making. Ministers of the Council and members of the Parliament now legislate in public, for all to see. That is essential in an open, thriving democracy. The Treaty also helped synchronise Europe's foreign and security policy by establishing the European External Action Service. Today we can present a unified face to the rest of the world. With more weight and greater coherence in a rules-based world. Let's do it."

He concluded, "Today we do more than look back, we celebrate a new beginning, with great enthusiasm and hope. Because we are starting the next 5 years on solid ground. We are advancing our own ambitious European agenda. The Lisbon Treaty has clearly pushed us in that direction and anchored our Union firmly into the twenty-first century."

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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