The Treaty of Lisbon (initially known as the Reform Treaty) is an international agreement signed in Lisbon on 13 December 2007 designed to change the workings of the European Union (EU). Having been ratified by all EU member states, the treaty will enter into force on 1 December 2009. The treaty will amend the Treaty on European Union (TEU, Maastricht; 1992) and the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC, Rome; 1957). In the process, the TEC will be renamed to Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
Prominent changes included 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 a half years and a High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy 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.
The stated aim of the treaty is "to complete the process started by the Treaty of Amsterdam  and by the Treaty of Nice  with a view to enhancing the efficiency and democratic legitimacy of the Union and to improving the coherence of its action." Opponents of the Treaty of Lisbon, such as the British think tank Open Europe and former Danish Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Jens-Peter Bonde, argued that it would centralise the EU, and weaken democracy by moving power away from national electorates.
Negotiations to modify EU institutions began in 2001, resulting first in the European Constitution, which failed due to rejection by French and Dutch voters in 2005. The Constitution's replacement, the Lisbon Treaty, was originally intended to have been ratified by all member states by the end of 2008. This timetable failed, primarily due to the initial rejection of the Treaty in 2008 by the Irish electorate, a decision which was reversed in a second referendum in 2009.
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