The European Union after Lisbon: Polity, Politics, Policy

The European Union after Lisbon: Polity, Politics, Policy

The European Union after Lisbon: Polity, Politics, Policy

The European Union after Lisbon: Polity, Politics, Policy


A few years have passed since the Lisbon Treaty came into force but the question still remains of what the Lisbon Treaty has actually brought about. Was it just 'relatively insignificant' as some scholars have claimed, or was it 'something' more? This book sets out to look at this question and it does so by applying a classical division: polity, politics and policy. One of the book's conclusions is that the Lisbon Treaty might have been 'plan b' compared to the aborted Constitutional Treaty, but it is certainly a substantial step forward on the European path of integration. The Lisbon Treaty strengthened the EU both as a polity (its stateness), and in its politics (the rules and procedures) and in spite of the fact that the treaty was not really a 'policy treaty', it has extended the Union's field by federalizing most of the policies within the area of Justice and Home Affairs. This anthology brings together scholars from four European countries each of them a specialist within the fields they are analyzing. Each scholar adds insights from their area of competence to the book, leaving it an important contribution to the study of today's European Union.


One could almost hear the sigh of relief from the political elite of Europe, when the Lisbon Treaty was finally ratified by Poland in 2009 and could enter into force on 1 December 2009 (after the Czech instrument of ratification was the last to be deposited in Rome on 13 November 2009, much to the dislike of the Czech president, Václav Klaus).

After an extremely long process beginning with the Laeken Declaration of 2001, and ending in 2009, the eu had changed from a Union of 15 members to a union of 27 members, and more ‘would like to be members’ were waiting. Many hopes and fears were voiced during this long process.

Now, a few years after the entering into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the question remains: what did the Lisbon Treaty actually bring about? Was it just ‘[…] relatively insignificant in terms of institutional or policy reform’, as Hix and Høyland claimed (2011: 11)? Or did they perhaps underestimate it? This question was asked in the Research Group for European Policy Studies (RGEPS) which brings scholars from the European Studies and International Relations departments at the universities of Aalborg, Barcelona Autonoma, Linkoping and Twente together. the result of our deliberations, discussions and presentations is this book, which is also the first tangible result from the Research Group.

I would like to thank Ms Cirkeline Cappel, ba, and Mr Elijag Munyi, ma, for their kind, flexible and competent help with the manuscript, bringing the bits and pieces together under a very tight deadline. I am also indebted to Jean Monnet Professor emeritus Staffan Zetterholm for commenting on three of the chapters in this book.

Søren Dosenrode Hjermitslevgaard Manor May 2012 . . .

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