Para aqueles (que sempre os hÃ¡, como dizia o outro, “com a mania de ser diferentes”) que ainda insistem em que o Tratado de Lisboa (que afinal nÃ£o vai referendado) Ã© coisa diferente do Tratado Constitucional (que o partido do Governo prometeu que ia ser referendado), publica-se de seguida alguma informaÃ§Ã£o sobre a matÃ©ria, disponÃvel no site da insuspeita (espera-se) BBC.
How similar will the new treaty be to the draft constitution?
It contains many of the changes the constitution attempted to introduce, for example:
A politician chosen to be president of the European Council for two-and-a-half years, replacing the current system where countries take turns at being president for six months
A new post combining the jobs of the existing foreign affairs supremo, Javier Solana, and the external affairs commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, to give the EU more clout on the world stage
A smaller European Commission, with fewer commissioners than there are member states, from 2014
A redistribution of voting weights between the member states, phased in between 2014 and 2017
New powers for the European Commission, European Parliament and European Court of Justice, for example in the field of justice and home affairs
Removal of national vetoes in a number of areas
Most European leaders acknowledge that the main substance of the constitution will be preserved.
If it contains the same substance, why is the Lisbon Treaty not a constitution?
The constitution attempted to replace all earlier EU treaties and start afresh, whereas the new treaty amends the Treaty on the European Union (Maastricht) and the Treaty Establishing the European Community (Rome).
It also drops all reference to the symbols of the EU – the flag, the anthem and the motto – though these will continue to exist.