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Every member state has planned to complete ratification of the Lisbon Treaty in 2008, so that the treaty can enter into force, as planned, on 1 January 2009. The timetable of the main institutional changes should be as follows:


Until 2009: 785 members


From 2009: • The European Parliament is composed of 750 MEPs plus its President. The President of the Parliament retains his right to vote.

From 2009: • One Commissioner per member state (as now), including its President and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

There is a minimum of six MEPs per member state, and a maximum of 96 per member state.

The Parliament’s powers are increased by the application of the ordinary legislative procedure (formerly “co-decision”) to the vast majority of policy areas.

The candidate for President of the Commission is proposed by the European Council by qualified majority voting, taking account of the results of the European elections. The European Parliament then formally “elects” the President-designate of the Commission by a majority of its component members.

The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy is a Vice-President of the Commission and is appointed by the European Council in agreement with the President of the Commission. The High Representative also chairs the Foreign Affairs Council (see further).

The College of Commissioners as a body is subject to a vote of consent by Parliament, following which it can be appointed by the European Council, acting by qualified majority.

EUROPEAN COUNCIL AND PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL From 2009: • The President of the European Council is elected by the European Council by qualified majority for a two-and-a-half year term, renewable once. The President of the European Council shall not hold national office, although there is no formal bar to him/her also being the European Commission President.

From 2014: The size of the College of Commissioners corresponds to two-thirds of the number of member states, including its President and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

The Presidency of configurations of the Council of Ministers, other than for Foreign Affairs, will alternate among pre-established groups of three member states (or “team presidencies”) for a one-and-a-half year term, with the other two team members supporting the one in the chair for each six-month period.

The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy chairs the Foreign Affairs Council. “COREPER” is chaired by the member state chairing the General Affairs Council, and the Political and Security Committee by a representative of the High Representative.

In the Council, the use of qualified majority voting increases substantially.

• •

The member states make suggestions for appointment of Members of Commission. The Council and the President propose a College of Commissioners that respects the principles of equal rotation and demographic and geographic diversity.

From 2014: • A new system of “double majority” voting applies, with a transition period until 2017. 2007

13 December


May 2008

Signature of The Lisbon Treaty Irish referendum (TBC)


June 2009

Summer 2009

October 2009

Reform Treaty due to enter into force

European elections

Nomination and election of Commission President 2009-2014

Nomination of the 2009-2014 Commission

Election of President of European Council and High Representative



1 April 2014

Double majority voting system enters into force: 3 year transition period

EP investiture of the new Commission after parlimentary hearings

June 2014

European elections

Summer 2014


2016 2017 1 April 2017

Full double majority Commission nominated voting system under new Treaty provisions (18 members) A G E N C Y O F T H E Y EinA Council R 2 0 0 7applies



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Europe Agency of the Year 2007

EU institutional changes following the Lisbon Treaty