Author(s): Gavin Barrett
Paper number and date: WP 08-01, May 2008
Abstract: Some of the most important stipulations in the foundational treaties of the European Union – which are also known as the Treaty on European Union, and (at least for now) the Treaty Establishing the European Community - are to be found in their so-called final provisions. If and when the Treaty of Lisbon comes into force, these ‘final provisions’ will be amended so as to facilitate the introduction of some highly significant reforms. Among the resulting reforms will be (1) the express conferring of legal personality on Union, (2) the introduction of procedures for amending the constitutive treaties, (3) the facilitation of member states which wish to leave the union, (4) the expansion of the role of the Court of Justice and (5) the amendment of the so-called ‘flexibility’ clause. The purpose of this paper is to examine the nature of these highly significant envisaged amendments. The prospect of the coming into force of at least one of them (the introduction of a treaty amendment procedure) has already played a prominent role at the time of writing in the debate on whether or not Ireland should ratify the Treaty of Lisbon itself.