The Lisbon Treaty and the Emergence of Third Generation Regional Integration

Van Langenhove, Luk and Marchesi, Daniele, (2008). The Lisbon Treaty and the Emergence of Third Generation Regional Integration. Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series, 8(9), 4-17

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Van Langenhove, Luk
    Marchesi, Daniele
    Title The Lisbon Treaty and the Emergence of Third Generation Regional Integration
    Appearing in Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series
    Volume 8
    Issue No. 9
    Publication Date 2008-06
    Place of Publication Miami
    Publisher University of Miami
    Start page 4
    End page 17
    Language EN
    Abstract European integration can be regarded as the most advanced and successful regional integration experience accomplished so far.1 Among the numerous integration schemes that have mushroomed in Europe since the end of World War II, the European Union (EU) has emerged as a unique process and as a prototype of what can been defined as a “third-generation” of regionalism.2 In this view, the EU has developed beyond a mainly economic integration process (first generation regionalism), to a deeply institutionalised and politicised union, competent at various degrees in an all-encompassing spectrum of internal policies (second generation or “new regionalism”). In this process of widening/deepening of policies, structures and membership, the EU has become a global actor present in the international fora where once only states operated (third generation). When ratified, the 2007 Lisbon Treaty promises to represent an additional episode of this incremental integrative process, through which the EU is progressively becoming a global actor. Following the last 2004 and 2007 enlargements that have brought the membership to 27, the Treaty carries with it a considerable amount of structural reforms that are supposed to make the Union more efficient, and more democratic. Among these reforms is a new mechanism of qualified majority voting, a clearer distinction in the division of competencies, an expansion of codecision, which becomes the ordinary decision making procedure, and the end of the formal pillar structure, as well as an enhanced role for national parliaments, especially in safeguarding the principle of subsidiarity. Especially in external relations, some major innovations would be introduced such as the legal personality for the EU, the new President of the European Council and the High Representative and Vice President of the Commission, assisted by an External Action Service. This article explores the implications of these new institutional developments for the emergence of the EU as a “third generation regional organization”, i.e. becoming a fullyfledged actor in international relations, engaging proactively and in a unitary way with other regions and at the multilateral level.
    Regional Integration
    Copyright Holder The Authors
    Copyright Year 2008
    Copyright type All rights reserved
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    Created: Fri, 15 Feb 2019, 13:43:58 JST