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Treaty on European Union

Treaty on European Union

 

SUMMARY OF:

Treaty on European Union

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE TREATY?

  • The TEU is one of the EU’s primary treaties, alongside the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). It forms the basis of EU law, by setting out the EU’s purpose, the governance of its central institutions.
  • The TEU is based on the Maastricht Treaty which marked a new stage of European integration by going beyond the original economic objective (a common market). It opened the way to political integration with a transition from the European Economic Community (EEC) to the European Union (EU).
  • The Treaty of Maastricht introduced a number of significant changes to the structure, the institutions and decision-making, the policy areas and the scope of this new EU.

KEY POINTS

Main features of the Maastricht Treaty

Amendments brought to the treaty

The Maastricht Treaty was subsequently amended by the following treaties:

  • The Treaty of Amsterdam (1997) increased the powers of the EU by creating a Community employment policy, transferring to the communities some of the areas which were previously subject to intergovernmental cooperation in the fields of justice and home affairs, introducing measures aimed at bringing the EU closer to its citizens and enabling closer cooperation between certain EU countries (enhanced cooperation). It also extended the co-decision procedure and qualified majority voting and simplified and renumbered the articles of the Treaties.
  • The Treaty of Nice (2001) essentially dealt with the institutional problems linked to enlargement which were not resolved in 1997: the composition of the Commission, the weighting of votes in the Council and the extension of the areas of qualified majority voting. It simplified the rules on use of the enhanced cooperation procedure and made the judicial system more effective.
  • The Treaty of Lisbon (2007) brought sweeping reforms. It put an end to the European Community — the Treaty establishing the European Community is renamed the ‘Treaty on the Functioning of the EU’. It abolished the former EU 3-pillar architecture and reallocated competences between the EU and the EU countries. The way in which the European institutions function and the decision-making process were also revised, in order to adapt to an enlarged EU of 28 EU countries. Several of the EU’s internal and external policies were also reformed and the institutions were enabled to act in new policy areas. The democratic dimension of the EU was further strengthened.
  • After 1992, the TEU was amended by the various treaties of accession, which progressively brought the number of EU countries from 12 to 28.

FROM WHEN DOES THE CURRENT VERSION OF THE TREATY APPLY?

Signed on 13 December 2007, the Lisbon Treaty — which comprises the TEU and the TFEU — entered into force on 1 December 2009.

BACKGROUND

  • The Treaty on European Union (TEU) has its origins in the Treaty of Maastricht, signed on 7 February 1992, and its current version, after various amendments, results from the Treaty of Lisbon (2007).
  • For more information, see:

MAIN DOCUMENT

Treaty on European Union of 13 December 2007 – consolidated version (OJ C 202, 7.6.2016 pp. 13-46)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Treaty on European Union (OJ C 191, 29.7.1992, pp. 1-112)

Act concerning the conditions of accession of the Kingdom of Norway, the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden and the adjustments to the Treaties on which the European Union is founded, Contents (OJ C 241, 29.8.1994, pp. 9-404)

Treaty of Amsterdam amending the Treaty on European Union, the Treaties establishing the European Communities and certain related acts (OJ C 340, 10.11.1997, pp. 1-144)

Treaty of Nice amending the Treaty on European Union, the Treaties establishing the European Communities and certain related acts (OJ C 80, 10.3.2001, pp. 1-87)

Treaty between the Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Hellenic Republic, the Kingdom of Spain, the French Republic, Ireland, the Italian Republic, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Republic of Austria, the Portuguese Republic, the Republic of Finland, the Kingdom of Sweden, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Member States of the European Union) and the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia, the Slovak Republic, concerning the accession of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovak Republic to the European Union (OJ L 236, 23.9.2003, pp. 17-930)

Treaty between the Kingdom of Belgium, the Czech Republic, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of Estonia, the Hellenic Republic, the Kingdom of Spain, the French Republic, Ireland, the Italian Republic, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Poland, the Portuguese Republic, the Republic of Slovenia, the Slovak Republic, the Republic of Finland, the Kingdom of Sweden, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Member States of the European Union) and the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania, concerning the accession of the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania to the European Union (OJ L 157, 21.6.2005, pp. 11-395)

Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, signed at Lisbon, 13 December 2007 (OJ C 306, 17.12.2007, pp. 1-271)

Treaty between the Kingdom of Belgium, the Republic of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of Estonia, Ireland, the Hellenic Republic, the Kingdom of Spain, the French Republic, the Italian Republic, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Poland, the Portuguese Republic, Romania, the Republic of Slovenia, the Slovak Republic, the Republic of Finland, the Kingdom of Sweden, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Member States of the European Union) and the Republic of Croatia concerning the accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union (OJ L 112, 24.4.2012, pp. 10-110)

last update 04.04.2018

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