Georgetown Law Library Blog
November 30, 2009 · Marylin J. Raisch
The Treaty of Lisbon enters into force on 1 December 2009. Czech President Vaclav Klaus sealed the deal by depositing his country's instruments of ratification in Rome; an informal summit took place on 19 November; and now, almost one year behind the originally envisioned schedule (article 6 of the treaty indicated coming into force on 1 January 2009, or on the first day of the month following the deposit of the last required instrument of ratification, which just occurred) the "Europe of the 21st Century" is finally in place. Herman Van Rompuy of Belgium (he was the Prime Minister) is now the President of the EU (for a longer 2.5 year term) and Catherine Ashton of the UK is now the EU foreign minister, or high representative for foreign affairs and security policy. It is a sort of President and Secretary of State for the EU as an entity, and this enables the EU, with assurances to some member states (such as Ireland), to undertake common defense and promote some of the new rights in the citizens' initiatives. These and other changes do not affect military neutrality, if that has been a state's policy, and streamline many of the procedures related to border security.