the European Union's Treaty of Lisbon
Entry into force today of the European Union's Treaty of Lisbon
Today - 1st December 2009 - marks the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon.
This is a good day not only for the European Union itself but also for the relations between New Zealand and the EU.
The occasion will be marked by a ceremony in the City of Lisbon organised jointly by the Portuguese Government, the Swedish Presidency and the European Commission.
The Commission believes that the new treaty will allow the European Union to fully concentrate on managing a smooth exit from the economic and financial crisis and pushing ahead with the 2020 strategy for greener growth.
The EU will be better equipped to meet expectations in the fields of energy, climate change, cross-border crime and immigration. It will also be able to speak with a stronger voice on the international scene.
The EU's values and goals will be set down more clearly than ever before, and the charter of fundamental rights will be given the same legal status as the EU treaties themselves.
New posts have been created to bring more coherence between the different strands of its external policy, such as diplomacy, security, trade and humanitarian aid. Last week Herman Van Rompuy was chosen as President of the European Council, and Catherine Ashton appointed as the first High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
We have a new name
Under the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Commission's Delegations become Delegations of the European Union as from today. Other details (address, email address, telephone number, web address) remain the same.
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