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Revision of the Treaties

Article 48 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) is the legal base which enables the Treaties to be revised. The Treaty of Lisbon amends the ordinary revision procedure and introduces simplified revision procedures.

  • Ordinary revision procedure: Any Member State, the Commission and the European Parliament may submit proposals for revising the Treaties to the Council of the Union. These proposals are then sent to the European Council and national parliaments are informed. If the European Council, after consulting the European Parliament and the Commission, delivers an opinion in favour of calling a conference, it is convened by the President of the Council. The Convention examines proposals for amendments. It adopts by consensus a recommendation to a conference of representatives of the governments of the Member States (IGC). The European Council may decide not to convene a Convention should the extent of the amendments not justify it. It then immediately establishes a mandate for an IGC. The subsequent amendments to the Treaty enter into force after being ratified by all the Member States in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements
  • Simplified revision procedure: Any Member State, the European Commission and the Parliament may submit to the European Council proposals for revising the provisions of Part Three of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union relating to internal policies and action. The European Council adopts unanimously a decision to amend all or part of these provisions after consulting the European Parliament and the Commission. This decision enters into force after approval by the Member States. This revision procedure cannot be used to extend the competences conferred on the Union.

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