Lisbon retains the present categories of legislative acts (regulations, directives, decisions),
rather than using the categories of framework decisions, decisions and conventions in the
The Lisbon Treaty also says explicitly, for the first time, that a country has the right to leave
the European Union, something that has always been so under international law, but which has
not been formally stated in a European Treaty before. In so doing, the Member States of the
European Union have created the largest, and indeed the only, voluntary multinational
democracy in human history6.
Another major change is the procedure for conferring jurisdiction on the European Union
courts to rule on patent disputes between private parties would, in the Reform Treaty, remain
(as at present) unanimity in the Council and national ratification, whereas the Constitutional
Treaty provided for qualified majority voting in the Council and co decision with the European
The provisions for an 'emergency brake' on certain criminal law measures (allowing a Member
State to block decision-making on criminal procedure or substantive criminal law, where
voting will take place by a qualified majority) would be altered to make it explicit that
European Union leaders must act by consensus if the issue is referred to them. The provision
on social security for migrant workers, which would also be made subject to qualified majority
voting and which also contains a similar emergency brake, would be altered to provide that
European Union leaders could decide not to take action on a proposal; a declaration would also
confirm that the EU leaders must act by consensus if the issue is referred to...
Treaty Of Lisbon: Amendments to the treaty on European Union, House Of Commons Library, 24th January 2008, retrieved on 12th January 2009.
Hilary White, Ireland to Hold Second Lisbon Treaty Referendum: Prime Minister Confirms, Lifesitenews.com, 22nd December 2008, retrieved on 13th January 2009. http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/dec/08122202.html