Commission attachment to children’s issues to a
broader EU commitment shared by the main EU institutions.
Children’s rights as part of AFSJ and EU children’s rights policy
Frattini’s entrepreneurial actions in relation to children’s rights generated
developments at the EU level which further normalized and institutionalized the Commission’s internal engagement with this policy sector (Iusmen,
2013a). The institutionalization of children’s rights at the EU level was reinforced by the entry into force of the LisbonTreaty in December 2009 and
the binding aspect of the EU
initiatives to be adopted to
strengthen EU efforts. The EU underlined the importance of deepening the
international consensus to combat terrorism, thereby reducing the access of
terrorists to financial and other economic resources. The EU declaration
on combating terrorism was later enshrined in the text of the LisbonTreaty. The EU also made counter-terrorist clauses (CTC) an important
element of the
question such ideas as ‘the unchecked free circulation of capital [and] the liberalisation and privatisation of public services’. It reaffirmed opposition to the LisbonTreaty as encapsulating ‘undemocratic and unsocial policies’ and called instead for strengthening democratic norms through popular petitions, enlargement of co-decision powers of the EP, and stronger relations between the EP and national parliaments; and for a new constitutional treaty to be discussed and voted on by citizens throughout the EU.
The manifesto attacked the
democratic procedures and the rule of law. Prominent past and serving Federal presidents, Roman Herzog and Christian Wulff, expressed dismay in public about the risks to democracy posed by the ECB being seen to exceed its mandate and the EU’s treaties being viewed as expendable if they got in the way of particular crisis solutions. 45 Successive rulings by the German Constitutional Court on expanding EU powers received even more attention; in 2009, ruling on the LisbonTreaty, it concluded that German constitutional law enjoyed supremacy over EU law as a permanent
approach has included plenary debates on, for example,
the Convention on the Future of Europe; the possibility of a UK referendum on
the LisbonTreaty; dual currency status for the Euro in Northern Ireland; and UK
withdrawal from the December 2011 EU summit.12
In general, the majority of debates have been relatively harmonious matters,
with division at a minimum and a largely pragmatic approach discernible. Nevertheless, on ideological issues, such as the single currency, the Future of Europe and
EU treaties, the emergence of predictable partisan positions is obvious. On
– offered MPs the opportunity to have a vote on delaying the date by which the UK was to leave the European Union as set out in Article 50 of the LisbonTreaty if the Commons rejected her final deal which was to be put before the House the following month. The Liberal Democrats had a tough call to make: should they provide the new group with a friendly welcome or keep them at arm's length for fear of being subsumed by them? In the end they chose the first option, with party leader Vince Cable proposing to work with them to pursue shared Brexit priorities in the Commons
within the corridors of power in London and Brussels, ‘the tone adopted by the media has done little to fuel either understanding of what the EU is for or how it operates, or sympathy for the integration process’ (Menon 2004: 44).
In his memoirs Blair reflected on the media’s part in damaging New Labour’s European ambitions, writing of the political debate about the LisbonTreaty: ‘it reminded me how far I had to go to persuade British opinion of the merits of being in the mainstream of Europe. As ever, the difficulty was that the Eurosceptics were organised
orientation was to unilateral power and action (Pentagon 2018 ). In a way, President Trump crystallised
something that had been happening for a long time (Laderman and Simms 2017 ). There is a world of difference between a
superpower who convenes and leads the group of liberal democracies, and
one that invites them to join in courses of action it will take
regardless – ‘America first’ as ‘America
Third, the EU passed the high watermark
of its integration and political convergence with the LisbonTreaty in
deepening integration was taking place at the expense of democracy. After 2005, in the face of popular rejection, EU institution-builders were determined to persist and the 2009 LisbonTreaty was the result. This chapter argues that ethical standards and competent decision-making are becoming casualties of the democratic deficit. Arguably, the absence of democratic scrutiny and approval contributed greatly to the low-grade design and implementation of the single currency. The absence of democratic safeguards has allowed it and other unpopular innovations to be retained
reconciliation and a Europe which has a direct impact on their
lives – and when you speak with conviction and passion – you can get
That is the challenge for Europe’s politicians in the elections this June.
Pat Cox retired from the European Parliament in 2004, but not from
his interest in European affairs, which he carried forward in his work
for the European Movement, and in the campaign for Irish ratification
of the LisbonTreaty.