The European Union is adapting to the Lisbon Treaty. Priorities of the Spanish Presidency and the interests of Romania

Policy memo no.6, December 2010

Author: Paul Ivan, Mihai Panaite, Ciprian Ciucu, Robert Uzună

We are continuing our series of reviews about European politics and policies with a new report on the short term priorities of the European Union. CRPE’s experts analyze the priorities of the Spanish Presidency in the new European institutional framework created by the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon.

The report presents the plans of the Spanish government and the ways in which Romania may relate to them. CRPE’s analysis underlines the fact that the Spanish presidency will create important precedents: because the treaty is vague on some points, a clearer division of the tasks between the new position of President of the European Council and the rotating presidency should emerge in practice in the following months. In what concerns the new structure of the European Commission, the report notes an increase in the number of Commissioners dealing with external issues that occurs simultaneously with the arrival of the new High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Another change in the composition of the Commission, the merger between Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy portfolios, may be a good signal for Eastern countries, including Moldova, a country of interest to Romania. However, the report argues, it would have been preferable to make a clearer distinction between the Eastern area (“European neighbors”) and north Africa and Middle East (“neighbors of Europe”). Available here