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EN
The article deals with the reform of the European Union system in the Lisbon Treaty of 13 December 2007. Analysis is limited to the so-called horizontal changes, also known as structural changes, i.e. those which are significant for the whole EU. Changes in the institutional system, internal market, space of liberty, security and justice, as well as changes in the common foreign policy and security policy of the EU have been left out of considerations. The author therefore focuses on the following issues: transformation of the European Union into a uniform international organization; expansion of the EU's axiology; establishing of division of competence between the EU and its member states; systematization and simplification of the catalogue of legal acts and legal procedures; modification of the democratic procedures of the EU; strengthening of the position of national parliaments in the legislative process; procedures of revisions of treaties and changes in the functioning of closer cooperation.
EN
The subject matter of the article is the reform of the second pillar of the European Union in the Treaty of Lisbon of 13 December 2007. The first part of the article presents systematics of the Treaty provisions concerning The Common Foreign and Security Policy. The second and third part deal with changes in The Common Foreign and Security Policy with The Common Security and Defense Policy being its integral part.
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The Lisbon Treaty, although at fi rst glancean impoverished“Constitution”, provides a variety of mechanisms allowing further expansion towards a “Union of Citizens.” It aims to cover diversity of national interests and allows to progress with a diverse speed. The sense of belonging to Europeprogressively permeates in us being intermeshed with other components of the notion of citizenship generally conceived. In conclusion there are a few points to be raised. First, the failure to agree on the Constitutional Treaty with clearly pronounced Constitutional symbols does not impede the progress of the Constitutional Order which is unique to Europe. It is neither against the general conception of the Constitution as such, although it is different to the conventional approach generally accepted in particular in continental Europe. Citizenship of the Union or European Identity can develop under the current Treaty setting. They will develop within what Menéndez calls’ the narrative of constitutional synthesis’ establishing a new constitutional tradition robust enough to allow further progress. Secondly, the concepts of European Identity and European patriotism are not buried. The new avenue could be found in the adopted Treaty. The Treaty of Lisbon creates a more direct link between the EU and its citizens. It re-conceptualises Citizenship not through amendments, but rather through making the citizens central to political life of the Union. For this purpose, the Treaty provides some vehicles, including the citizens’ initiative, new transparency rules and the greater role of national parliaments, and these willlend substance to the Citizenship of the Union. In particular the judgments issued in Rottmann, Zambrano, McCarthyand Dereci announce the new approach to Union Citizenship, citizenship standing alone although so far considered as an exception; citizenship based on rights. Is the current Treaty robust enough to bring us out of the crisis and meet new challenges? For many years we have been convinced about the importance of unity, uniformity, acquis communautaire and the uniform application. It is exactly the opposite what this Treaty is about. The Treaty clearly abandons the idea of uniformity. As many have noticed, this Treaty is more about exceptionalism and differentiation. It is understood thatthere can be “unity in diversity.” Thus, the Lisbon Treaty refers to the tools of fl exibility, enhanced cooperation, opt-in, and opt out, all serving as emergency brakes. At the fi rst glance, the Treaty may seem to divide rather than unite, but in the longer term unity through diversitymay be the only waythat 28 nations can have “an ever closer union.” Respecting the differences, understanding national needs and cherishing the common values: this is a “golden idea” that will bring European People together.
EN
The Lisbon Treaty fundamentally changes the legal basis of the European Union. The areas of regulation subject to modification include the normative foundations of the protection of fundamental rights in the EU. The article attempts to answer the question concerning the legal nature and the limits of the revised Charter of Fundamental Rights which are binding on Poland. Despite an enthusiastic support of the Charter by part of legal scholars, the role of the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the domestic legal order in rather ambiguous. In Lisbon, the authors of the Treaty have departed from formal way of proceeding. As a result - regardless of their political will - the adopted phrase of 'the same legal value as the Treaties' will not have any effect in Polish domestic law, where it functions as a non-binding act of the European Parliament, Council and Commission. Legal effect of an international act in the national legal system is hinged on the constitutional procedure of its adoption, and not on the political message. However, the rank of the Charter within the system of the EU law obviously rose. In fact, this will affect granting Treaty guarantees to its provisions. From this point of view, a new legal hybrid will appear, an act which, formally, is not a piece of primary law (as it is not ratified), but which has the status (enjoys the protection) prescribed for such acts. Some systemic consequences of this experiment, (e.g. the effect of the principle of primacy of EU law) may, however, have negative systemic consequences. The Charter will not be included, for procedural reasons, in the constitutional list of the sources of law and, therefore, there will be a collision between them and the norms of the national law. In this respect, a moderating role will be played by the Polish-UK Protocol which, according to Article. 49 b shall form an integral part of the Treaties. From the point of view of legal science, the meaning of the new Charter of Fundamental Rights is reduced, practically, to one aspect — inserting its content to the Lisbon Treaty opens a new phase in the evolution of the fundamental rights in the EU. To date, they were founded on the basis of the: European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and constitutional order of Member States. So far, the Charter has only reflected and expressed the fundamental rights specified within these two areas. The Lisbon Treaty grants it a status equal with them. .
EN
Entrance into force of the Treaty of Lisbon launched changes directed toward an efficient functioning of the European Union and deepening of cooperation among its member states. One of the reformed spheres is the sphere of freedom, security and justice. Although cooperation in this sphere has continued since mid-1970s its legal grounds were only defined in the Treaty of Maastricht, in which issues of freedom, security and justice are considered within the framework of intergovernmental cooperation. Problems in the functioning of policies on immigration, asylum seekers, visas, judicial and police cooperation were an incentive to look for more effective solutions that would improve and intensify joint operations in those areas. This led to subsequent reform treaties which put into effect the communalization of certain areas of cooperation. However, it is the Treaty of Lisbon that is of key significance in this respect. Broadening of the authority of organs and institutions, creation of new institutions for the improvement of cooperation, standardization of law making, unity of the legal acts in force - all these measures are purported to create a coherent and complex model of cooperation in the area of freedom, security and justice.
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The adoption of the Lisbon Treaty and Poland's accession to the UK protocol, whose intention is to limit the possibility of direct application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, resulted in an increased interest in this document among the Polish public opinion. The author presents the development of the system of fundamental rights protection within the framework of the European Communities, culminated with the decision to draw up and adopt the Charter. It was reminded that the adoption of the Charter was for integration purposes. The EU citizens received a document gathering the rights which are shared by the French, the Greek and the Poles, as well as the citizens of other EU member states. The Charter constitutes important evidence that the Union is not only an economic organization, but also a community of ideas and values. The article presents characteristic features of the Charter and the scope of its regulation, as well as the bodies empowered or obliged by its provisions. In the author's opinion, the Charter represents an important step ahead in relation to the European Convention on Human Rights. The much discussed dilemma whether the EU has to establish its own catalogue or to accede to the Convention was resolved by accepting these two measures as vital for guaranteeing appropriate protection.. The Charter is an important instrument which may improve human rights protection not only within the European Union.. The author examines the legal status of the Charter which, by virtue of the EU Reform Treaty, was incorporated into the primary legislation of the European Union, as well as the issue of EU accession to the ECHR. The final part of the article discusses the significance Protocol 7, on the application of the Charter in relation to Poland and the United Kingdom. In the author's view, Poland's accession to the above-mentioned protocol does not mean that the Charter will not be binding in Poland. Upon coming the Reform Treaty into force, the Charter will become a binding law, also in Poland. The Protocol may only limit its direct application.
EN
Since the accession of Poland to the European Union our administration of justice in its functional aspect has a dualistic character. In the light of the treaty obligations, the duties of a domestic court (especially within the protection of rights based on the Union regulations) cause that before a court starts to investigate a case, it should answer a question whether it is to deal with a matter under the Union law or a clearly domestic situation. It is so because only the latter situation is subject to domestic order. On the other hand, the existence of the union regulations excludes a possibility to apply domestic law. The Treaty of Lisbon obligates the Member States to provide judicial means of the Union rights protection in domestic laws as in the past the effectiveness in this area was low. The phenomenon has its exemplification in the Polish legal order where both the Union and domestic regulations are violated. In the Polish administration of law, however, there are serious problems which hinder respecting the protection of the Union rights. It also refers to Polish courts, especially as the application of the Union law by courts is complicated, laborious and requires high qualifications.
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The aim of the article is to analyze the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty concerning the presidency in the European Union from the point of view of the importance for Polish presidency in the EU in the second half of 2011. The authoress proposed a thesis that the changes introduced by the Treaty will undoubtedly result in changes in the mutual relations between the individual institutional leaders of Europe, and there will be a direct correlation between them and the Polish presidency. Concentrating on the provisions referring to the President of the European Council, High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, and group presidency, the authoress reports the course of a discussion on the presidency reform and its final form in the Lisbon Treaty. In conclusion, it was highlighted that as a result of the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty, the position and powers of the presidency will be diminished and the Polish presidency in the European Union will mean the necessity of intensive co-operation with many institutional partners in conditions where there will be possible problems concerning jurisdiction.
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Content available remote THE OVERSIGHT FUNCTION OF THE SEJM IN RELATION TO EUROPEAN INTEGRATION
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EN
The oversight function of the Sejm in matters of European integration should be understood widely as it covers both the stage of delegation to the European Union the powers typical of the sovereign authority of the State, as well as the exercise of those powers within a particular separate institutional structure. As concerns the first aspect, the Sejm (sometimes jointly with the Senate) takes part in the procedure of granting consent for ratification of the accession treaty itself, or ratification of possible modifications introduced to treaties establishing the European Union. Thereby, the Sejm, as part of Polish parliament participates in the oversight of the intensity and pace of integration, as well as its territorial extent. Moreover, the exercise of oversight on the way in which the Union uses the powers conferred on her, should take into account the specific nature of that organization, manifested in the exercise of the lawmaking function (in general) by an international organ - the Council of the European Union. For that reason, the influence of national parliaments on decisions taken within the Union is mainly determined by the degree to parliaments are able to oversee the activities of government within the framework of appropriate institutions. The Sejm exercise oversight over the government in a form specified in the Cooperation Act. The Sejm (its European Affairs Committee) may, in particular, be provided with information and documents, including legislative proposals of the EU and to express adequate opinions which, however, do not obligate the government to take any position within the EU organ. Additionally, the Sejm (its European Affairs Committee) gives its opinion about the candidates nominated by the government for certain posts in the EU. In the event that the Lisbon Treaty enters into force, the scope of oversight function of the Sejm (parliament) will be considerably extended, particularly in relation to the observance of the subsidiarity by the Union. The exercise by the Sejm (parliament) of the oversight function, within the above-said meaning, contributes to strengthening of the democratic basis of integration and legitimizes the process of making decisions in the European Union.
EN
The article focuses on the analysis of the achievements and failures of the Belgian presidency, particularly from the perspective of practical verification of the regulations of the Lisbon Treaty of 13th December 2007. The author presents the limitations of EU presidency that follow from the regulations of the Lisbon Treaty and discusses the major functions of the presidency: mediation, coordination, planning, administration and representation. The priorities and limitations of the Belgian presidency held from 1st July to 31st December 2010 are highlighted and their balance is drawn up. Its major achievements include: compromise concerning the EU budget for 2011, measures aimed at increasing financial stability, improvement of public finances and coordination of the economic policies of member states; integrated directives for job and economic policies of member states; resumption of discussion on deepening of the internal market; further progress in implementation of the enlargement strategy; continuation of work on the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty; activity in external spheres and new initiatives in the sphere of freedom, security and justice. The major failures of the Belgian presidency consist in its inability to realize the following tasks: improved coordination of cooperation in fighting illegal immigration and organized crime or terrorist threats, enhancement of social security of EU citizens and raising the standards of health care, completion of accession negotiations with Croatia and strengthening cooperation between the EU and the countries of Africa and Asia.
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Content available remote Citizens and Further Democratisation after the Lisbon Treaty
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The question this attempts to answer is how the Lisbon Treaty, cherishing diversity in EU development at the expense of the idea of unity, and more devoted to national interests could foster European identity and make an Union that is closer to its citizens? In particular, our aim is to demonstrate that the efforts of the Lisbon Treaty to make the Union more democratic, by enhancing the role of national parliaments, the early warning mechanism and principle of subsidiarity, the European Citizens’ Initiative and the new rules on transparency, have built a framework in which European Identity could take a shape. We would like to point out a certain visibility of the current Treaty. Even without symbols, the Lisbon Treaty carries its manifesto, endowing the Union with the necessary mechanisms. It is now up to the citizens what use they will make of them.
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By virtue of the Lisbon Treaty, and upon coming into force of this Treaty, the Charter of Fundamental Rights shall be included in the primary legislation of the EU, thereby acquiring the same status as treaties. The scope of application of the Charter, and doubts, expressed particularly by the UK, about its excessive influence on the domestic law, constituted a real problem from the very beginning of the work on the list of fundamental rights protected within the EU. Consequently, several duplicate provisions were included both in the Charter and in the Lisbon Treaty itself. These provisions specify the limits of application of the Charter. Despite all these guarantees, the UK has managed to negotiate a special protocol, later joined by Poland. The reasons for which the two states have bound themselves by the protocol are completely different. For the UK, it was important to reconfirm that social rights constitute the principles and not justiciable rights. By contrast, Poland wanted, above all, to protect its domestic legal system against the standards of fundamental rights protection inconsistent with that system or opposite to Polish sense of morality concerning, inter alia, homosexuality, abortion, euthanasia, family law etc. The protocol has not been adjusted to take account of the needs of Polish law. It is not clearly articulated which may lead to unnecessary confusion. Nor it provides an opt-out capability, which was suggested in the first political comments in Poland. The Charter will be legally binding in Poland, however, its application (with respect to Polish law) will be limited to those rights which are confirmed by the Polish legal system.. This limitation in relation to Poland has, in fact, no significance. Poland's Constitution itself contains a catalogue of fundamental rights, and Poland is bound by all major international agreements protecting those rights. The Polish-UK protocol repeats the same limitations on the application of the Charter which ensue from the Charter itself and from the Treaty of Lisbon. Therefore, it does not introduce much new matter, and rather blurs the clarity of EU law for the individual.
EN
The author deals with the issues of the supremacy of the Community law from the view of the Czech Republic and the Lisbon Treaty. The question the author tries to answer is: 'Are the concerns about adoption of the Lisbon Treaty and the Charter of Fundamental Rights justified? Can these documents actually lead to the revision of the national legislation?'. To find answer to this question the article first analyzes the principle of supremacy of the Community law and then deals with the issue of the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms in the European Union. The author concludes that the Charter lays down the new standard of the protection of fundamental rights, but this will apply only in relation to activities falling within the competence of the European Union. The revision of national legislation is therefore excluded even after the effective date of the documents mentioned above. The article outlines the present attitude of the Czech Constitutional Court to the principle of supremacy.
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„European elections 2009 – rise or twilight of the european democracy” is a study, which aims at assesing the state of democracy in the European Union, using the example of the recent european elections. The first part of the article outlines the theoretical conditions that need to be fulfilled by the elections in order to name them as „democratic ones”. The author examines the legal obligations and the political consequences of setting in which citizens of the EU vote on different days and accordingly to generally different electoral rule, without a true influence on subsequent fraction and coalition building in a newly elected European Parliament. The second part elaborates on the political impact of the elections (including the meaning of the declining voters’ turnout), on the character of organizational arrangements (such as traditional grand coalition in the EP), as also on the dychotomy in compositions of the different European institutions and its influence on the decission making process. What makes this study particularly interesting is surely innovative approach to the lessons drawn from the democratic crisis of the EU and the consequences of the process of putting in place a new institutional order starting from the Constitutional fiasko and finishing with the provisions introducing the new Lisbon Treaty.
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The article attempts to give a brief survey of fundamental changes brought by the Lisbon Treaty. At the same time it gives analysis of the new regulations based on domestic and foreign legal literature referring to this topic. It drives attention to the problems and open questions evoked by the new legal regulations. It does not avoid controversial discussion concerning sovereignty and competences forming a natural starting point of understanding of competences in the EU and their division between the EU and its member states.
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The Polish presidency of the European Union has aroused a lot of ambitions and expectations from society, which sees opportunities to create and promote a positive image of Poland as a modern, dynamic country, engaged in the affairs of European integration and actively participating in solving current problems of the European community. Some are even convinced that the presidency will strengthen the position of Poland in the EU and worldwide. Looking from the perspective of the French Presidency experience, which has achieved many successes in this field, the author attempts to assess the opportunities and threats for the Polish presidency, bringing critical analysis of external factors, the priorities selected and the process of its preparation. Also presented are proposals for supporting the priorities of the Polish presidency, as well as some urgent problems to solve resulting from the challenges facing the European Union and Poland, today; including, in particular, the common agricultural policy, cohesion policy as well as territorial, economic and social competitiveness. The current Common Agricultural Policy has many imperfections and is a long way from the purposes it was originally intended.. The current direct payments to farmers in member countries are too varied and discriminate against farmers in the newly joined EU member states, especially in Poland, distorting the adopted principles of competitiveness. Consequently, it is an insufficiently implemented European cohesion policy. Even with the the absorption of considerable financial outlays, the outcome is the deepening of social, economic and territorial inequalities in particular regions and EU member states. The EU budget program for 2014-2020 assumes a substantial increase in expenditure on building competitiveness at the expense of cohesion among the regions of convergence, which will not encourage sustainable economic and social development in the EU, and especially in Poland. Poland does not duly use the EU subsidies for R & D, which, in this area, is a net contributor to the European budget. The consolidation of these trends, especially under conditions of the continuous overseas outflow of highly skilled human capital, is a huge threat to building a modern, innovative economy in Poland, disqualifying us for a long time in the rankings of European and global innovation. These and other threats to the Polish and European economy, in the context of a deepening monetary and economic crisis, should constitute the major challenges for the Polish presidency. Meanwhile, the program adopted by the presidency in this regard is too shallow and un-ambitious. Anxieties exist because the Polish presidency does not meet society's expectations.
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