December 1, 2009 – sees the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, which provides the European Union with the legal framework and the institutional tools necessary to meet the challenges of the future.
The European Commission believes that the new treaty provides significant new benefits for its citizens. "The Treaty of Lisbon puts its citizens at the center of the European project," said European Commission President Barroso. "We now have the right institutions to act and a period of stability so that we can focus all our energy on delivering what matters to our citizens."
The EU will now be better equipped to meet expectations in the fields of energy, climate change, cross-border crime and immigration. And with greater coherence given to the different strands of its external policy, and with the appointment of Herman Van Rompuy and Catherine Ashton to the new posts of EU President and of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the European Commission, it will also be able to speak with a stronger and clearer voice internationally.