What is the Treaty of Lisbon?

What is the Treaty of Lisbon?

The Treaty of Lisbon, also known as the Reform Treaty, is an international agreement of European Union (EU) member states that entered into force in 2009 amending two treaties which form the constitutional basis of the EU. The Treaty of Lisbon amended the Treaty of Rome (which established the European Community), and changed its name to the Treaty of Functioning of the European Union or TFEU. The TFEU sets out the functional or organizational details of the EU.

The TFEU is one of the two treaties forming the constitutional basis of the European Union, the other being the Treaty on the European Union (TEU, aka, the Treaty of Maastricht).

With the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in December 2009, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU became legally binding, and with this the right to the protection of personal data was elevated to the status of a separate fundamental right. (source: handbook data protection law 2nd ed)

A couple of the more important articles of the Treaty of Lisbon related to privacy are Articles 7 and 8:

Article 7

Respect for private and family life

Everyone has the right to respect for his or her private and family life, home and communications.

Article 8

Protection of personal data

1.Everyone has the right to the protection of personal data concerning him or her.

2.Such data must be processed fairly for specified purposes and on the basis of the consent of the person concerned or some other legitimate basis laid down by law. Everyone has the right of access to data which has been collected concerning him or her, and the right to have it rectified.

3.Compliance with these rules shall be subject to control by an independent authority.

(source: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=OJ:C:2007:303:FULL&from=EN)

The Treat of Lisbon establishes 7 EU institutions:

1. European Parliament – (> 700 members) – Legislative

2. European Council – (28 heads of member states)

3. Council of the EU – “The Council” (groups of 28 ministers by theme) – Legislative

4. European Commission – “The Commission” (28 commissioners and +23,000 civil servants)

5. The Court of Justice of the EU

6. European Central Bank

7. Court of Auditors

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