Today in the House of European History, President of the European Commission Ms Ursula von der Leyen marked the ten-year anniversary of the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon. The 1st of December 2019 also marks ten years since EU cooperation on borders, migration, justice and internal security is a fully-fledged Union policy.
With the Treaty of Lisbon, Member States created an Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, one in which people can move around freely and yet remain safe from crime, as well as have their interests protected by the courts. The Treaty of Lisbon has enabled:
- A strengthened Schengen Information System – It is a key enabler of the exchange of law enforcement information between Member States, and the backbone of the Schengen area.
- A Directive helps fight sexual abuse and exploitation of children, as well as the production and spread of child sexual abuse material – It establishes minimum rules and sanctions for these heinous crimes and Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) provides crucial assistance.
- The EU Anti-Trafficking Directive – It provides a comprehensive and ambitious legal and policy framework to address trafficking in human beings. A recent report shows cross-border cooperation, the use of financial investigations and developing national and transnational referral mechanisms for victims of trafficking have all improved under the Directive.
- A number of instruments that ensure judicial cooperation in criminal matters. These are based on mutual trust and recognition, enable judges and prosecutors to recognise and – if necessary enforce each other’s decisions – for instance through the European Protection Order and the European Investigation Order, as well as the Regulation on Freezing and Confiscation.
- The Data Protection Law Enforcement Directive ensures that police forces can do their work by sharing data with other Member States, while preserving the fundamental rights of our citizens at the same time.
The Treaty of Lisbon was signed on 13 December 2007 and entered into force on 1 December 2009.
The-then new Treaty enabled the full transition from an inter-governmental approach to judicial and police cooperation (the so-called 3rd Pillar of the Maastricht Treaty) to a Union-based approach. It also provided for a 5-year transition period, after which the European Commission’s enforcement powers under Article 258 TFEU consolidated to cover both pre and post-Lisbon EU law. Under the Treaties, Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom enjoy a special status in the Area of Freedom Security and Justice.
With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights became legally binding. Since then, individuals enjoy and can enforce the personal, civic, political, economic and social rights enshrined in it.
Treaty of Lisbon: Title V – An area of Freedom, Security and Justice
Protocol 19: Integrating the Schengen acquis into European Union Law
Protocol 21: On the position of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice
Protocol 22: On the position of the Kingdom of Denmark in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice
Protocol 36: Providing transitional measures in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters
- 1 december 2019