Unlocking the potential of the EU Treaties: An article-by-article analysis of the scope for action

Study 28-05-2020

The latest Eurobarometer surveys indicate that there is consistent support for more EU action in various policy areas, including preventing climate change, tackling irregular migration, designing a common foreign and security policy and preventing terrorism. Assuming that the Treaty of Lisbon will be the framework for EU action for the foreseeable future, this paper explores possibilities for broadening the scope of EU action in order to respond to these repeated calls from EU citizens. With a view to reappraising the legal framework of the EU, it aims at identifying those legal bases in the Treaties that remain either under-used (in terms of the purposes they could be used to achieve) or completely unused. It analyses possible ways of delivering on EU policies, including in the development of common rules, providing enhanced executive capacity, better implementation of existing measures, targeted financing and increased efficiency. An overview table sets out possible initiatives, which are then explored in greater detail in 50 fiches, organised according to broad policy clusters reflecting the priorities of the von der Leyen Commission. Possible measures are mentioned in each fiche, along with the legal bases in the current Treaties on which action could potentially be based. It is a revised and expanded version of a paper published in January 2019, ahead of the European elections.