The Lisbon Treaty

The Lisbon Treaty is an international agreement that amends the two treaties which form the constitutional basis of the European Union (EU).

The Lisbon Treaty was signed by the EU member states on 13 December 2007, and entered into force on 1 December 2009. It amends the Maastricht Treaty (also known as the Treaty on European Union) and the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC; also known as the Treaty of Rome). In this process, the Rome Treaty was renamed to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

The Treaty clearly sets out the European Union’s aims and values of peace, democracy, respect for human rights, justice, equality, rule of law and sustainability.

The Treaty is a cornerstone of the European Union’s economic policy, and has a direct impact upon businesses trading online, and particularly in cross-border activities and the Digital Single Market

Principles of the Lisbon Treaty

  • Offer people an area of freedom, security and justice without internal frontiers;
  • Work for the sustainable development of Europe based on balanced economic growth and price stability, a highly competitive social market economy, aiming at full employment  and social progress, with high environmental protection;
  • Combat social exclusion and discrimination and promote social justice and protection;
  • Promote economic, social and territorial cohesion, and solidarity among Member States;
  • Remain committed to economic and monetary union with the euro as its currency;
  • Uphold and promote the EU’s values in the wider world and contribute to peace, security, the sustainable development of the earth, solidarity and respect among peoples, free and fair trade, and eradicating poverty;
  • Contribute to protecting human rights, as well as the strict observance and  development of international law, including respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter.

EU Digital Single Market

Several initiatives to build a stronger single market. These initiatives aim at removing the remaining bottlenecks and plugging the gaps and missing links that hamper innovation and dampen growth potential in the single market. They are grouped in clusters of recommendations concerning:

  • ensuring better functioning of the single market in the perspective of citizens, consumers and SMEs;
  • creating a digital single market;
  • exploiting the potential of the single market to support green growth and Europe's transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy;
  • reaping the full benefits of the single market for goods;
  • fully exploiting the potential of the single market for services;
  • ensuring geographical labour mobility in the single market;
  • establishing the "physical" infrastructure for the single market.

Further information