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The Lisbon Treaty has been fully ratified
I am sure we are all aware that the Lisbon Treaty is now fully ratified! However, it has passed almost unmarked - it feels a little unreal!

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Do you think this is something to be celebrated? Was it celebrated in your country?

For those of you outside the EU, is this important to you? How will it change our lives?
I don't really understand the point of this treaty... May be I am too stupid or I don't know enough.

What is the point in?

* A politician chosen to be president of the European Council for two-and-a-half years, replacing the current system where countries take turns at being president for six months.

* A new post - called High Representative - combining the jobs of the existing foreign affairs supremo, Javier Solana, and the external affairs commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, to give the EU more influence on the world stage.

* A smaller European Commission, with fewer commissioners than there are member states, from 2014.

* A redistribution of voting weights between the member states, phased in between 2014 and 2017 - qualified majority voting based on a "double majority" of 55% of member states, accounting for 65% of the EU's population.

* New powers for the European Commission, European Parliament and European Court of Justice, for example in the field of justice and home affairs.

* The parliament will be on an equal footing with the Council - the grouping of member states' governments - for most legislation, including the budget and agriculture. This is called "co-decision".

* Removal of national vetoes in a number of areas, including fighting climate change, energy security and emergency aid. Unanimity will still be required in the areas of tax, foreign policy, defence and social security.

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