Stronger EU?

Riz Khan Show (November 5, 2009) (Video)

Now that the Lisbon Treaty has finally been ratified, the European Union can begin to flex a stronger muscle in global affairs.

But will it sacrifice the power of individual member states in the process?

This week, the Czech Republic became the 27th and final EU nation to sign the treaty, bringing to a close a reform process that began eight years ago when the union consisted of only 15 members.

The agreement is designed to streamline the European Union and create more decision-making efficiency, a greater role for European and national parliaments, and increased European clarity on foreign affairs.

A new EU president will soon be appointed to a two-and-a-half year term - a big change from the current six-month revolving presidency - and the foreign affairs portfolio will also be expanded and strengthened to increase the EU's ability to act quickly and effectively in world affairs.

Today we ask: How will the newly-approved Lisbon Treaty shape Europe's future relationships with the rest of the world, and will it affect internal relationships between member states?

Joining the show is Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy chief.

Part 1

Part 2