The Treaty of Lisbon (like the stillborn Constitutional Treaty) would increase the European Union's visibility and efficiency in the world scene [see section 2.5]. The permanent president of the European Council would represent the Union in discussions among world leaders, such as the G8, ''putting a face'' on the Union [see section 4.1.1]. The fact that the new High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy would be Vice-President of the Commission and would chair the ''foreign affairs Council'' would help the EU work more effectively and consistently on the world scene (Article 18 TEU), [see section 8.2.1]. The High Representative - assisted by a new European external action service, composed of officials from the Council, Commission and national diplomatic services - should connect different strands of EU external policy, such as diplomacy, security, trade, aid to development, humanitarian aid and international negotiations. Also, the fact that the new Treaty, would do away with the European Community and would introduce a single legal personality for the European Union would enable it to conclude international agreements and join international organisations as such, raising its profile worldwide [see section 3.1]. The common security and defence policy would be an integral part of the common foreign and security policy and would provide the Union with an operational capacity drawing on civilian and military assets, which could be used on missions outside the Union for peace-keeping, conflict prevention and strengthening international security. Inside the Union, Member States should act jointly if a Member State is the target of a terrorist attack. Moreover, a European Defence Agency should identify operational requirements, should promote measures to satisfy those requirements, should contribute to identifying and, where appropriate, implementing any measure needed to strengthen the industrial and technological base of the defence sector and shall assist the Council in evaluating the improvement of military capabilities (Article 42 TEU).
These provisions mean a certain progress; but, the unanimity rule still prevails in the Treaty of Lisbon (as in the draft Constitution) concerning the CFSP. If and when this treaty were adopted, the common foreign and security policy would still be defined and implemented by the European Council and the Council acting unanimously, except where the Treaties provide otherwise. The adoption of legislative acts would be excluded (Article 24 TEU). In fact, European decisions relating to CFSP would be adopted by the European Council and the Council of Ministers unanimously, except when they would be implementing decisions of the European Council taken unanimously or if the European Council would unanimously decide that the Council of Ministers should act by qualified majority (Article 31 TEU). Moreover, the unanimity rule prevents not only a genuine common foreign and security policy but also the ratification and putting into force of the treaty of Lisbon itself, which are suspended because of the negative referendum (on 12 June 2008) by the Irish people, representing 1.7% of the total EU population. Whatever eurosceptic circles may say to the contrary, this is democratic deficit par excellence, i.e. disregard of the will of the people concerning the political maturity of their union [see section 9.5]. The democratic way would give the peoples of the European Union the possibility to pronounce themselves as to whether they want to have a real and effective common foreign and security policy or not. Of course, this way is not as easy as it sounds.
However, it is practically certain that not all the Member States of the actual EU would be willing to confer on the Union the competences necessary for building a genuine common foreign and security policy. Experience to date shows that if the public opinion in some countries is negative on an issue, e.g. the common currency, then, even if they want to, the politicians of those countries cannot follow the common march [see section 7.2.3]. Hence, in a Community/Union of twenty-seven states, it is quite probable that one government, one parliament or a referendum in one country may stop the march of all the others by vetoing the amendment of a treaty (be it named constitutional or otherwise).
The question arises consequently: the Member States whose citizens aspire for a really common foreign and security policy should be eternally blocked by their partners who prefer to guard their national prerogatives rather than unite their forces in order to build a superpower able to better serve their common interests? The probable answer is that sooner or later a number of states, under the pressure of their citizens, would like to gain their freedom to proceed at the stage of integration of the political union and to thus establish a truly common foreign and security policy. It is probable that this would be the group of states, which would have a single currency on top of the single market. In fact, the interests of those states would become ever more common and it is natural that sooner rather than later they would feel the need to defend them in common by a genuine common foreign and security policy.
The subsidiary question to the one above is: given the unanimity rule required for the amendment of the Treaty on the European Union, how the Member States of the EU, which would want to advance towards the stage of the political union, could do it, if some of the signatories of this Treaty would oppose the concessions of national sovereignties necessary for taking this step? There are two possible answers to this question. The relatively easier but limited way for building a common foreign and security policy would be by the enhanced cooperation of some Member States, provided for by the actual Treaty of Nice and reinforced by the Treaty of Lisbon. The more difficult but sturdier way of proceeding towards the political union of Europe would be by a treaty democratically drafted and adopted, which would engage only the Member States which would have signed and ratified it. Let us consider these two possibilities.
Enhanced cooperation in the field of the common foreign and security policy is facilitated by the Treaty of Nice [see sections 4.3 and 8.1.2] and even more so by the Treaty of Lisbon. The latter provides that authorisation to proceed with enhanced cooperation should be granted by the Council (of Ministers) as a last resort, when it has been established that the objectives of such cooperation could not be attained within a reasonable period by the Union as a whole, and provided that at least nine Member States would participate in it (Article 20 TEU). But, with the method of enhanced cooperation, progress in the fields of foreign and security policies would proceed in bits and pieces and might involve a number of Member States in certain cases and another number in other cases.
It would be much better, if Member States willing to build a real common foreign and security policy set down in a ''Treaty on European Political Union'' all the rules that should govern this common policy. Of course, the great hurdle to the conception, the signing and the ratification of such a treaty would be the unanimity requirement. On top of this problem would come the supplementary one of the possibility left for some countries to hold referendums for the ratification of such a treaty, despite all evidence proving that solitary referendums (i.e. in some countries of the Union and not in all simultaneously) are usually destined to turn negative results, because of the information deficit and the undermining work of eurosceptic media and europhobic parties [see sections 2.5 and 9.5]. The lessons learned by the negative referendums in France and the Netherlands concerning the constitutional treaty and in Ireland concerning the treaty of Lisbon should prevent isolated referendums concerning the ratification of European treaties. There may be two solutions to the problem of isolated referendums: either, introduce a declaration in the final provisions of a new treaty saying that this treaty shall enter into force after its ratification by a certain number of Member States, following a popular consultation held simultaneously in all Member States; or leave the possibility to a nation, consulted separately by referendum, to refuse to take part in the envisaged union, without preventing the others to create it. Both possibilities depend on the solution to the unanimity problem.