There's a proposal to amend the Lisbon Treaty and its Protocol n° 36 already!
It concerns the number of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). At present there are 736 members. When the European elections were last held, in June 2009, the Treaty of Lisbon was not yet in force and thus those elections had to take place according to the rules in force at the time and that meant having 736 members. Article 14 §2 TEU, as introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, provides that there will be 750 members plus the President, with a maximum of 96 members per member State.
At its meeting on December 11 and 12, 2008 the European Council declared (at page 14) that in the event of the Treaty of Lisbon only entering into force after the European elections in June 2009, transitional measures would be adopted as soon as possible in order to increase the number of MEPs until the end of the 2009-2014 legislative period, in accordance with the numbers agreed at the time of the Intergovernmental Conference 2007. The declaration explicitly states that the total number of MEPs will rise from 736 to 754 until the end of the 2009-2014 legislative period. It also states that the modification should enter into force, if possible, in 2010.
Consequently, Spain has proposed to the Council, under the procedure for amendment of the Treaty set out in Article 48 §2 TEU, to revise the Treaty to increase the number of MEPs by 18 bringing the total to 754 until the end of the 2009-2014 parliamentary term. According to that procedure, it is possible to amend the Treaty without convening a full-blown Convention and simply convene a conference of the representatives of the member States.
According to the Spanish procedure, the number of seat in the European Parliament will be increased as follows:
- Bulgaria, Italy, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and the United Kingdom get one more MEP each;
- France, Austria and Sweden get two extra MEPs each,
- and Spain gets four extra.
The proposal, if adopted, aims to enter into force in December 1st 2010. It sets out how the extra MEPs should be selected:
(a) either in ad hoc elections by direct universal suffrage in the member State concerned, in accordance with the provisions applicable for elections to the European Parliament;
(b) or by reference to the results of the European elections from June 4 to 7 2009;
(c) or by designation by the national parliament of the Member State concerned from among its members of the requisite number of members, according to the procedure determined by each of those ember States.
The Parliament's Committee on Constitutional Affairs adopted a report on April 12 2010 approving the Spanish proposal.
The Commission has recently given its favorable opinion - COM (2010) 189 final - on the Spanish proposal pursuant to Article 48 §3 TEU.
We'll see what happens in the end.