In an historic setting, members of the European Union signed the Treaty of Lisbon which reform’s the blocs institutions and provides for stronger central leadership. Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates told leaders of the EU, “This was the European project that m any generations dreamed of and other before us championed with a vision of the future.” President Sarkozy of France welcomed the treaty as finally allowing the EU move forward after years of controversy and delay. It is a treaty that ensures an enlarged European bloc now exists that stretches from the Mediterranean to the Baltic, from the Atlantic ocean to the Black Sea. The current system of rotating presidents will be replaced in 2009 with a long-term president of the European Council allows for creation of a foreign policy leader.
The European Union has been steadily and slowly evolving from a confederation of nations into a possible federal system which would allow for centralized leadership while retaining national symbols of authority. It is a free market area encompassing nearly 500 million people and will undoubtedly grow even larger with the possible entry of the Ukraine and Turkey. The admittance of Turkey will expand boundaries of Europe into the Middle East and from there , who knows where it will lead?