Reform in the EU is performed via treaties.

There have been a series of them all named after cities.

Is this sequence pre-determined with the content attached to the treaty? Or are new treaties drawn-up as-and-when?

Who initiates the creation of treaty change in the EU?

  • Generally speaking, treaties are created between members at the common will of these. Note that not all <city name> treaties are EU-wide (e.g., Schengen). So do you want to refer only to the Rome, Maastricht, Lisbon sequence, perhaps? May 30, 2019 at 20:51
  • OK. I guess I’d like to refer to any treaty change then, not just the city sequence.
    – 52d6c6af
    May 30, 2019 at 20:59
  • 1
    Maybe a better question would be: "Do they make an effort to hold the conference in a not yet used city, so that there are no two treaty changes with the same name?"
    – stackzebra
    May 31, 2019 at 11:13
  • 4
    Naming a treaty by the city it was concluded is not specific to the European Union... Incidentally, most of these treaties have another official name (the Treaty of Rome is called the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the Treaty of Maastricht is the Treaty on European Union) and the failed “Treaty establishing a constitution for Europe” wasn't usually referred to by a city name (it was signed in Rome in reference to the earlier Treaty of Rome).
    – Relaxed
    Jun 2, 2019 at 6:52

1 Answer 1


The city names are just the locations in which those treaties were negotiated. The negotiations over the Maastricht treaty were finalised at a meeting of Heads of Government in Maastricht.

Treaties are multilateral agreements between governments. When the various governments of the EU come to a mutual decision that there needs to be some change in the agreements that bind them together, they will begin the process of negotiation. The initiative comes from the European Council, and the detailed drawing-up is done with the Commision.

When a draft agreement is ready, the European Council will agree to meet in a European City, usually a city in the country that is holding the rotating presidency of the Council. At that meeting, the heads of government will try to agree a final text for the new treaty, and if successful, the new treaty is named after the host city.

So new treaties are drawn up as-and-when required by the European Council and it is the Council that initiates treaty change.

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