The European Council has apparently decided that some limited amendments of the EU Treaties are necessary in order to establish a permanent crisis management mechanism for the eurozone. Herman Van Rompuy and the European Commission have been mandated with preparing proposals for such a crisis mechanism – which would provide emergency lending in the event of a sovereign-debt crisis. The proposal for the restriction of voting rights of Member States violating fiscal stability requirements seems to have been shelved for the moment.
An important feature of the mandate is the question whether a simplified revision procedure can be used (art. 48, para. 6 TFEU). The simplified procedure may be used for the amendment of provisions in part three of TFEU (Union Policies and Internal Actions). The European Council acts by unanimity after consulting the European Parliament and the Commission, and the European Central Bank in the case of institutional changes in the monetary area.
The main requirement for the simplified revision procedure, however, is that it should not increase the competences conferred on the European Union in the Treaties. This test is very important and it remains to be seen how any meaningful crisis management mechanism could pass it.