2020 is the last year in which the UK would contribute to the EU budget, provided the UK withdraws from the EU and a withdrawal agreement is adopted by Parliament. This is also the year when the current EU budget comes to an end (usually in seven-year blocks, and the rules around them have been changed by the Lisbon Treaty – but no specific amounts to be paid). Before the opening of the IGC, the Polish government expressed a desire to renegotiate the June agreement, particularly on the voting system, but gave in under political pressure from most other Member States because it did not want to be seen as the only troublemaker in the negotiations.  This is not included in the Lisbon Treaty or other EU agreements. The proposed abolition of the rebate would be part of the “multi-year financial framework” (the EU`s long-term budget) which would require unanimous agreement between Member States, so that the UK could eventually block it. The need to review the EU`s constitutional framework, particularly in view of the accession of ten new Member States in 2004, was underlined in a declaration annexed to the Treaty of Nice in 2001. The Nice agreements had paved the way for a further enlargement of the Union through a reform of voting procedures. In the December 2001 Laeken Declaration, the EU pledged to improve democracy, transparency and efficiency and defined the process that could constitute a constitution to achieve these goals. Created under the presidency of former French President Valéry Giscard d`Estaing, the European Convention was tasked with providing as comprehensive advice as possible throughout Europe in order to draft a first draft constitution.
The final text of the constitutional proposal was adopted at the summit on 18-19 June 2004, under the Irish Presidency. The UK has a Schengen exemption and has not signed the Schengen Agreement. Agreements that set the UK`s opt-out cannot be repealed without the agreement of the United Kingdom. If the government wanted to abolish the opt-out and join the Schengen area, there would have to be a referendum.
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