01.12.2009 11:25 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The EU's first president, Herman Van Rompuy,
officially took office Tuesday as the bloc's reforming Lisbon Treaty
entered into force, giving the European project a human face as it
enters a new era.

Baroness Catherine Ashton at the same time became the European Union's
foreign policy supremo - a post already dubbed "EU foreign minister".

The treaty, drawn up to replace the aborted EU constitution, is
designed to boost the bloc's global standing and streamline the
institutions which represent half a billion people. It will also
reinforce the EU parliament's role and cut the number of national
vetoes on European policy.

"The Treaty of Lisbon puts citizens at the centre of the European
project" EU Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso said in a statement.

"The EU will be better equipped to meet expectations in the fields
of energy, climate change, cross-border crime and immigration. It
will also be able to speak with a stronger voice on the international
scene," promised Mr Barroso.

A ceremony to mark the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, and the
positions it creates, will take in the Portuguese capital on Tuesday,
where the text was first signed, with Mr Van Rompuy and Lady Ashton
attending, The Telegraph reported.