French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula van der Leyen on Monday spoke in support of amending European agreements to make the EU “efficient and independent”, a proposal already opposed by almost half of the member states.
Ursula van der Leyen and Emmanuel Macron Photo: Shutterstock Editorial / Profimedia Images
This approach comes in the context of the European Parliament’s decision to support a majority of the conference’s proposals for the future of Europe, a broad process of broad consultation with EU citizens. At the request of citizens, MEPs have formally called for amendments to EU treaties.
The Future Conference on Europe, conceived by French President Emmanuel Macron, began a year ago.
At its final meeting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg in early May, the entire committee of the conference reached a consensus on its final draft proposals. 49 proposals were completed, including more than 300 implementation activities divided into nine themes based on 178 recommendations of European Citizens’ Discussion Committees, contributions to discussion committees and national events, and 43,734 contributions from 16,274 ideas recorded on the multilingual digital site. .
“Obviously we need to reform our texts, frankly. One of the ways of this reform is to convene a conference on treaty restructuring. This is a proposal of the European Parliament and I accept it,” Macron told the EU Legislative Assembly on Monday.
Ursula von der Leyen: “There is no point in voting unanimously in some key areas”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also spoke in support of amending the EU agreements “if necessary” and abandoning the unanimous vote of 27 member states in key areas.
“I have always argued that a unanimous vote in some key areas is meaningless,” Ursula van der Leyen said in a speech to the European Parliament on Monday. He said the EU was ready to reform and “change agreements if necessary.”
“Europe must play a major role, for example in the field of health or security. We must continue to improve the functioning of our democracy,” said Ursula van der Leyen. .
“Your message was received,” Ursula van der Leyen told participants. “There are already a lot of things we can do without waiting,” he said.
Romania is one of 13 countries opposed to the amendment of the treaty. Citizens’ proposals “should not be exploited”
Thirteen EU countries are opposed to the European Parliament, French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula van der Len initiating the process of changing the European treaty.
“We do not support efforts that are not analyzed and start early,” Sweden wrote in a statement on Twitter on Monday.
The 13 member states say they “do not reject any option at this stage”, but would like to first read the reform proposals presented to EU leaders after the citizens’ dialogue.
The proposals for the conference on the future of Europe were officially released on Monday.
Some of the proposals, such as granting the right to legislative initiative requested by the European Parliament or expanding the EU’s security or health powers, are subject to change in the treaties.
Countries opposing this perspective draw attention to the risk of “energy loss” and believe that the amendment of the treaties was “never a goal” of the conference.
Citizens’ proposals should not be “exploited”, the signatories state further.
The text was signed by Denmark, Malta, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Croatia and three Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
More than 300 proposals for a conference on the future of Europe. Document
The conference on the future of Europe, a comprehensive citizen consultation process launched a year ago, led to more than 300 proposals to reform the EU, which was approved in the recent full session of the European Parliament, which called for a review of the treaties. .
Launched in the spring of 2021, 325 proposals were adopted in 49 categories: “Targeting natural agriculture”, “Establishing common minimum standards for maintenance at the EU level” or “Holding regular meetings of citizens”.
Dubrovka Suika, Vice President of the European Commission and Co-Chair of the Conference, said in the applause of the Strasbourg Room, “The Council has reached a consensus on the proposals.
“This conference will be historic from the moment we implement what we have decided,” said Belgian Liberal MEP Guy Verhofstad, co-chair of the conference.
Meetings of 800 European citizens, divided into panels on various topics, began in September and ended this year. Proposals from more than 50,000 participants have been submitted online in 24 languages (www.futureu.europa.eu) and are still open until May 9. In parallel, France arranged for consultations with its own citizens.
Sources (AFP, Agerpres, European Parliament)
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