Reform of the EU: Fewer commissioners, fewer vetoes, more speed | EUROtoday

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As of: September 19, 2023 7:43 p.m

The EU should change if it desires to stay useful. But how? Germany and France have now had a proposal drawn up. It supplies for far-reaching reforms.

Helga Schmidt

Things have not labored out a lot between Germany and France these days. The locomotive was jerking and there have been hardly any joint initiatives left. But the concept that the European Union might quickly change into considerably bigger has introduced Berlin and Paris collectively once more.

Fundamental reforms are obligatory, defined the German Minister of State for Europe, Anna Lührmann, in Brussels, in order that the EU can nonetheless operate when the Balkan international locations be part of, and presumably additionally Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. “It is clear that EU enlargement is in all of our interests,” stated Lührmann. “And that’s why we have to start doing everything we can now to ensure that we as the EU are ready for this enlargement.”

Voting is turning into more and more sophisticated

There are already common difficulties in talking with one voice, and summits typically contain all-night negotiations. But what does it appear like when there are not 27 heads of state and authorities at the summit desk, however more than 30, possibly even 35? It is obvious that the EU should change into more succesful of appearing, stated Lührmann. “So that we can speak with one voice globally.”

Lührmann, collectively along with her French colleague Laurence Boone – who can also be answerable for European points in her authorities – commissioned a gaggle of worldwide political scientists. They ought to study what reforms are wanted to make the EU match for the subsequent spherical of enlargement.

What the specialists counsel

The professional recommendation from scientists is obvious: it is not going to work if essential choices must be made unanimously as earlier than. The indisputable fact that one nation is on the brakes and might block the progress of all others ought to at the very least be restricted. So more choices with certified majority, in order that international locations, like Hungary and Poland just lately, can’t stop others from cooperating.

According to Minister Lührmann, the EU treaties wouldn’t even must be modified. “The Lisbon Treaty, i.e. our current EU treaty, already offers a lot of flexibility here.” She would love this flexibility for use, says Lührmann and refers to the “passerelle clause”.

It has all of it. It is meant to create a bridge for circumstances by which unanimity is definitely obligatory, however in distinctive circumstances choices may also be made with a majority. The drawback: The distinctive case have to be determined unanimously.

Don’t inflate the Commission any additional

The professional council of twelve famend scientists, together with the director of the Open Society assume tank, Daniela Schwarzer, and Oliver Costa from the French Center National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), additionally suggests lowering the quantity of commissioners. The truth that each member state can ship a commissioner to Brussels has inflated the quasi-government in Brussels – it’s arduous to think about that this may nonetheless work after enlargement.

The dimension of the European Parliament also needs to be capped. After the subsequent spherical of enlargement, a most of 751 representatives ought to have the ability to be despatched by the member states.

Tougher sanctions

Right at the starting of the reform examine there’s a demand that not all international locations are more likely to be smitten by. Violations of the fundamentals of European legislation ought to be punished more persistently and harshly than earlier than, with monetary cuts in funding from the Brussels neighborhood funds. Here too, Hungary and Poland can really feel addressed.

The dialogue along with his ministerial colleagues was “lively and constructive,” reported Boone. And needed to snort myself. “You can imagine,” she defined in a press interview, saying that long-standing member states see such reforms otherwise than newer ones. And the bigger states typically have totally different concepts than the smaller ones. “We just have different systems, different cultures, our own history.”

The reform course of has solely simply begun, stated the Frenchwoman. The proposals are to be mentioned by the heads of state and authorities at the upcoming summits.