Von der Leyen urges EU to change required unanimity

13 nations again, Macron launches new format with Ukraine and UK

10 May, 12:15

    (by Michele Esposito) (ANSAmed) - STRASBOURG, 10 MAG - The requirement of EU unanimity for voting should be changed, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in her closing speech for Europe Day.

    She noted that a few sceptics should not be able to keep the entire 27-nation bloc from moving forward.

    In a European Parliament chock full of youths for the Conference on the Future of Europe as part of Europe Day 2022, Von der Leyen and French president Emmanuel Macron on Monday tried to sketch out the lines of a new European Union.

    With the war in Ukraine as a backdrop, Strasbourg was feeling acutely the echoes of a veto on sanctions against Russia that had been reiterated only a few hours before by Hungary.

    "I have always argued that unanimity voting in some key areas simply no longer makes sense if we want to be able to move faster," the Von der Leyen said.

    Macron went beyond in proposing a new format parallel to the EU that would include countries including Ukraine and the UK.

    However, to change these things will be very difficult.

    While in Strasbourg Von der Leyen was speaking about the need for reform, 13 member states were instead drafting their refusal.

    "We do not support unconsidered and premature attempts to launch a process towards treaty change," said the text signed by Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Slovenia and Sweden.

    The idea of changing a need for unanimity is especially disliked by the smallest countries.

    However, refusals are also coming from the base of the European Parliament.

    The ECR and its co-president Raffaele Fitto underscored that the solution for the future of the EU is not the "creation of a European super-State".

    In September, as part of her State of the Union address, Von der Leyen will try to respond to the first 49 proposals from the Conference on the Future of Europe. (ANSAmed).

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