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S&Ds: Treaty change crucial so EU is no longer held hostage by veto

Date

13 Jun 2022

Sections

Science & Policymaking

Today the European Parliament is formally calling on member states to agree to a Convention on revising the EU Treaties so the EU is no longer held hostage by a single government when it comes to decisive action.

Faced with the Covid pandemic and more recently with Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the serious limitations in the EU’s capacity to act quickly and effectively have become evident. To overcome any shortcomings, the resolution triggers Article 48 and suggests specific Treaty changes like removing unanimity on issues like sanctions, giving the EU competence over cross-border health policy and adding social progress as an irreversible aim in the EU.

Despite attempts by the European People’s Party to delay the debate and vote on MEPs’ calls for a Convention, the S&D Group has worked to make sure Parliament echoes citizens’ demands this week, ahead of an EU leaders meeting later this month.

Gaby Bischoff MEP, S&D vice-president and negotiator on Parliament’s call for a Convention on Treaty revision, said:

“The days of the EU being held hostage by the veto are over. Recent events have laid bare the fact that decisive and urgent action in the EU is too often stopped in its tracks by a small minority who abuse the veto.

“As elected representatives, we have made promises to change the way the EU works and give the Union more capacity to act in the face of emergencies like health pandemics or responding to illegal attacks on European soil. Our evergreen promise to people is to make Europe more social and improve the quality of everyone’s lives, no matter where they live in the EU. Now is the time to deliver on our promises and to start the Treaty reform process to bring about the real changes we urgently need.

“Just one month ago we have concluded the Conference on the Future of Europe, where citizens and civil society gave clear recommendations to improve people’s lives by reforming the EU through limited, but specific, Treaty changes. If these consultations turn out to be nothing more than a ceremonial charade, citizens will not forgive or forget.

“Just this week, yet another member of the European Council, the Irish Taoiseach, threw his public support behind Treaty change in an address to Parliament. The momentum is with us. EU leaders must make it a priority to discuss Treaty change at the next European Council at the end of June.”

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