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Now the Commission is on board for EU Treaty change, the ball is in Council’s court


20 Jun 2022


Science & Policymaking

The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament today welcome the European Commission’s support for a Convention on EU Treaty reform to deliver the joint promises made to citizens in the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Before Treaty change takes place, socialists and democrats are urging President von der Leyen to use her State of the Union Speech in September to outline how the Commission will act within the current Treaties to respond to citizens’ demands in the Conference in areas like climate, social justice and democracy.

The Conference was a successful exercise that proved citizens bring added value to policymaking and we support a greater role for citizens taking part in developing EU laws.

Gaby Bischoff, Vice President of the European Parliament, said:

“As part of the Conference on the Future of Europe, we committed to changing the EU and giving the Union more capacity to improve people’s everyday lives. In the face of global health emergencies and illegal attacks on European soil like in Ukraine, it is all the more important that we deliver. With the Commission on board, the ball is now in the Council’s court.

“Of course, there is scope for change within the current Treaty framework. However, where Treaty change is necessary, we have to be bold. Parliament has already set out specific amendments including giving the EU competence over cross-border health policy and adding social progress as an irreversible aim in the EU in a new, dedicated Protocol. Moreover, by removing unanimity from the decision-making process, we can finally stop the EU from being held hostage by the usual suspects over progressive tax reform or sanctions.

“The Conference was a unique democratic process, but it should not be a one-off. We need more regular citizens’ consultations as part of our law making, but we have to ensure that those selected to take part in future citizens panels fully reflect our societies when it comes to age, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic background.

“As we edge towards the 2024 elections, it is reassuring that Ursula von der Leyen supports reforming European electoral law and is committed to making sure her successor is appointed by means of a European campaign through the European Parliament elections. On this point, we will be sure to hold the President to her word

Note to editors

Throughout the Conference on the Future of Europe, the S&D Group has been engaging with citizens through the #Progressives4Europe initiative, a multi-lingual debating platform that allows citizens to post their opinions and share their views on the future of Europe.