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S&D Group supports targeted EU Treaty change

Date

22 Nov 2023

Sections

Global Europe

The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament are today supporting targeted EU Treaty change. 

The amendments to the Treaties stem directly from recommendations from EU citizens that took part in the Conference of the Future of Europe and are the result of intense negotiations over more than a year among all political groups, excluding the far right. 

The S&D Group championed specific changes including a commitment on social progress being written into the Treaties, as well as changes to health policy, taxation, investment, the fight against climate change, anti-discrimination policies and strengthening the Article 7 procedure on the rule of law.

Gaby Bischoff, S&D vice-president and European Parliament’s co-negotiator in the committee on constitutional affairs, said:

“The world is evolving and our institutional architecture and decision-making processes in the EU are not fit for purpose if we want to stay relevant as a global player. 

“This week we are setting out how we can amend the Treaties to increase the EU's capacity to act and to address today’s challenges like the climate crisis. We advocate switching from unanimity principles to qualified majority voting and adding new competences that will clearly make people’s lives better.

“The European Union is a promise for peace and progress. As Socialists and Democrats, we made sure that the report contains a proposal to incorporate a Social Progress Protocol in the Treaties to make sure that social rights are respected and the promise of the Treaties on social progress is delivered.

“It is no surprise that the far right does not support Treaty change. They are more interested in undermining and destroying public support for the EU than they are in working together to support and help people.”

Among the amendments to the Treaties proposed by the European Parliament and called for by the S&D Group are:

  1. Moving to qualified majority voting in almost all policy areas;
  2. Incorporating a Social Progress Protocol into the Treaties;
  3. New shared competence on public health matters;
  4. New exclusive competence on the fight against climate change; 
  5. No more unanimity voting on harmonising direct and indirect taxation;
  6. More effective procedure in Article 7 TEU, with a new proposed qualified majority to submit a request for an ECJ decision for breaches of EU values. The European Parliament should also play a proactive role.
  7. New legal basis to fight against all types of discrimination;
  8. Stronger legal basis to fight against gender-based violence and environmental crime.

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