“We need to simplify our work and clarify our goals,” Macron said. “Current rules and agreements are not meant to deal with historical crises now and in the future.” If it was up to the French president, member states would cede power, for example, removing vetoes in foreign policy, and Brussels would be given new powers. France, who is currently president of the European Union, wants to discuss ideas for a Convention at a summit of EU leaders in June.
A majority of the European Parliament voted in favor of the arrival of the Convention last week. On Monday, Brussels also backed the idea. “I am pleased with this proposal,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. “Let’s all work together. No taboos, no ideological red lines.”
The European Agreement sets out what the European Union is about and how decisions are made. Changing these rules usually involves years of negotiations. All member states and parliament finally have to agree.
Holding a Convention
Such major renovations usually begin with the holding of a Convention. At such a meeting, Member States and EU institutions will channel all ideas on reform. No conventions have been held since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty (2009).
EU institutions use the Conference on the Future of Europe, a complex circus of meetings in which citizens are given one year to discuss the future of the EU, as the main reason. On Monday, Europe Day, dozens of proposals and hundreds of recommendations were formally submitted to EU leaders. Some ideas run counter to current EU agreements.
Whether there will be a Convention will depend on the Member States. The majority should support the meeting. Germany and Italy supported the idea of a treaty amendment, the Netherlands did not reject it first. But according to Politico, the other ten member states are now trying to rally support against the proposal. They believe that the European Parliament uses citizen conferences to expand power at the expense of member states.
The previous convention, with the birth of the European constitution as a result, traumatized Brussels. In the Netherlands, among other things, the Constitution was rejected by referendum. In the end, many proposals were included in the Lisbon Treaty, but the term ‘constitution’ disappeared.
Macron also put forward his own ideas on Monday for the formation of a ‘European political community’. A kind of EU lamp where there is room for countries like Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. A former member of the EU – he did not mention the United Kingdom by name – is also welcome to cooperate on energy, security and free movement. The French head of state insists that Ukraine’s accession to the European Union will take years, if not decades.
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