Parliament adopts proposals to strengthen EU
Today, the European Parliament adopted a report with proposals to change the current institutional setup of the EU, which addresses the challenges facing the EU and the incapacity of the EU to respond to these challenges decisively. It therefore proposes a more streamlined EU, with fewer exceptions to the rules, a more comprehensive economic and foreign policy, and stronger foundations in fundamental rights, democracy, transparency and accountability.
In a response to the adoption of the report, Jo Leinen MEP, President, European Movement International, said:
“Amid an expansionist Russia and a US government that questions the western security architecture and promotes protectionism, a strong and self-confident Europe is needed more than ever. In a globalised and rapidly changing world, no single Member State of the EU is powerful enough to compete with the world’s superpowers like China and the USA. Only a united Europe will be able to defend European interests and shape globalization, instead of merely being its subject.”
The European Movement has closely followed the developments around the report on ‘Possible evolutions of and adjustments to the current institutional setup of the European Union’ and supports the proposals put forward, with a particular emphasis on:
The inclusion of European citizens and civil society in discussions on a democratic reform of the treaties. To ensure this is taken seriously, we will be vocal on the necessity to develop participatory mechanisms for the input of citizens and civil society in discussions on Europe’s future and European decision-making. This will be especially important around elections and a possible Treaty Convention, but is also needed on a structural basis.
A stronger system of Economic Governance. Innovations that we are particularly keen on seeing implemented include: a Eurozone Finance Minister, greater involvement of the European Parliament including MEPs from non- (or not yet-)euro area Member States, a Convergence Code, a Fiscal Capacity, and push for genuine Own Resources. These elements have also been put forward in the report on a Budgetary Capacity for the Eurozone, also adopted today.
The protection of the EU’s fundamental values. This would require giving the European Commission room for concrete action in dealing with violations of the fundamental values by the Member States.
Responding appropriately to pressing challenges, such as climate change, refugee- and migration-flows, and internal and external security. The proposals for a stronger foreign and security policy with an EU Foreign Minister, as the main external EU representative, and the steps towards a European Defence Union, offer concrete support in this area.
Together with the adjoining reports on a Budgetary Capacity and Improving the functioning of the European Union, building on the potential of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Parliament has set out a clear road forward, both in the mid- and long-term, ahead of the publication of the European Commission White Paper on the Future of the EU and the Rome Anniversary. The European Movement will actively contribute to these essential debates on the EU’s future.