EU chief to announce shift away from unanimity voting
European Commission chief says she endorsed legislative proposals presented by an EU citizens’ panel, such as giving the EU a greater role in making defense and health policy decisions.
European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen announced on Monday that she will unveil EU reform proposals in September, including a much-touted shift from the unanimity principle.
"I have always argued that unanimity voting in some key areas simply no longer makes sense if we want to be able to move faster," Von der Leyen considered at a closing ceremony of the Conference on the Future of Europe in Strasbourg.
The top EU executive said she endorsed other legislative proposals presented by an EU citizens’ panel, such as giving the EU a greater role in making defense and health policy decisions.
"We will set out next month what is needed to bring your proposals to life. I will announce the first new proposals responding to your report in my state-of-the-union address in September," she explained.
Von der Leyen argued that reforms were needed to improve the way the bloc worked on a permanent basis by either "using the full limits of what we can do" within the existing treaties or by changing the treaties if need be.
On May third, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi had spoken before European lawmakers in Strasbourg and proposed that the European Union abandon the unanimity requirement toward "pragmatic federalism" on resolutions that affect security, economy, and energy for a more effective decision-making mechanism.
In the same context, French President Emmanuel Macron considered during his speech at the Conference on Monday that it could take years or even decades for Ukraine to become a member of the European Union unless the bloc lowers its accession standards.
Macron said that "Even we if give the status of candidate country [to Ukraine] tomorrow, I hope we move forward towards accession rapidly."