Ewropej: European Parliament calls for EU Treaties revision so that EU is no longer ‘held hostage’ 

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by Denise Grech

The European Parliament has formally called on member states to agree to a Convention on revising the EU Treaties so the EU is no longer held hostage by a single government when it comes to decisive action through veto votes. 

Faced with the Covid pandemic and more recently with Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the serious limitations in the EU’s capacity to act quickly and effectively became clearer to the public eye. To overcome any shortcomings, the Parliament is proposing a resolution that triggers Article 48 and suggests specific Treaty changes like removing unanimity on issues like sanctions, giving the EU competence over cross-border health policy and adding social progress as an irreversible aim in the EU. 

Gabriele Bischoff MEP, S&D vice-president and negotiator on Parliament’s call for a Convention on Treaty revision, said that the days of the EU being held hostage by the veto need to be over. “Recent events have laid bare the fact that decisive and urgent action in the EU is too often stopped in its tracks by a small minority who abuse the veto,” he said. 

“As elected representatives, we have made promises to change the way the EU works and give the Union more capacity to act in the face of emergencies like health pandemics or responding to illegal attacks on European soil. Our evergreen promise to people is to make Europe more social and improve the quality of everyone’s lives, no matter where they live in the EU. Now is the time to deliver on our promises and to start the Treaty reform process to bring about the real changes we urgently need,” he added. 

“EU leaders must make it a priority to discuss Treaty change at the next European Council at the end of June,” Bischoff said. 

The Irish Taoiseach threw his public support behind Treaty change in an address to Parliament earlier this month. 

This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains. 

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