In addition to the “big ticket” problems such as Brexit, EU budget and the search for mutually-acceptable solutions to issues of migration, asylum and external border protection, Eurocomission came up with another highly controversial plan: The EU Comission is looking to submit a proposal titled STANDART aiming to “unify and promote efficiency in common foreign policy”
The principle of compulsory unanimity, which currently holds legal power in the EU Council should be abolished as soon as possible, says MEP Othmar karas Freitag at a conference in Munch.
At the present, the capacity of individual countries decision making on EU level is severely restricted by veto powers of other countries.
The EU Lisbon treaty which was ratified in 2009 stipulatesthat heads of state can unanimously decide at any time to introduce the principle of a qualified majority in any common policy.
However, so far this is not the case, notes Austrian MEP Othmar Karas. In 2015, this was the basis for the EU interior minister to decide on distribution quotas of asylum seekers in EU, overruling four countries to force them to conform.
“We’ve tried this model for almost two decades now, but it always fails, such as in 2005, when citizens of France and Netherlands prevented the constitutional treaty to switch to majority voting.”
As Karas notes, the unanimity should be abolished before the EU elections in 2019, otherwise the Austrian EU Presidency would have to dispute the Comission proposal at Council level.
Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl and European Minister Gernot Blümel have been tasked to present the issue for dispute before EU states.
Comission President Jean-Claude juncker wants the resolution of the issue before the last siting of European parliament in April 2019 before MEPs usher in the end of legislature, which would mean that the new rules on unanimous foreign policy would apply to successor comission, thus requiring a referendum to overturn.