The EU should be capable of reply sooner to geopolitical developments, and will finish the unanimity requirement in overseas coverage choices, European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen mentioned Monday.
“In overseas affairs, we actually have to maneuver to certified majority voting,” von der Leyen mentioned in a small group interview organized by her workplace forward of this week’s European Council summit, at which heads of state and authorities are anticipated to grant official EU candidate standing to Ukraine and Moldova.
Von der Leyen was responding to a query from POLITICO about if and the way the EU would possibly want to alter its decision-making course of, which regularly requires unanimity, as a way to accommodate potential new member nations, together with not solely Ukraine and Moldova but in addition the Western Balkan nations of Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.
Previously, the EU has confronted excruciating — and embarrassing — delays on main choices due to the opposition of a single member nation. At instances, such opposition wasn’t even concerning the fast problem beneath dialogue, however reasonably mirrored an effort to make use of the unanimity requirement as leverage to drive motion on another subject. In a single case, Cyprus delayed EU sanctions towards Belarus for months due to issues in Nicosia about points regarding Turkey.
In her reply, von der Leyen acknowledged that such a significant shift within the EU’s decision-making, even simply on overseas coverage, can be tough to realize. As for altering the unanimity requirement in different areas, the president mentioned it was not possible to provide a brief reply. “We must undergo each file, and this isn’t the second right here this interview,” she mentioned.
However within the case of overseas affairs, von der Leyen mentioned she had reached a agency private conclusion that the unanimity requirement was not sustainable.
“On the overseas affairs, I’m deeply satisfied that it isn’t sustainable, that the European Union is just not in a position to take a place due to one blocking in vital information,” she mentioned.
“And the velocity at which issues occur … the world desires to listen to the European voice,” von der Leyen continued. “The velocity is simply too excessive to continually, or too usually, not be heard and seen, due to the blocking of 1. Subsequently, there I’m actually satisfied we’d like certified majority voting.”
Within the interview, von der Leyen mentioned she anticipated the 27 heads of state and authorities to undertake the Fee’s advice on candidate standing for Ukraine and Moldova.
In endorsing the advice, the European Council is anticipated to echo the Fee’s suggestion that Ukraine and Moldova can be required to satisfy quite a few situations earlier than the beginning of formal membership talks.
Von der Leyen, within the interview, mentioned that the EU’s accession course of is versatile sufficient that candidate nations have substantial sway over how rapidly their bids transfer ahead. She famous that Slovakia and Turkey every acquired a membership “perspective” in 1999, however that Slovakia had raced ahead to turn into a member, whereas Turkey was now extra distant from the EU than it was 23 years in the past.
“Slovakia wished wished wished to affix the European Union,” von der Leyen mentioned, “and had an enormous unity within the nation. It took them 5 years and so they had been members. Turkey is in the present day additional away from the European Union than it was in ’99. Subsequently, this can be a proof that there isn’t any automaticity. There may be not a inflexible sample. Nevertheless it’s as much as the nation — we assist if vital — however it’s as much as the nation to show that they’re match for accession.”