EU prepares reform in response to Hungary’s actions

November 23,2023 740
EU prepares reform in response to Hungary’s actions

The European Parliament plans to carry out a reform that will change the rules of decision-making in the European Union. The relevant resolution was adopted on November 22. The document provides that instead of the principle of consensus (unanimous decision-making by member countries), the principle of “qualified majority” can be introduced, Ukrinform writes.

291 European politicians supported the resolution, 274 voted against it, and 44 deputies abstained. New voting rules would become “a correct reflection of the bicameral system”, the document’s authors are sure.

“The European Parliament… emphasizes the importance of reforming the decision-making process in the European Union to more correctly reflect the bicameral system by strengthening the powers of the European Parliament, as well as through changes in the voting mechanism in the Council of the EU… demands the strengthening of the EU’s ability to act by significantly increasing the number of areas in which decisions will be adopted by a qualified majority vote and through the usual legislative procedure,” the EP resolution says.

The new system will help to avoid blocking the decision by one or more EU countries. Two-thirds of the total number of member states representing at least 50% of the population of the European Union are proposed to be considered a “qualified majority”. Small EU countries with a small population will have special authorities.

An exception is sought to consider decisions on initiating military missions or operations with an executive mandate. In this case, adhering to the principle of consensus or “enhanced” qualified majority will be necessary.

The text of the current document was adopted in December 2009. Since then, the European Union has faced unprecedented challenges and crises, in particular, the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Amendments to the basic EU agreements are necessary to preserve the effectiveness of the European Union, the deputies emphasized. Updates in decision-making will serve the interests of all citizens, and will also help the EU effectively respond to geopolitical challenges and tasks related to the processes of EU enlargement.

The deputies called on the Council of the EU “immediately and without hesitation” to present the conclusions of this report for consideration by the heads of state and governments of the member countries.

The rule of unanimity in decision-making often led to the inability of the European Union. For example, Hungary consistently blocks the procedure for adopting the 12th package of EU sanctions against Russia and the decision to pay Ukraine’s 8th tranche of defense aid for EUR 500 million from the intergovernmental European Peace Facility.

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