Tuesday

15th Oct 2019

Future seats in the European Parliament still controversial

The seats in the European Parliament for future member states are still an issue of discussion. Tuesday the subject was touched upon again during the meeting of the European Parliament chairman Pat Cox with heads of parliaments from the candidate countries.

The Czech Republic and Hungary have been given 18 seats in the Parliament according to the Nice Treaty, however they managed to secure the promise of extra two seats, but the deal is still not closed.

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Commissioner Günter Verheugen, who attended the meeting, said that the Czech Republic will not be discriminated against in the future European Parliament. He promised that the EU would solve the question of the two missing seats for the Czech Republic and for Hungary as well.

The number of seats for Hungary and the Czech Republic will be distributed corresponding to the share of their inhabitants of the total EU population, this is actually the rule applying to all current and future member states. Mr Verheugen tried to assure the candidates that no discriminations will be made but Hungary remained unconvinced.

Hungary is upset

Addressing the audience, Katalin Szili, the head of the Hungarian Parliament, showed her disapproval over the fact that Hungary would have less votes than Portugal, which has a smaller number of inhabitants.

Mrs Szili also found it inexplicable that Romania and Bulgaria, two candidate countries who will be joining later than Hungary, already have their seats - 33 and 17 respectively.

Hungary’s position is that the number of Parliament seats is not a matter of negotiation, Budapest is not willing to give anything in return as it is entitled to these seats, Mrs Szili explained.

The meeting in Brussels also discussed the updated financial proposals submitted to the candidates by the EU Danish Presidency the same day. According to Mr Verheugen, the package covers all issues that have not been solved at talks with the candidates yet.

EU split on Western Balkans accession

Europe's credibility is at risk in the Western Balkans, half its member states have warned - but EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said Albania and North Macedonia unlikely to start accession talks soon.

Tensions mount over Kosovo-Serbia deal

Serbia will never recognise Kosovo, Serbia's foreign minister has said, as the Western Balkans heads into a new period of turbulence.

Opinion

EU report recognises Albania's achievements

Albania currently faces a serious crisis, which it would be foolish for all actors in the international community to ignore. Yet we must ask that our partners in Europe read Federica Mogherini's report carefully and recognise accomplishments.

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