Sunday

31st May 2020

Poles threaten to veto Constitution

Poland is threatening to torpedo a deal on the EU’s first constitution if it does not get its way on the voting system.

The Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski said yesterday that if the weight of its votes is reduced his country would veto the deal which has been almost two years in the making.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"If the position is what is in the treaty, without the chance for compromise, we cannot say yes", he told the BBC.

The Polish foreign minister yesterday echoed this sentiment saying that his country had little room for manoeuvre on the matter, according to the FT.

Both warnings come on the eve of talks meant to wrap up the EU’s first Constitution, a signal that in spite of fierce pressure, Poland is not ready to back down yet.

But Poland’s hard line may cost it dear as Germany, in particular, becomes more impatient for a deal.

Berlin is threatening to cut regional aid to Poland and Spain - who also back the current voting system - if the two countries do not lift their objections to the text.

Under the current voting system, devised at Nice in 2000, both Spain and Poland have power in the Council which is disproportionate to the size of its populations.

However, a deal may be in the offing, various compromises are on the table including the possibility of keeping the Nice Treaty system in place for up to a decade or more.

And there may yet be a secret weapon, with the Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi indicating that he may have a solution.

"I have a formula up my sleeve that could work. It gives Poland and Spain recognition as big countries. I'll pull it out at the last minute and see whether they accept it", he said according to Ansa.

EU Commission aspires for treaty change on health

The European Commission has proposed a €9.4bn stand-alone programme dedicated to health known as EU4Health. The proposal is touted as a first step towards a possible Treaty change when it comes to health.

Exclusive

Lobbyist register to be tightened after Monsanto case

The EU's joint-transparency register lists thousands of lobbyists and what they spend or earn trying to shape EU legislation. New and clearer rules set for launch at the end of the year may lead to more realistic figures.

EU's smallest institution warned on 'threats, blackmail'

An EU institution known as the EESC has been given until the autumn to initiate a series of reforms to protect victims of harassment and whistleblowers, including against threats, blackmail and bribery attempts.

Ombudsman slams EU bank watchdog for 'revolving doors'

The European Banking Authority allowed its executive director to take a job at one of the world's largest financial lobbying groups. The move has been slammed by the European Ombusdman, who called it maladministration.

Commission defends von der Leyen hiring PR firm

The Berlin-based public relations agency Story Machine has been working with European Commission president Von der Leyen since her days as a candidate for the top EU post. Despite offering the same in-house service, the Commission defended the president's choice.

News in Brief

  1. Orban calls EU Commission recovery plan 'absurd'
  2. ABBA's Björn new president of authors' rights federation
  3. Malta and Libya to create anti-migrant 'units'
  4. France reopening bars and parks next week
  5. EU wants more money to hedge against hard Brexit
  6. UK needs to move in negotiations, EU trade official says
  7. Germany seeks EU sanctions on Russia spy-chief
  8. EU extends sanctions against Syrian regime

This is the (finally) approved European Commission

MEPs gave the green light to the entire new European Commission during the plenary session in Strasbourg - but with the abstention of the Greens and a rejection by the leftist group GUE/NGL.

Magazine

Welcome to the EU engine room

Welcome to the EU engine room: the European Parliament (EP's) 22 committees, which churn out hundreds of new laws and non-binding reports each year and which keep an eye on other European institutions.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  3. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis
  5. UNESDACircularity works, let’s all give it a chance
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers call for post-corona synergies between economic recovery and green transition

Latest News

  1. Spain takes 'giant step' on guaranteed minimum income
  2. Vestager hits back at Lufthansa bailout criticism
  3. EU Commission aspires for treaty change on health
  4. Did Russia get Nato's cosmic-level secrets?
  5. EU Commission: Five-fold aid increase for fossil-fuel regions
  6. France opposed guidelines on EU presidency sponsorships
  7. China's post-Covid 19 'techno-nationalist' industrial policy
  8. EU Commission's €1.85trn recovery package - key points

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us