Tuesday

23rd Oct 2018

No guarantee EP will back Treaty of Nice

A majority of the Constitutional Affairs Committee in the European Parliament alongside the EP Vice President have been very critical of the Treaty of Nice. Without changes to several of the decisions made at Nice, the European Parliament may reject - if not all then – parts of the Treaty.

"Without a declaration that promises the right changes, the Treaty of Nice as a whole is not acceptable," says Vice President Ingo Friedrich to the EUobserver.com.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The same demand for changes was made during Monday and Tuesday’s debate in the Constitutional Affairs Committee. Almost all of the members, including the EU Parliament’s two official representatives at the Intergovernmental Conference in Nice, expressed that the Treaty of Nice was a setback for the decision making process in the EU.

Elmar Brok, MEP for the German CDU and EU Parliament representative at Nice together with the other representative Professor Dimitris Tsatsos, MEP for the Greek Socialist Party both said the threshold for a quality majority in the Council was set to high.

The EU heads of states and governments decided at Nice that until the EU is enlarged the threshold for a majority in the EU Council is set at 72 per cent of the votes. After enlargement 75 per cent of the votes will be needed in order to have a qualified majority. Mr Brok said this is exactly the opposite of what was needed and the same said Mr Dimitris Tsatsos. The fear is that this higher threshold will make the decision making in the EU much more difficult.

Another strong point of criticism is the lack of co-decision between the EU Council and the European Parliament. According to Vice President Friedrich there should be co-decision on all decisions taken by qualified majority voting in the Council. He has in letter to the Swedish EU Presidency stated that it must undertake the task of making sure that the changes needed are made.

"The Swedish Presidency needs to make a declaration that corrections are proposed and that these are to be implemented at latest by the next IGC in 2004. Without such a promise it is likely that the EU Parliament may either postpone the vote on the Treaty or vote and reject parts of the Treaty," says Vice President Friedrich. He also names the raised threshold as a critical area in the Treaty of Nice.

Jens-Peter Bonde, MEP for the Danish JuneMovement and President of the EU critical EDD group, said the EU Parliament had to reject the Treaty and thereby send the message to national governments that they had failed at Nice.

"The European Parliament cannot adopt this text. It is unusable," said Mr Bonde during the debate in the Constitutional Affairs Committee.

The impact the result of the EU Parliament vote on the Treaty of Nice may have on the ratification is still rather unclear. The national parliaments in Italy and Belgium have stated they cannot ratify a Treaty rejected by the EU Parliament. But since every Treaty so far has been supported by the EU Parliament, this has never been tested.

Magazine

'Integration' - the missing factor in new EU migration fund

An estimated 80 percent of Syrian refugees in the EU are unemployed - despite this, the integration of asylum seekers and migration remains outside the European Commission's policy objectives in its latest budget proposals for regional development and cohesion policy.

News in Brief

  1. EU commission sends back Italy's budget plan
  2. French CEO attends Saudi forum despite journalist murder
  3. Sacked Polish judges urged to return to work
  4. Italy's budget defence arrived in Brussels
  5. EU warns of nuclear race as US pulls out of treaty
  6. Spain and Sweden not stopping arms sales to Saudi Arabia
  7. Piedmont and Copenhagen named top tourist destinations
  8. Bayer to compensate for carcinogenic weed killer

Magazine

'Integration' - the missing factor in new EU migration fund

An estimated 80 percent of Syrian refugees in the EU are unemployed - despite this, the integration of asylum seekers and migration remains outside the European Commission's policy objectives in its latest budget proposals for regional development and cohesion policy.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  8. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  9. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  11. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  12. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All

Latest News

  1. EU commission rejects Italy's budget plans
  2. Poland's liberal prodigy to take on EU populists
  3. Italy's M5S to unveil new EU group in January
  4. Cities are frontrunners in fight for social rights for all
  5. 'Integration' - the missing factor in new EU migration fund
  6. Unelected EU parliament official blocks release of #Metoo papers
  7. 'The kids aren't alt-right'
  8. Lone Merkel declares Saudi arms ban

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us