The European Commission President said on Monday that unanimity voting on key EU policy areas no longer made sense if the EU wanted to be able to move faster. She said: “I have always argued that unanimity voting in some key areas simply no longer makes sense if we want to be able to move faster.
“Or that Europe should play a greater role for example in health or defence.”
Reacting to the news, Italian MEP Marco Zanni blasted: “Removing the vote unanimously is an expedient of the self-styled ‘pro-Europeans’ to hide their failure: since they are unable to convince governments and citizens of the goodness of their proposals, they force them by majority vote. Dangerous.”
Former British MEP and adviser to the Board of Trade, Daniel Hannan, echoed: “I wish our neighbours every success.
“But, my God, I’m glad we’re out.”
Speaking in Strasbourg, Ms von der Leyen also said that she would be ready to back EU treaty change where needed to deliver on EU citizens’ ideas on the bloc’s future.
Echoing Ms von der Leyen’s words, French President Emmanuel Macron also said he wanted more majority votes for certain European Union (EU) policy areas, and that there was a need to reform EU texts in order to become more effective.
European Union citizens would like the 27-nation bloc to become fairer, show greater solidarity, lead the fight against climate change and make swifter decisions, even if it means scrapping the need for unanimity on some issues, an EU report showed.
The move comes as President Macron also hinted on Monday he would be open to a new type of “political European community” that would allow countries outside the European Union, including Ukraine and the UK, to join the “European core values”.
Speaking to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, he called his re-election last month a signal that the French had wanted more Europe.
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He said this “European political community” would be open to democratic European nations adhering to its core values in areas such as political cooperation, security, cooperation in energy, transport, investment of infrastructure or circulation of people.
“Joining it would not necessarily prejudge future EU membership,” he said.
“Nor would it be closed to those who left it.”