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MEPs adopt proposals for EU treaty changes

22.11.2023 20:00
The European Parliament has adopted a set of proposals to amend European Union treaties, designed to "give citizens a stronger say and create a more effective EU."
The European Parliament.
The European Parliament.PAP/EPA/RONALD WITTEK

The resolution proposing the changes was adopted with 291 votes in favour, 274 against, and 44 abstentions, in Strasbourg on Wednesday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

The proposed 267 amendments to EU treaties were backed by five European Parliament groups: the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), the liberal Renew group, the Greens, and the Left.

Push to drop unanimity

The main proposed changes include abolishing the principle of unanimity in the European Council in 65 policy areas, to be replaced by qualified majority voting; the transfer of powers from member states to the EU, in areas such as foreign affairs, external security and defence; and making the euro the mandatory currency for EU countries, the PAP news agency reported.

The proposed treaty amendments are chiefly designed to make the EU's legislative process "fit for purpose in light of modern challenges," MEPs said.

After approving the proposals on Wednesday, the European Parliament said it expected the European Council to call a Convention for the revision of the Treaties in December.

Poland's Minister for European Affairs, Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk, said on social media that the Polish government would "broaden the coalition of those who oppose these dangerous proposals."

'Sovereign states' vs. 'European superstate'

Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, an MEP with Poland's ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, told reporters in Strasbourg that the proposals to change the EU must be "blocked" because they would "deprive citizens of their sovereign states in favour of a European superstate."

Polish conservative lawmaker Marcin Przydacz said in a media interview that "the Polish government must oppose the proposed changes in the European Council, as they are unfavourable for Poland and the entire EU."

Przydacz added that the proposed treaty amendments would "limit the sovereignty of member states" and turn the EU into a "quasi-state."

On Tuesday, Poland's government adopted a resolution to oppose proposed changes to European Union treaties, saying they would reduce Poland's sovereignty.

'Strong and effective EU is in Poland's interest': MP

Meanwhile, Polish leftist MP Maciej Konieczny welcomed Wednesday's move by the European Parliament, saying that the EU "needs reform" and that a "strong and effective EU is in Poland's interest."

Another Polish left-wing lawmaker, Krzysztof Śmiszek, told reporters that the EU "needs further integration and a faster decision-making process," the PAP news agency reported.


Source: IAR, PAP, European Parliament