MEPs call for amendment to EU treaties

IF – 06/2022

Launched on 9 May 2021, the Conference on the Future of Europe was unique and provided an opportunity for politicians to discuss with EU citizens how the European Union should work, develop and improve in the future.

After a report on the results (see News 05/2022) with more than 300 recommendations was handed over to the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union in a festive ceremony, it was not clear how exactly to proceed. The plethora of citizens' wishes, which had been elaborated in citizens' forums, now had to be taken seriously. What is certain is that all three institutions must first come to the table, as the recommendations of the citizens can neither be ignored nor remain without consequences.

Amendment of the treaties at the core of the European Union

At the moment, no official negotiations are taking place between the European Council, the Commission and the Parliament. But within a very short time, the European Parliament's Constitutional Committee produced a report with concrete proposals for any amendments to the EU treaties.

First of all, the Members of the European Parliment (MEPs) had discussed in advance with national Members of Parliment in an interparliamentary conference how exactly to deal with the results of the citizens' dialogues. The exchange of views on these first results of the Conference on the Future of Europe was an important step in bringing Parliamentarians and Member States together to avoid misinterpretations.

The report Proposals of the European Parliament for the amendment of the Treaties was voted in the plenary session early June. This was crucial for the follow-up of the Conference on the future of Europe. In the negotiated report, MEPs from all parliamentary groups except the right-wing nationalist ID parliamentary group have been involved as co-correspondents.

The demands placed are the transition to voting by qualified majority instead of the unanimity principle, the actual implementation of the Pillar of Social Rights, and unspecified but requested adjustments to delegated competences in the Union's treaties. In particular, in the areas of health, social and economic policy that are essential for social insurance.

It is striking that three German MEPs Gabriele Bischoff (S&D), Daniel Freund (The Greens) and Helmut Scholz (The Left) were in charge of the report. There will certainly be lengthy negotiations between the remaining political parties and Social Democrat Party-led Germany. The Czech Republic will take over the Council presidency from France as of 1 July and will accordingly have to manage the issue in the 2nd half of the year.