The European Union must reform its decision-making system by abandoning the principle of unanimity and replacing it with qualified majority voting, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said.
“There is a point I want to speak about. That is the Common Foreign and Security Policy. The foreign policy is organized in a way that the voices are not heard in a big choir of European nations because we still have to adopt decisions unanimously. There is a difference between a unanimous decision, when one vote is enough to block the decision, and a consensus. We see this at the UN level… Therefore I propose to adopt foreign policy decisions with qualified majority voting,” Juncker said at a conference in Florence.
The European Commission president added that the reform was possible under the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty.
Juncker also expressed his concern over the policy of some states on tacking the refugee crisis.
“I was shocked by disruption and splits in solidarity, which emerged in the context of the migration crisis, which we have not overcome yet,” Juncker stated.
The official described some countries’ policy as “doing a half-time job,” adding that, he expected them to do “the full-time job.”
Currently, the Council of the European Union has to vote unanimously on a number of issues, including common foreign and security policy, citizenship, EU membership, harmonization of national legislation on indirect taxation, EU finances, harmonization of national legislation in the field of social security and social protection, as well as some matters related to justice and domestic affairs. In April, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas proposed to make decisions on foreign policy by a majority of votes.