BRUSSELS — Franco-German consultants unveiled a proposal for sweeping structural reforms to the European Union as strain builds to usher in new member nations by the top of the last decade.
The report, commissioned by the EU’s two greatest nations, goals to overtake guidelines and put together to manipulate in a union of 30 or extra nations.
The authors envision an mannequin EU in 4 concentric circles.
“1. The inner circle; 2. The EU; 3. Associate members; 4. The European Political Community [a loose association of European leaders that meet twice a year to talk],” they write.
EU ministers are discussing the paper on Wednesday, making ready the bottom for an upcoming summit of nationwide leaders in October the place enlargement is predicted to prime the agenda.
“It’s clear that EU enlargement and EU reform go hand in hand. And we need to begin with this now,” Germany’s Europe Minister Anna Lührmann instructed reporters in Brussels on Wednesday morning.
The report by a bunch of 12 consultants proposes radical reforms to streamline the EU’s construction, together with slicing the variety of commissioners and members of European Parliament, and scrapping nationwide vetoes.
The research additionally examines a number of choices on learn how to run a bigger EU, together with an even bigger price range; linking EU payouts extra strictly to rule-of-law situations; and shifting towards majority voting as an alternative of unanimity within the European Council.
In a transfer that might show controversial to France and Germany, the consultants additionally suggest to reapportion extra voting weight within the Council to smaller EU nations in an effort to stability the lack of nationwide vetoes.
Eight nations are at the moment candidates to affix the EU, together with Ukraine, Moldova and six Balkan nations. The European Parliament president in June backed critical negotiations for Ukraine’s EU accession to start by December this year.
Lührmann expressed a desire to keep away from modifications to the EU’s treaties, a course of that will take years and is unpopular among many EU leaders.
“I would wish to use this flexibility … [the passerelle clause] allows us to make changes in some areas without treaty changes, such as qualified majority decisions.”
The educational Olivier Costa, director of political research on the College of Europe and certainly one of two co-rapporteurs on the paper, instructed POLITICO that the “last 30 years of history shows that those skeptical about the prospects of major EU reforms are always proven wrong.”
Eddy Wax contributed reporting.