EU in the world
#TheFutureIsYours Reinforcing responsible global leadership
Qualified majority in EU foreign policy: myth or possibility?
Join us using the link to the Youtube streaming event. You needn't sign in, just to write questions on the live chat. you can also share the link with friends and family. We hope you will enjoy it!
Event reportCONTEXTUALISATION - Context. Event based on the CoFoE initiative for citizens to shape the future of the EU, using the online platform. The choice of topic was motivated by recent developments in Foreign Policy decision-making. - Subject. “The EU in the world”. It addressed the condition of EU Foreign Policy these days, specially when referring to the system for voting through unanimity rather than the qualified majority. - Purpose. The first aim was to study in more detail the features of qualified majority for Foreign Policy both in the Treaties and in the institutional view. Furthermore, to be able to suggest some ideas which could lead to a deeper integration in this issue. Apart from that, the second aim was to use this opportunity to capture the results of this event as part of my research for my dissertation on the CoFoE analysis, which you can find in this link as an idea of the online platform: gid://decidim-dife/Decidim::Proposals::Proposal/251136 - Methodology. The chosen format was a colloquium. At the beginning, participants had the chance to express their own stances. Once they finished, the floor could be taken by anyone who wanted to. Different ideas were planned to be discussed among all the participants. PARTICIPANTS - Number and type of professionals. There were four participants, all of them experts in some areas related to European Union law and International Relations: >> DANIEL GIL IGLESIAS (The Political Room, @Eurofilo_). He is a political scientist and has a master's degree in International Politics, both from the Complutense University of Madrid. It deals mainly with European issues, especially integration, European foreign policy and Brexit. He also writes occasionally about the US and transatlantic relations. >> ANNA FIORELLI SÁNCHEZ (Círculo de Análisis Euromediterráneo, @annafiorelli_). She studied a dual-degree in International Relations, Political Science and Management at Rey Juan Carlos University. She did her internship at Elcano Royal Institute and later studied the Inter University Master's Degree in Diplomacy and International Relations at the Diplomatic School of Spain. She is currently an analyst of European Policies and Institutions at the Euro-Mediterranean Analysis Circle (CAEM) and is preparing the Spanish public examinations for the State Civil Administrators Corps. >> GUIOMAR GUTIÉRREZ PASCUAL (GEOPOL 21, @GuioPas). She studied International Relations, Sociology and Development Expert at the Complutense University of Madrid. She is a student of the Master's Degree in International Protection of Human Rights at the University of Alcalá. She is working in the Spanish Federal Council of the European Movement, where she is Secretary of Youth of the Spanish Federal Council of the European Movement. >> ANDRÉS GONZÁLEZ MONTERO (event organiser, gid://decidim-dife/Decidim::User/6657). Graduate in International Relations at the Rey Juan Carlos University. He is currently a Collaborating Analyst of the Europe area and former Podcast Director on GEOPOL 21. He is interested in European Union integration project, Foreign Policy, International Law, Human Rights and International Relations - Demographic information. The event was held taking into consideration all the CoFoE’s criteria, such as gender equality or ideological diversity. It was also intended to be a youth event. SUBJECTS ON THE TABLE - Why the EU produces reports and publicly lends itself to changes in the Foreign Policy voting system but there has been no deeper progress. - The need to reform the Treaties in order to normalise qualified majority in Foreign Policy. - The possibility of enhanced cooperation to try to "leap" the barriers of unanimity with those Member States whose will is manifest in favour of a qualified majority. - To discuss whether the EU's image is damaged due to a lack of power and agility in this decision-making area. - Round of questions and comments by the audience. ARGUMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS 1. It is a problem of competency. The EU's Foreign Policy does not fall within the list of powers in the Treaties, so this influence remains and is capable of paralysing the Union's objectives for a real common Foreign Policy. It is pointed out that the EU can now just submit draft statements, impose sanctions and assist civilian missions abroad. Nevertheless, health service is not an EU power either but Member States did mobilise after the start of the pandemic to coordinate their own policies. Other views stress being able to remain with the same powers but still applying the qualified majority voting. 2. Qualified majority voting is just one more method for decision-making. Even so, the Union would be limited to the will of the States, very much in relation to the previous point. By the way, the Union's representation would not be affected, as in the case of the UN Human Rights Commissioner, the EU already has its own chair. In fact, it is stressed that a qualified majority voting would lead to increased negotiation efforts. If the Member States do not want their demands not to be taken into account in the document which would be approved by this voting system, they would have to strengthen the negotiation process and thus not be relegated to the “dissident” group. This could be termed as "pressure for diplomatic agreement.". Reference is also made to how to deal with those states which, by chance, do not agree with this system, in order not to negatively affect them. 3. Treaty reform… Or not. This was the point in which most disagreement was expressed by participants. Regarding the arguments in favour of a reform, it was highlighted that the change of system can only be modified by this procedure (art. 48 TEU). Meanwhile, those in opposition to the reform were far more focused on the fact that consensus can be reached without the need to modify the Treaties, through flexibility and a call for willingness to agree (as in the case of the NextGenerationEU plan). This argument alluded to the readiness of the Member States to consensus, although the previous experience has demonstrated that this may not be the case. As proof, we can find the December 2017 event with the embassy in Jerusalem, where the Hungarian Foreign Policy Minister was interviewed and said that the EU does not need to make a joint declaration on all aspects of its Foreign Policy; then voting against it. Therefore, it was commented on the colloquium that the European institutions might be open to it but not in such a big manner by Member States. 4. Enhanced cooperation as a method of evading unanimity. It was addressed as something positive, although not ideal as an objective, given that not the same States will always agree among them. Therefore, it was discussed how this could also affect the relevance of the final decision. 5. Reference is made to the paralysis of the Union. Some examples were named, such as the cases of Jerusalem and the US embassy, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Human Rights in Hong Kong or Russia's bilateral relations with the Member States. FOLLOW-UP - As it was live-streamed, the resulting video was later uploaded to the Youtube channel. Besides, it was also promoted by all the participants in their social media. - The link to the final video was available in the CoFoE platform, so that any logged in citizen could also join the conversation. There were some reactions with people giving their opinion about the issue and asking questions to know more about it, which was the initial essence of this colloquium event.
Apostar por áreas de decisión mediante unanimidad para tener una posición exterior más sólida y ampliar la mayoría cualificada a otras cuestiones
Avanzar en la transición a votación por mayoría cualificada en cuestiones clave
Qualified Majority Voting for CSFP and CSDP decisions and an Expanded European Peace Facility
Estensione dell’applicazione della modalità di voto a maggioranza qualificata, nel settore dell’Azione esterna dell’UE
Propuesta de reforma: Mayoría cualificada vs Unanimidad en el Consejo de la Unión Europea.
Qualified majority voting in foreign and security policy
Posibilitar el mecanismo de toma de decisiones por mayoría cualificada
Foreign Policy at EU level based on absolute majority, not unanimity
Decisions on external policy should be taken under qualified majority, not by unanimity.
Please paste this code in your page:
<noscript><iframe src="https://futureu.europa.eu/processes/EUInTheWorld/f/17/meetings/4390/embed.html" frameborder="0" scrolling="vertical"></iframe></noscript>
Report inappropriate content
Is this content inappropriate?
- European Parliament
- European Council
- Council of the European Union
- European Commission
- Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)
- European Central Bank (ECB)
- European Court of Auditors (ECA)
- European External Action Service (EEAS)
- European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)
- European Committee of the Regions (CoR)
- European Investment Bank (EIB)
- European Ombudsman
- European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS)
- European Data Protection Board
- European Personnel Selection Office
- Publications Office of the European Union
Please log in
You can access with an external account