News of Europe #18



We wrote about it last week: the European Parliament's committee on Constitutional Affairs adopted the draft report and amendments on Treaty change proposed by Spinelli Group members Guy Verhofstadt, Sven Simon, Gabriele Bischoff, Daniel Freund, and Helmut Scholz. However, EU's governments did not wait for the final vote at the plenary to discuss treaty reform. Last week German Foreign Affairs Minister Annalena Baerbock came out in favour of reworking the designation method for Commissioners, adding that Germany would be "ready to do without [its] own commissioner for a limited period of time." She also criticised the rule of unanimity at the Council.

Portugal too has been manoeuvring for its own conception of the future of the EU. "Last month", Politico reported, "Prime Minister António Costa told his colleagues behind closed doors that the new EU should become a 'multipurpose building,'" opposing an earlier Franco-German expert's report, which called for"concentric circles."

This Western coalition agrees on one element: Europe needs to be reformed to prepare for enlargement. The challenge is: How are they going to convince their counterparts?
While EU leaders put forward their proposals for a revamped Europe, former UEF President Andrew Duff published a paper looking in detail at the European Parliament's proposal for treaty change. Rule of Law, institutional changes, decision methods...—the document, published by the European Policy Center, explores the questions a Convention will be charged to answer. A must-read.

The European Union turned 30 last week, as the Maastricht Treaty entered into force on 1 November 1993. Happy birthday EU!

Enlargment: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen toured the EU-hopeful Western Balkans last week. On Monday, she pledged €6 billion to help the region adapt to EU standards and ease its inclusion into the EU. 


When announcing the recent changes at the EuropaUnionDeutschland section's leadership, we forgot to mention that Christian Moos, a member of the European Economic and Social Committee was re-elected Secretary-General and that Prof. Dr. Joachim Wuermeling is the new Treasurer of the association. Congratulations to them both, with our apologies.

Call to Action. The UEF invites all its sections and members to a weekend of action to support the draft report for the amendment of the treaty ahead of the European Parliament's plenary vote between 17 and 19 November. For more information, visit the call to action page.

Finally, we encourage you to look at this video from The EU Made Simple on the draft report to the amendment of the treaty, written in collaboration with the UEF and with the intervention of UEF President Domènec Ruiz Devesa.