“Window” for a qualified majority in the EU

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THE war in Ukraine, the French proposal for establishing a political liaison and coordination scheme between the Member States of the European Union and other European countries, the European perspective of the Western Balkans and possibility of applying the qualified majority to EU decisionswere the main points of the press conference given recently by the Chancellor of Germany Olaf Solts and the President of France Emanuel Macronon the latter’s first visit abroad since his re-election.

«The war in Ukraine has once again forged Europe, Germany and France. We are determined to defend the foundations of our existence, with all our might“, Said Mr. Solts, while Mr. Macron reaffirms Europe’s intention to continue supporting Ukraine militarily, financially and humanitarianly. The two leaders have repeatedly stressed the need immediate ceasefire in Ukraine in order to negotiations continuewith Olaf Solz repeating that a peace dictated by Moscow cannot be accepted. The French president, referring to Vladimir’s speech today Putinnoted that did not bring any escalationat geographical or weapons level, “but this is not enough, a ceasefire is required».

In terms of prospect of Ukraine’s accession to the European UnionEmanuel Macron reiterated what he had previously said in the European Parliament, that the process can take a long time, even if accelerated. He also proposed the creation of an EU cooperation scheme with various countries that are not members, but share European values. «A new format is needed, which will bring with it new forms of solidarity and respond to geography.“, Said and referred indicatively to Great Britain or Bosnia – Herzegovina. «This is about the stability of Europe“, He added. For “pvery interesting proposal, which, however, should not undermine the prospect of state membership“Like those in the Western Balkans,” said the German chancellor, stressing that a strong and sovereign Europe can only function if the criteria of the rule of law, democracy and the economy are met, but also that there are countries with views very relevant to ours, which want to work with the EU.

Special mention was made by both leaders in European perspective of the Western Balkan countries, in the context of the new geopolitical situation in Europe. Emanuel Macron, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the EU Council for the current six months, has even announced a Franco-German summit on the Western Balkans, which he said will take place before the June summit. The countries of the region have made courageous and courageous decisions, Mr. Soltz noted and referred specifically to the case of Northern Macedonia. «We must find a way so that this courage is not disappointed“, Stressed, referring to the need to start the accession process.

Answering a question about unanimity required for EU decisionsOlaf Solz noted that there are a number of proposals and “where there can be consensus, Germany will certainly participate and will certainly not be the one to prevent it». He also stressed, however, that greater efficiency could be achieved in the EU in many areas, without the need to change the Treatiesprovided that the Member States agreed in which areas the qualified majority would apply. Mr Macron, for his part, agreed in favor of qualified majority decision-making in areas such as fiscal and security policy. «This debate must continue and we must come to a conclusion, for a more effective and sovereign Europe, and I believe that this is a point of identification between France and Germany.“, Said the French president, clarifying at the same time that it does not concern current decisions such as e.g. on sanctions against Russia.

Source: ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ

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