Recently, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas raised the issue of the veto mechanism in the EU, which gives EU states the right to object to important issues in the EU forum. He declared that the veto mechanism must be removed from the EU.
“We can no longer permit for us to be taken hostage by those who are paralyzing European foreign policy with their veto,” he said.
Law and Justice (PiS) MEP Beata Mazurek warned, that “this has been the dream of some states for years. They would like to decide on key issues with a qualified majority. Such changes would strengthen the already strong EU states and would weaken the smaller ones even more.”
She assessed that many EU states would not accept such a change, and abolishing the veto mechanism would require changing EU treaties, which would be opposed by several member states.
Mazurek added that she was not surprised by Germany’s proposal, as the country has been doing everything to strengthen itself. She believes that the current idea is unrealistic and has no chance of success in the European Parliament.
Nevertheless, Germany’s idea has been openly supported by some Polish left-liberal opposition politicians. Former left-wing PM and current MEP Leszek Miller agreed that the veto should be removed, as he thinks it would make decision-making more efficient and limit the maneuvering room of “governments undermining EU law and values.”
Another Civic Platform MEP, Róża Thun, stated that historically other vetoes, such as the liberum veto (a parliamentary device in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth), had only led to catastrophe.
“These are statements of politicians who do not care about the interests of their own country and fall in line with the narrative of the stronger country, which is Germany. We must remember that these proposals are not based on EU treaties. Such changes would require not only radical legal changes and removing the right of veto, but also changes to the perception of security,” Mazurek explained.
She noted that France and Italy would most likely not support this move, as they use their own definition of security concerning issues such as refugees and will not allow anyone else to outvote them on these matters.
“The EU is a community and we should reach a consensus that unites us, instead of fulfilling the policies of particular member states,” Beata Mazurek concluded.