Germany’s Green party foreign minister opposes EU member states’ veto rights

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock answers questions from the audience after delivering a keynote speech at the annual Portuguese Ambassadors' Conference in Lisbon, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

German Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who is a member of the Green party, says she is against the current decision-making process of the European Union, according to which even a single member state can block measures.

Baerbock made the remark while speaking at a two-day diplomatic conference in Lisbon.

Speaking about EU decision-making, she said: “the EU cannot afford to allow individual member states to block decisions.”

Europe’s left-liberal mainstream has long sought to erode the power of nation-states and consolidate power under a centralized system in Brussels. Countries like Hungary and Poland have often threatened to use their veto and have in some cases deployed their veto power to maintain their sovereignty in areas related to migration, culture, and economic policy.

Baerbock argues that qualified majority voting would lead to fairer results. She said that EU member states were often unable to issue even a joint press release because they could not agree on the wording.

During her visit, the German minister reiterated her call on the European Union and the West, in general, to remain firmly on Ukraine’s side and to stand in solidarity with Kyiv.

“It is clear to us that our greatest strength lies in our unity as allies and partners,” she said.

Baerbock sharply criticized Russia for its air strikes on civilian targets during the holidays, which she called an “attack on humanity.” She also called for Ukrainian soldiers to be trained in the West.

She said she wished 2023 to be a peaceful year, but added, “Action is stronger than wishes,” and therefore “we must support Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

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