PAT COX zu Regierungskonferenz: "Konvent-Ergebnis halten"

EP Positionen zu Kommission, EU-Außenminister und Mehrheitsentscheidungen im Rat

Brüssel (OTS) - Der Präsident des Europäischen Parlaments Pat Cox hat heute der EU-Regierungskonferenz in Brüssel die fünf Schlüssel-Positionen zur Europäischen Verfassung vorgelegt:
Mehrheitsentscheidungen im Rat sollen "eine allgemeine Regel", Vetos nur in Ausnahmefällen möglich sein, sonst blockiere sich die Union selbst. Das Europa Parlament unterstützt sowohl die Schaffung eines Europäischen Außenministers als auch eines Präsidenten der Europäischen Union. Zur Kommission zeigte sich Cox offen, will die Lösung aber nahe am Konventsergebnis wissen.

Die Aussagen von Pat Cox im Einzelnen:

1. The role of the President of the European Council

"He or she will be a Chairman or Chairwoman more than a President. He or she will not be a new Head of State, but the Guardian of the continuity, the promoter of the consensus and the cohesion of the Union. What is proposed is a new office, not a new institution. Parliament is seeking greater continuity in the work of the European Council, without upsetting the institutional balance."

2. Qualified majority voting

"The European Parliament welcomes the extension of QMV - and its democratic and parliamentary corollary - co-decision, as proposed by the Convention. It would become the norm for most legislation."

"We are not proposing a shopping list of extra items for QMV, but there should be some flexibility. At times in its history, the Union has recognised the need to act swiftly and to meet new challenges (for example, 9/11; completing the internal market)."

"Parliament accepts that, on certain sensitive questions, unanimity will be retained, but as a general rule a veto in a Union of 27 or more is not a democratic safeguard, it is a millstone round the Union's neck. Those who believe in a political Europe must provide Europe with the means to act politically."

"Parliament welcomes the reform of QMV proposed by the Convention, with the simple double majority formula, rather than the complexities of the Nice Treaty. It will enhance efficiency in decision-making."

3. Composition of the European Parliament

"By a large majority the European Parliament has approved the proposal of the Convention. If movement on one or other issue causes any changes in the composition proposed by the Convention, Parliament will insist on criteria of objective rationality behind the rules for the distribution of seats."

"A middle-of-the-night, under-the-counter deal, in which Council votes or seats in the European Parliament are handed out from a Christmas stocking, will discredit the noble enterprise we have undertaken."

4. The role of the proposed Foreign Minister of the Union

"Parliament warmly supports this, as one of the most significant innovations in the draft constitutional treaty. Ensuring that the Minister is a senior and leading Member of the Commission guarantees indispensable accountability to Parliament, while chairing the Foreign Affairs Councils anchors the Minister's work in the heart of intergovernmental sensitivities on foreign policy, security and defence questions Such double accountability will enhance the role of the Foreign Minister of the Union."

"This office is the litmus test issue: are the Member States prepared to give this signal, that we are serious about acting together on the world stage?"

5.Composition of the Commission

"The Nice Treaty already recognised that there would be a stage when not every Member State had its own Commissioner. This is acceptable, provided all Member States have access to the Commission, on an equitable basis. The Convention has sought a formula to combine a slimmer, more effficient Commission, with equal representation over time. This may not be the only way of proceeding, but we should avoid a return to the past in the size and composition of the Commission."

In conclusion, Pat Cox said that "the IGC needs to emphasise the innovative, not fall back on the second-best: the Convention consensus offers the best foundation on which to proceed."

Rückfragen & Kontakt:

David Harley, Pressesprecher des EP-Präsidenten
Michael Reinprecht, Informationsbüro des Europäischen Parlaments