On Wednesday, the Constitutional Committee adopted a report containing draft changes to the EU Treaties with 19 votes to 6 against and one abstention. The resolution on this matter was passed by 20 votes to 6 against. MEPs renewed their call for a change to the EU Treaties and asked the Council to “submit proposals immediately and without hesitation to the European Council”.
MEPs called for a more bicameral system that would strengthen the role of Parliament and change voting mechanisms in the Council, effectively introducing a new system. In principle, all prerogatives of member states, including defense and security matters, would be transferred to the level of EU institutions. A significant increase in the number of decisions made by qualified majority voting (QMV) and ordinary legislative procedure (OLP), with the simultaneous abolition of the veto right, would strengthen the position of the strongest countries in the EU, i.e. Germany and France. If the changes proposed by MEPs came into force, the European Parliament would also gain full right of legislative initiative and would become a co-legislator in the long-term EU budget.
MEPs also called for a reversal of the current roles of the Council and Parliament in electing the President of the Commission (which would be renamed the “European executive”), with Parliament in future appointing the President of the Commission and the European Council confirming them. They also proposed allowing the President of the Commission to select its members based on political preferences, while ensuring geographical and demographic balance.
The devil is in the details
The draft report calls for the introduction of a mechanism for EU-wide referendums on matters relevant to the Union’s actions and policies (including the approval of the relevant Treaty reform proposals) and for the strengthening of existing participatory mechanisms. How left-liberal circles perceive this “citizens’ participation” is best seen in the example of the Conference on the Future of Europe, where the voice of conservatives was first marginalized and later completely omitted. It should therefore be assumed that the EU in this version will resemble the Soviet Union, having a façade of democracy, but in reality being ruled by a dictatorship. In such a system, citizens will lose control over their own states, and the latter will lose their sovereignty and independence. It seems that non-governmental organizations will play an important – if not crucial – role in the new system, which, by usurping the representation of citizens, will basically dictate specific solutions to the EU. Such a mechanism already exists, but not on such a scale as in the case of changing the Treaties in a left-liberal spirit.
“Representatives of the EPP (in Poland, PO and PSL are members), S&D Socialists (in Poland, the New Left), and the Greens (in Poland, the Green Party, a member of KO) propose far-reaching changes to Article 3 of the TEU, including the introduction of general and non-specific formulations that can then be used for a broader interpretation of the Treaties and for the EU to go beyond the areas that fall within the competences of the Member States. Such usurpation of competences carries the risk of EU interference in the protection of the borders of Member States and intervention in their internal affairs, under the pretext of defending ‘freedom of speech’ ‘, ‘media independence’ and ‘gender equality'” – warned MEP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski (PiS) and his warnings have not lost any of their relevance.
The provision on transferring security and defense matters to the EU level is of particular concern, and it is not only that the regulations formulated in this way will make the EU competitive with NATO. They will not do so, but by weakening the governments of individual European members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, they can significantly weaken the effectiveness of this formula. This threat is completely real, because incapacitated governments will be bound by lengthy EU procedures in a situation where it will be necessary to act quickly. We have seen the failure of EU policy during the pandemic. Now imagine what would happen if NATO member states of the EU experienced, for example, Russian aggression…
Let us add to this the fact that, according to the Spinelli doctrine – and this is in force in the EU – the army’s task is not to defend the EU’s borders, but to pacify possible social protests. And this is what we can expect if the new regulations are implemented.
The collective purchase of weapons seems to be no less dangerous, and such an idea was also included in the project. It is Berlin via Brussels that should decide what and who constitutes a threat to Poland and select the types of necessary weapons accordingly. Exactly the same Berlin, which waited for Ukraine to be annexed by Russia, is to decide whether Poland will defend itself against similar aggression or not, and also with what.
According to the adopted proposals, education will be included in the area of EU prerogatives. If this happens, it will be tantamount to the systemic introduction of neo-Marxist gender ideology into schools. Thus, the ideology will enter the treaties, i.e. the legal system, which may result in the penalization of all activities that oppose it. “Representatives of Renew (in Poland the member is the Polska 2050 party) and the Greens (in Poland the member is the Green Party, which is a member of KO) postulate changes to Article 7 TEU, which contains a procedure for proceedings in the field of violation of EU values specified in Article 2 TEU. The proposed changes in paragraph 1 consist in changing the method of making decisions in the Council in matters relating to the determination of a clear risk of a serious breach and the determination of a serious and persistent breach by a Member State of the above-mentioned values. According to the proposals of Renew and the Greens, these decisions should be made on the basis of qualified majority voting (55% of the countries representing 65% of the population), and not as currently by a 4/5 majority. However, the proposals regarding paragraph 2 consist in changing the way the Council votes on the issue of a serious and persistent breach by a Member State of the values set out in Article 2 TEU. In accordance with the demands of Renew and the Greens, the Council should act on this topic not unanimously (except for the country being voted on), as is currently the case, but by a qualified majority. This is an extremely dangerous postulate, which will make it possible to exert stronger pressure on Member States and lead to even greater instrumentalization of Article 7 and its use for political purposes by EU institutions and the largest EU countries. Additionally, the representative of the Greens proposes that the Council, using a qualified majority, could decide to impose budget penalties already at the stage of identifying the risk of a serious violation of the values set out in Article 2 TEU” – Jacek Saryusz-Wolski said. Pushing through this provision would mean financial consequences for every country, which, in a discretionary manner, would be accused of failing to comply with the so-called EU values – an extremely broad concept (as well as the so-called rule of law), which would give the largest member states a tool to force smaller countries to adopt policies that are favorable to them.
The transfer of climate and environment-related areas to EU institutions raises no less concern. A crazy climate policy will be imposed on the Member States, which will not only lead to the collapse of individual sectors of the economy, such as agriculture or industry, but will also affect all citizens, causing goods that were previously widely available to become luxury goods that only a few people can afford. The proposed transfer of forests – 1/3 of Poland’s territory – to EU management will lead to their degradation and, later, to the predatory management of the resources beneath them.
The adopted proposals also provide for an integrated European Energy Union, which in practice will mean accelerated implementation of the Green Deal without taking into account the economic and social consequences.
The introduction of shared competences in health matters also raises concerns. Brussels’ health agenda is set by the Sustainable Development Goals, which include: reproductive health and sexual health – two concepts that cover abortion and contraception. For countries that still have at least minimal protection of life, such as Poland, this will mean the introduction – despite the decision of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal – of universal access to the possibility of killing children before they are born.
Although the report is to be voted on by the European Parliament during the plenary session on November 20-23, it is already known that it will be difficult to find a blocking majority. And although, according to the currently applicable treaties, each change in the EU Treaties requires unanimity, it is expected that the liberal-left mainstream will use non-legal means to force the above-mentioned changes on the member states.