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European Parliament historically votes to trigger Article 48 and convene a EU Convention to amend the EU Treaties

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European Parliament historically votes to trigger Article 48 and convene a EU Convention to amend the EU Treaties

05-05-2022

In a monumental week for the European Union, the European Parliament yesterday voted to accept and welcome the ambitious proposals and outcomes of the Conference on the Future of Europe and acknowledged that Treaty changes would be required to implement the proposals. In the historic adoption of the resolution, the European Parliament has requested the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) to draft concrete amendments to the EU Treaties based on the outcomes of the Conference.

 

The European Parliament has been the most vocal and supportive EU institution on the outcomes of the Conference on the Future of Europe including those that require Treaty changes, inter alia, EU institutional reform, greater transparency and accountability in the decision-making process, a right of initiative for the European Parliament, and the abolition of unanimity in the Council.

The resolution, led by a group of Members of European Parliament representing all political groups, with the exception of the Identity and Democracy group and the European Conservatives and Reformists, serves as the first step of the European Parliament’s official triggering of an Article 48 process of amending the EU Treaties.

The significant vote follows Tuesday’s European Parliament decision to reform EU electoral law such as the inclusion of transnational lists of candidates for European Parliament, allowing European elections to be truly European as opposed to 27 national elections.

“Democracy International has called for a Convention for over ten years. A major step is now in front of us towards reforming Europe to be more democratic. The Conference on the Future of Europe has given us this step and has served as a launchpad towards European reform. With multiple entry points to the Convention, the EU institutions now have a mandate to act!” says Andreas Müller, Managing Director of Democracy International.

Democracy International believes the Conference on the Future of Europe served as a significant participation model for future democratic practices at the EU level, where many lessons regarding inclusion, transparency, and accountability were learned. A Convention process as enshrined in Article 48 must go beyond the EU’s usual political suspects in order to deeply tackle the democratic challenges faced in the EU. In order to maximise the democratic legitimacy of the Treaty change process, Democracy International believes the Convention must be people-powered and include significant opportunities for people to shape the agenda, discourse, and outcome of the Convention, including with an EU-wide vote at the end of the process.

May 9th, Europe Day, will officially conclude the Conference and allow each EU institution to follow up on the Conference outcomes within their own sphere of competence. Following the vote in the European Parliament, the decision to start the Treaty change process, as well as the decision to introduce transnational lists, now lies with the EU Council who will meet at the end of June and will need to approve the convening of a Convention by simple majority.

 

Background:

The Conference on the Future of Europe ended its work on 30 April 2022, where it finalised 325 proposals under 49 objectives, many of which require changes to the EU Treaty and which serve as an entry point for a new EU Convention. More information here.

Read more about Democracy International’s positions regarding a Convention here.

References:

European Parliament resolution on the follow-up to the conclusions of the Conference on the Future of Europe

Article 48 Lisbon Treaty

Proposals of the Conference on the Future of Europe

 

For questions, contact:

Daniela Vancic, vancic@democracy-international.org, +49 221 669 66531

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