An inclusive Group of Friends was established to promote qualified majority voting on common issues in the EU’s foreign and security policy.
Several countries in the European Union have created an inclusive group of friends that will promote the idea of moving away from unanimous decision-making on important issues. At the same time, it is proposed that they be supported by a qualified majority from the EU member states. This was stated in a statement by the German Foreign Ministry on Thursday, May 4.
It was noted that the Group of Friends aims to achieve pragmatic, concrete progress in decision-making processes on foreign and security policy issues.
The purpose of the Group of Friends is to increase the efficiency and speed of EU foreign policy decisions.
“Against the backdrop of Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine and the growing international challenges facing the EU, the members of the Group of Friends are convinced that the EU’s foreign policy decision-making processes must be adapted to strengthen the EU as a global actor. Improving decision-making is also key to addressing other EU future tasks,” the statement said.
The group includes Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Spain.
Members of the group will regularly take stock and work closely with all EU Member States. Membership of the group is open to all Member States interested in improving EU foreign policy decision-making processes, in particular through qualified majority voting.
As you know, talks about abandoning the principle of unity in the EU have been going on for a long time. Some countries, especially Hungary, often abuse this principle to block international political decisions.
Earlier, the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said that it is time for the European Union to abandon the principle of unity in making strategic and fatal decisions.
He explained that if countries know in advance that the final decision can be made by a qualified majority, they have a strong incentive to negotiate and build consensus. If they know they can block everything, they have no incentive to reach a healthy compromise.
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