EU: scrap the unanimity principle?
A group of nine EU members is calling for national veto rights to be abolished and replaced by majority decisions in foreign and defence policy in order to speed up decision-making processes. Hungary and Poland are apparently among the countries that want to stop the initiative, but others may follow.
Veto right is democratic
The possibility to object should remain, writes lawyer Attila Ádám in the pro-government daily Magyar Nemzet:
“If the right of veto is abolished in matters involving significant national interests or fundamental national competence, how can political accountability for Council decisions taken against the will of voters of a member state be enforced? Basically, it can’t. ... By contrast, in the case of unanimous decision-making voters can hold their own governments accountable for their involvement in disadvantageous EU decisions.”
Hungary blackmailing the entire EU
Rzeczpospolita sees a rethink underway in Poland:
“Hungary is blackmailing the entire community in order to delay aid to Ukraine or ease sanctions against Russia. ... Without Hungary’s downright pathological behaviour, which sabotages the EU’s Eastern Europe policy, this discussion wouldn’t even exist. The veto was intended as a last resort and was rarely used. It was in Poland’s interest to preserve this instrument. However, Budapest’s behaviour, which blocks EU decisions even when they don’t in any way hurt Hungary’s fundamental interests, makes a rethink on the foreign policy veto necessary.”
Deprive the blockers of their power to block
El País sees the abolition of the veto as crucial:
“The illiberal governments in Hungary and Poland are challenging the EU by attacking the rule of law, blocking the Next Generation economic stimulus programme, and when it comes to Budapest, with the reluctance to continue supporting Ukraine. With this behaviour they are paralysing the implementation of policies that are widely supported by the other members. ... It is nonsense to enlarge the EU and at the same time keep this instrument [of unanimity]. ... The integration of the EU is at stake here, because enlargements could make the EU even more cumbersome. It shouldn’t make compromises today that it may not be able to keep tomorrow.”