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Dutch PM Calls For End To EU Unanimity In Some Areas As Oil Ban Row Goes On


Speaking at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Dutch PM Mark Rutte states that the EU 'must get rid of unanimity' in some areas, singling out foreign policy.

  • Rutte states that in order for the EU to truly have an impact on the world stage in foreign policy terms the individual member state veto must be disposed of to allow important decisions to be made, “even if that means Rome, Paris, Berlin giving up some power...For too long we’ve been a playing field, not a player.”
  • The prospect of ending unanimity rules on some areas has gained some traction in recent weeks, with French President Emmanuel Macron voicing his support for 'going beyond unanimous voting' in a speech to the Conference on the Future of Europe in early May. A few days afterwards, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stated in a speech to the Bundestag that talking of EU treaty change to end unanimity voting in some areas 'is not taboo'.
  • Treaty change is a major step at the EU level. Even the 'simplified' method of altering treaties requires unanimity among member state heads as well as consent from national parliaments.
  • With much of the drive for an end to unanimity being driven by Hungary's continued hold-out on the EU oil embargo on Russia, there is little prospect that the Orban gov't would consent to a treaty change that would result in Budapest losing its major bargaining chip.

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