Juncker urged to make separate decisions of the EU by qualified majority

© AP Photo / Geert Vanden WijngaertШтаб-quarters of the EU in Brussels. Archival photoJuncker urged to make separate decisions of the EU by qualified majority© AP Photo / Geert Vanden Wijngaert

The EU needs a qualified majority to adopt individual decisions in matters of foreign policy, the time has come, said Wednesday the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Now the decision of the Council of the EU on foreign policy are taken by consensus: in the absence of a unanimous opinion of the countries-members of EU decisions could be blocked. Qualified majority is defined as at least 55% of EU member States that accounted for at least 65% of the population of the community.

«We will prepare proposals that in certain, but not all areas of foreign policy could take decisions by qualified majority,» said Juncker in his speech before the European Parliament in Strasbourg with a keynote speech on the state of the EU.

The mandate of Juncker at the head of the Executive Board of the EU expire in the fall of 2019.

According to the head of the European Commission, currently used in the EU for the sanctions policy, the principle of decision by consensus no longer meets the requirements of the day. «Wrong that one member country (EU) may demand a «ransom» for the renewal of our embargo on arms supplies to Belarus, or when sanctions against Venezuela are delayed for months due to the fact that it was not possible to achieve unanimity,» said Juncker.

He said he believes it is possible to take decisions by qualified majority in matters of approval of a civilian EU missions abroad, in the field of human rights and a number of tax policy.

«It is possible on the basis of existing treaties, and I think it’s time to take advantage of this «lost treasure» of the Lisbon Treaty», — said the head of the European Commission.

Meanwhile, the head of EU diplomacy Federica Mogherini said earlier that he sees no General need to abandon the principle of unanimity in the adoption by the EU Council decisions on foreign policy and defense in favor of the approval of a qualified majority. She noted that in her experience the problems with unanimity in the adoption of opinions arose. However, she admitted that in the future this problem may appear.

The head of the most influential and representative of the faction of the European Parliament «the European people’s party» Manfred Weber, who is a candidate for the chair of the head Executive Board of the EU, previously called on the Chancellor presiding in the EU Council of Austria, Sebastian Kurz to initiate the abandonment of the unanimity principle in favour of adopting decisions by a qualified majority. According to Weber, the rejection of the principle of unanimity in decision-making in foreign policy is the only way to make the European Union a key player in the international arena.