Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen argued against veto powers of member states at the end of the Future of Europe conference.
She stressed that EU member states’ power of veto prevents the EC from “moving faster” with its plans and announced reforms in the coming months, the EC noted in a statement on Monday.
“We need to improve the way our democracy works on a permanent basis,” von der Leyen stated and added “I want to be clear that I will always be on the side of those who want to reform the European Union to make it work better.”
She noted that the Commission will start the reform process next month and added that it will include a stronger environmental push and measures aimed at “making society fairer.”
Von der Leyen reminded that the EC procured billions of COVID-19 vaccine shots and implemented measures aimed at helping the economy to recover from the coronavirus crisis, stressing that the Commission can implement planned reforms “with the powers that already exist.”
She stressed the importance of investing more in renewable energy and phasing out fossil fuels, adding that the EC wants to speed up the green push.
EC on citizens’ input
EU citizens proposed measures aimed at preventing products made by forced labour from entering the market, von der Leyen noted and announced the EC would “look closely at your proposals so that we can best cater for what you have been asking for.”
She added that the Commission wants to go beyond what the citizens want and expressed belief that the EU “should play a greater role – for example, in health or defence, after the experience of the last two years.”
Von der leyen reminded that former President of the EU Parliament David Sassoli stressed the importance of “updating” democracy to improve the lives of EU citizens.
She pointed out that the EC can do this by changing the Treaties of the EU if required.
Von der Leyen noted that the Commission wants to create an EU that is peaceful, prosperous, fair, social and sustainable, and concluded that it will focus on “the air we breathe and the food we eat, the education that we give our children and the houses that we bring them up.”