The deal reached between the European Parliament and the Council is an historic agreement all Europeans, says Manfred Weber, leader of the EPP Group in the European Parliament.
“The deal reached today is an historic agreement for all Europeans. While Member States failed to do so in July, the European Parliament has pushed for and finally obtained a mechanism to defend our European values. European citizens expected us to act and we did! The EPP Group kept the promise made during our European elections campaign. Throughout this negotiation, the EPP Group’s priority has been to make sure European taxpayers’ money is well spent and that a Member State that receives EU funds respects the basic principles of the rule of law. This is what has been achieved now, thanks to our political family’s determination”, said Weber, in a press release from the EPP Group.
EU countries that disrespect the rule of law will risk losing access to EU funds, under a provisional deal struck by Parliament and Council negotiators on Thursday.
According to a press release from the Parliament, MEPs succeeded in ensuring that the new law does not only apply when EU funds are misused directly, such as cases of corruption or fraud. It will also apply to systemic aspects linked to EU fundamental values that all member states must respect, such as freedom, democracy, equality, and respect for human rights including the rights of minorities.
Parliament’s negotiators also insisted that tax fraud and tax evasion are considered possible breaches, by including both individual cases and widespread and recurrent issues.
Moreover, they succeeded in securing a specific Article that clarifies the possible scope of the breaches by listing examples of cases, such as threatening the independence of the judiciary, failing to correct arbitrary/unlawful decisions, and limiting legal remedies.
Crucially, MEPs succeeded in keeping a strong preventive aspect for the mechanism: not only can it be triggered when a breach is shown to directly affect the budget, but also when there is a serious risk that it may do so, thus ensuring that the mechanism prevents possible situations where EU funds could finance actions that are in conflict with EU values.
Protecting final beneficiaries
To ensure that the final beneficiaries who depend on the EU support – such as students, farmers, or NGOs – are not punished for the actions of their governments, MEPs insisted that they can file a complaint to the Commission via a web platform, which will assist them in ensuring they receive the due amounts. The Commission will also have the possibility to make a financial correction by reducing the next instalment of EU support to the respective country in question.
Functioning of the mechanism
MEPs succeeded in shortening the time that the EU institutions will have for the adoption of measures against a member state, if risks of breaches of the rule of law are identified, to a maximum of 7-9 months (down from 12-13 months as initially requested by Council).
The Commission, after establishing the existence of a breach, will propose to trigger the conditionality mechanism against an EU government. The Council then will have one month to adopt the proposed measures (or three months in exceptional cases), by a qualified majority. The Commission will use its rights to convene the Council to make sure the deadline is respected.
The agreed compromise now needs to be adopted formally by the Parliament and EU ministers.
MEP Vasile Blaga: The last day with Great Britain in the EU, the first day of a new relationship that we want to be close
Great Britain, the historical partner of the EU, leaves our table but remains a friend of the European Union, said MEP Vasile Blaga in a statement sent to CaleaEuropeană.ro.
December 31 is the last day on which the UK still applies Community law, and from January 1 the Brexit agreement will be applied, having already been signed by European officials.
“There are a few more steps for this agreement, concluded in extremis, on Christmas Eve: the evaluation of the agreement by the European Parliament, the British Parliament and its ratification by the Parliaments of all Member States,” said Blaga.
“We are talking about an extremely important agreement given that official figures show that over 3 million EU citizens live in the UK and over one million Britons live in one of the 27 Member States. The agreement has been worked on, and often on the brink of collapse, by a team led by Michel Barnier who deserves congratulations for the tenacity with which he defended the rights of European citizens and European companies. It is an unprecedented agreement, no other such agreement has been concluded by the EU so far, from a commercial and economic point of view. Basically, the historical partner of the EU leaves our table but remains a friend of the EU. Because not even a democratic vote can cancel a family relationship and a history like the one between Europe and Great Britain “, declared Vasile Blaga.
MEP Vasile Blaga: “A coordinated vaccination campaign at European level, an example of unity and solidarity”
MEP Vasile Blaga (PNL, PPE) welcomes the start of the vaccination campaign at the same time in the European Union.
„The debut of the European level vaccination campaign, which is more or less simultaneous in all European Union states, has not been able to mobilize the EU to be able to provoke the annulment of all countries.” It is clear that you are critical of the address of the module in the European Commission to manage the contracting seminar with vaccines, tattoos, but through care, the moment of this moment, the functioning of the European Union, according to the European Plan.
The European MP informed Romania about the 150,000 vaccine dose of Pfizer BioNtech: „The European Commission has allocated 10 million vaccine doses for Romania to COVID 19″, said Vasile Blaga.
Op-ed: Biden can help unite Europe. A closer political union is the rational outcome for Europe, and a globalist U.S. President can assist even passively
A closer political union is the rational outcome for Europe, and a globalist U.S. President can assist even passively, writes former Romanian PM Mihai-Răzvan Ungureanu, in a joint op-ed with two US experts. The op-ed released to CaleaEuropeană.ro is published as an epistemic response to a piece authored by Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Klaus Leggewie in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung calling for a German-French Federation as a “breath of fresh air” for Europe.
By Robert Braun, Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu and Dan Perry
The incoming Biden Administration is expected to break with its predecessor’s obsessively transactional foreign policy, enabling progress on issues ranging from global warming to international trade to human rights. An important consequence, not obvious from headlines at the moment, involves Europe.
Outgoing President Trump’s evident disdain for global cooperation, supranational governance and the European Union in particular has had a devastating effect on those who yearn for greater European political union. It emboldened the UK’s Brexiteers, Euroskeptic leaders in the east and nationalists in almost every country, creating a paralytic continental bad karma. Trump’s departure holistically offers a moment for the European Union to regain its ambition, boldness and creativity.
The EU embodied a successful economic vision, but failed to transform that business case into a shared political values to an extent that could drive action. The treaties of Maastricht and Rome ultimately amounted the rhetorical flourishes and bureaucratic advances that could not sweep aside nationalist resistance. This is now best exemplified by the Polish-Hungarian effort to derail the European budget and halt political oversight over individual countries’ authoritarian practices.
If Europe is to make its mark in the world, it needs a bold vision for political union: tighter control over exploitive and corrupt practices of local and multi-national companies, an inclusive social net with universal basic income, a welfare system socially and economically strengthening unions and representation bodies, and safeguards for the independence of the free press, of universities and of civic-cultural institutions.
A unified Europe can be a beacon of progressive values and modernity to the world. This should be the response to those in the world who derided Europe as an ossified vessel of yesterday while benefitting from its values.
This will strengthen Europe, and make it a better partner to a rejuvenated, post-Trump United States – and to other democracies. It is a vision that the new U.S. Administration will be able to get behind.
Of course, this is not currently the direction of things, nor will it be without an electrifying course correction. In theory, there would be a variety of ways to shock the system. We’d like to throw our support in favor of constitutional unification of Germany and France, an idea floated recently by French MEP and 1960s student leader Daniel Cohn-Bendit and German political scientist Claus Leggewie.
France and Germany have fought bitter wars, and can view each other through a narrow lens of stereotype and historical grievance. They have different labor market politics and instincts about fiscal and monetary policy. They speak different languages, and each possesses a profound patriotic instinct that may seem at odds with a ceding of national sovereignty. France is also more interested than Germany in a European security mechanism independent of the United States.
And they both have fostered business interest, sometimes at the expense of others in the European Union, that were grounded in “nation first” ideals.
And yet, France and (West) Germany are the two largest founding members of the European Economic Community that grew into the EU of today. The differences between their political and economic structures are minor when one considers their common fealty to Western and European values of the post-Renaissance and Enlightenment. They are also the two strongest forces for political union among major EU members; there is a scenario where they agree to blaze the path.
A constitutionally unified, politically strong core would create economies of scale – combined population of 151 million and GDP of 6.73 trillion that make up 40% and 44% respectively of the bloc with the UK factored out – that would be irresistible, and prove that language need not be a barrier in a world in which English (ironically in light of Brexit) and innovation are unifying forces.
Different languages may pose a challenge. But Canada, even with succession initiatives in Quebec, proves community and understanding are more about shared values than similar languages. Respect for different cultures and strong compassionate leadership are at the core of New Zealand’s political success. There is real reason to assess that a successful Franco-German unification would soon draw in an essentially liberal and internationalist countries like the Netherlands, Belgium, and Denmark, linguistic satellites like Austria and Luxembourg, and then large countries of the southern cone like Italy, Spain and Portugal.
What of former east bloc countries where populist nationalists currently hold sway? The euphoria of expansion was driven by both idealism and business interests, and while it yielded economic growth for the East it also left many in that region with resentments about a perceived neocolonialism, yielding a nationalist backlash. Deft political diplomacy and considerable sensitivity will be required to avoid a repeat. A strong European political union may create the political momentum to rejuvenate a progressive urban electorate in Eastern Europe as well. Western European politicians should also find ways to acknowledge that peoples east of Vienna are valuable beyond picking asparagus, caring for the elderly and doing menial jobs for less.
It seems far-fetched today. Nations tend to wait for crises to break established paradigms. We propose getting ahead of the curve. Germany and France can jump-start the process of European unification.
National identity – indeed tribalism – has been one of the building blocks of civilization. The question has always been granularity. Right now, what is needed for stability, prosperity and global impact is a European identity. It won’t be easy, because local identities are strong. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. Quite probably, very much lost.
* * *
Historian Mihai Razvan Ungureanu was prime minister and foreign minister of Romania. Social Theorist Robert Braun was a top aide to Hungary’s prime minister and is a senior researcher at Vienna’s Institute for Advanced Studies. Dan Perry was Europe-Africa Editor and Mideast Editor of the Associated Press news agency and is managing partner of the Thunder11 communications firm.
Președintele Joe Biden a semnat revenirea SUA în Acordul climatic de la Paris. Uniunea Europeană salută decizia
Angela Merkel: Inaugurarea lui Joe Biden și a Kamalei Harris, “o sărbătoare a democrației americane și un nou capitol al prieteniei germano-americane”
Președintele francez Emmanuel Macron, către noul omolog american Joe Biden: Bine ați revenit în Acordul de la Paris
Liderii UE și NATO îi felicită pe Joe Biden și pe Kamala Harris: Astăzi este începutul unui nou capitol pentru relația transatlantică. Europa este pregătită
Joe Biden, promisiune către aliați în primul discurs ca președinte al SUA: Ne vom repara alianțele și vom conduce prin puterea exemplului. Vom fi judecați prin modul cum rezolvăm crizele în cascadă din epoca noastră
Klaus Iohannis, mesaj pentru președintele Joe Biden după inaugurarea în funcție: Vom dezvolta Parteneriatul România-SUA și vom lucra în adevăratul spirit al valorilor transatlantice
Dragoș Pîslaru: Statele membre ar trebui să profite de majorarea de 3% din FEAD pentru a sprijini persoanele defavorizate în timpul pandemiei COVID-19
Joe Biden a depus jurământul solemn și a devenit oficial cel de-al 46-lea președinte al Statelor Unite
Kamala Harris a depus jurământul și a devenit oficial prima femeie vicepreședinte din istoria Statelor Unite
Guvernul a decis constituirea unui grup de lucru interministerial în vederea operaţionalizării într-un termen ”foarte scurt” a Centrului Cyber al UE de la Bucureşti
V. Ponta: Discuţiile din Parlament privind bugetul încep la 14 ianuarie
Mapamond: Care vor fi principalele evenimente ale anului 2013
Angela Merkel: “Mediul economic va fi mai dificil în 2013”
Huffington Post: România a fost condusă din 1989 de “o clică incompetentă de escroci foşti comunişti”
Ambasadorul SUA Adrian Zuckerman: România va deveni cel mai mare producător și exportator de energie din Europa
Barometru: Cluj-Napoca înregistrează cea mai ridicată calitate a vieții din România, alături de Oradea și Alba Iulia
Premierul Italiei, Mario Monti, a demisionat
Președintele Klaus Iohannis a promulgat legea care interzice pentru 10 ani exportul de buștean în spațiul extracomunitar
Acord fără precedent în istoria UE: După un maraton de negocieri, Angela Merkel, Mark Rutte, Klaus Iohannis și ceilalți lideri au aprobat planul și bugetul de 1,82 trilioane de euro pentru relansarea Europei
Daily Mail: “29 de milioane de români şi bulgari s-ar putea muta în Regatul Unit”
Dragoș Pîslaru: Statele membre ar trebui să profite de majorarea de 3% din FEAD pentru a sprijini persoanele defavorizate în timpul pandemiei COVID-19
Eugen Tomac i-a solicitat șefului politicii externe a UE să creeze mecanisme care să condiționeze sprijinul financiar acordat partenerilor de garantarea accesului minorităților naționale la educație în limba maternă
Președintele Consiliului European îi propune lui Joe Biden ca în prima zi de mandat la Casa Albă să construiască un nou pact fondator cu UE pentru „o lume mai bună”
Președinta Comisiei Europene: Jurământul lui Joe Biden, un mesaj de speranță pentru o lume care așteaptă ca SUA să revină în cercul de state cu idei similare
Eurodeputatul Eugen Tomac: Rusia de astăzi se transformă într-un gulag și UE are obligația să acționeze
Premierul Florin Cîțu s-a vaccinat împotriva COVID-19: Am vrut să dau un semnal românilor să se vaccineze
Președintele turc Recep Tayyip Erdogan dorește să ”repună pe șine” relațiile Turciei cu UE: Este prioritatea noastră să facem din 2021 un an de succes
Premierul Florin Cîțu: Intenţia noastră este ca de la jumătatea săptămânii viitoare să trecem la etapa a doua de vaccinare
Eurodeputatul Gheorghe Falcă se va vaccina împotriva COVID-19 și îndeamnă la responsabilitate pentru „noi și cei de lângă noi”: Vaccinarea, testul nostru de maturitate
Campania de vaccinare anti-Covid în România începe cu asistenta care a preluat primul pacient infectat cu virusul SARS-CoV-2
U.E.7 days ago
Polonia anunță o lege prin care va interzice Twitter și Facebook să blocheze conturile utilizatorilor: Apărăm libertatea de exprimare
EUROPARLAMENTARI ROMÂNI1 week ago
Comisia LIBE din PE a adoptat raportul eurodeputatului Rareș Bogdan privind transparența procesului decizional al UE: Doar așa putem spori încrederea cetățenilor în instituțiile europene
Dacian Cioloș3 days ago
Aleksei Navalnîi, arestat la sosirea la Moscova. Liderul Renew Europe Dacian Cioloș condamnă “arestarea mișelească” a opozantului rus și cere o dezbatere de urgență în Parlamentul European
MAREA BRITANIE4 days ago
MAE a semnalat părţii britanice diferența de taxe pentru viza care permite dreptul la muncă pe teritoriul Regatului Unit: Am transmis argumentele pertinente pentru continuarea dialogului pe această temă
ROMÂNIA1 week ago
Ambasadorul SUA, primit de ministrul Bogdan Aurescu în vizita de rămas bun. Surse diplomatice: Ambasadorii numiți politic își încetează mandatul odată cu încheierea mandatului președintelui care i-a numit