MEP Márton Gyöngyösi’s (Non-attached) thoughts via press release:
On 7 November, the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) is going to discuss an important proposal that once again calls attention to the increasingly pressing issues we need to solve if we want the EU to present a united front and function as a united organization in the area of diplomacy.
Addressed to the Council and the high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy, the proposal contains quite a few noteworthy elements that not only deserve whole-hearted support, but they are also vital for the EU to be able to perform the tasks expected by its citizens in this situation.
In my opinion, the most important point is the adoption of the qualified majority process in such foreign policy issues as human rights, compliance with international law and the imposition of sanctions.
The current decision making, which requires unanimity, has long been outdated: the lengthy process of seeking consensus rather weakens our community in today’s climate, especially if you consider the fact that back when unanimous decision making was ratified, the EU had no authoritarian member states ready to use this tool to promote foreign interest, i.e., the Orbán regime that has subjected Hungary to its rule.
So I think the transition to the qualified majority based decision making is undoubtedly key for strengthening the EU’s diplomacy and internal cohesion as well as for checking dictatorial tendencies within our community.
Similarly, I believe we should support the reinforcement of the EU’s Foreign Service by reorganizing our representative offices in non-EU countries into quasi embassies, thus emphasizing the EU’s united front.
I am convinced that our citizens would greatly benefit if we could grant consular powers to these representative offices and authorize them to directly service EU citizens living in non-EU countries.
In critical times like today, we need to preserve the EU’s unity, reinforce its international position and bring its institutions closer to the citizens, more than ever before.
Disclaimer: the sole liability for the opinions stated rests with the author(s). These opinions do not necessarily reflect the official position of the European Parliament.