Brussels, May 9 (TASR) – The European Commission (EC) is ready to discuss changes to basic agreements on the functioning of the EU after the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) ends, but there will have to be willingness to do so on the part of EU-member states, EC Vice-president Maros Sefcovic has stated in an interview for TASR.
The Slovak commissioner remarked that the Conference on the CoFoE has not even ended yet, and there are already opinions that it should result in a new convention on the future of Europe. This would engage the top leaders of member states in debates with the aim of introducing changes to the EU’s basic agreement for the first time in 20 years.
Sefcovic, who was part of the CoFoE plenary and chaired the working group on health, pointed out that, as far as changes to basic EU agreements were concerned, the citizens involved in the conference saw this as strengthening European cooperation in many areas. According to their observations, enhanced cooperation currently runs up against obstacles such as shared powers or exclusive powers at the level of member states, and they would like to see a shift towards more flexible solutions to many issues at the EU level.
“I patiently explained to them that this is a process that takes years and that it’s comprehensive and requires ratification by all member states. As the European Commission, we are also open to these discussions, as long as this also gains support from member states, because the European Parliament has already clearly expressed itself in favour of convening a convention,” he explained.
At the same time, the commissioner noted that the conclusion of the CoFoE clearly indicates what people’s expectations are in many areas. “It’s important to respond to them by not putting them off until after we have achieved a change in EU agreements, because that process could be a long one. We should do what we can already do now within the distribution of powers that we have,” he said.
Sefcovic went on to opine that there will be two parallel debates after the CoFoE. “But whatever can be done now, let’s move on with it as soon as possible, and when it comes to changing basic agreements, we need to proceed in close coordination with all EU institutions and EU-member states,” he said.