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Germany wants to abolish right of individual member states to veto

Germany’s foreign minister said on Monday the European Union should abolish the right of individual member states to veto foreign policy measures as the 27-nation bloc arguing that could not allow itself to be “held hostage.”

“We can no longer be held hostage by those who paralyse European foreign policy through their vetoes,” FM Heiko Maas told a conference of Germany’s ambassadors in Berlin. “If you do that then sooner or later you are risking the cohesion of Europe.”

“I therefore say quite openly: the veto must go — even if that means we too can be outvoted.”

Maas did not name names, but Hungary had recently blocked EU foreign policy statements.

Apparently exasperated by Budapest’s stance, the junior minister at Germany’s foreign ministry, Miguel Berger, had called out Hungary on Twitter last week.

“Hungary again blocked an EU-Statement on #Hongkong. Three weeks ago it was on Middle East. Common Foreign and Security Policy #CFSP cannot work on the basis of a blocking policy. We need a serious debate on ways to manage dissent, including qualified majority voting,” Berger wrote.

In a public row in mid-May, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto slammed the EU’s “one-sided” statements on Israel as his European counterparts called for a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians.

Hungary and Poland had also threatened to veto the recovery fund last year along with the entire EU budget over proposals to link some fund payments to rule-of-law conditions, describing it as “political blackmail”.

His remarks amount to a highly unusual rebuke by Germany of a fellow member-state. Germany, conscious of its economic and political heft within the EU, is normally very cautious about being seen to throw its weight for fear of seeming overbearing.

Hungary blocked an EU statement in April criticizing China’s new security law in Hong Kong, undermining the bloc’s efforts to confront Beijing’s restrictions of freedoms in the former British colony.  [Reuters, AP]

  • Wait until Greece and Cyprus veto German initiated statements in favor of Turkey

PS German hegemony in EU? Thanks, but no thanks.

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  1. joanna egleton

    Sorry — but didn’t Germany come second in the last 2 world wars??? That’s all I have to say

  2. They just can’t help themselves, can they? After what Germany has done to Europe twice in not even half a century time and after helping to rewrite the borders of the Balkans in the 1990s, they should not be allowed to vote on anything.

    • This is what is wrong with the EU.They have wandered so far from the original concept of the Common Market.
      The smaller poorer members use their veto as they feel second class members behind the rich and powerful, who continually seek more and more unity and power over others.

  3. This has nothing to do with hegemony but is probably the only useful idea that Maas had in his whole live.
    EU suffers for years from the fact that one country can block all others. And it is not that we now wouldn’t know that a country can leave if they do not like decisions any longer. But oh wait, then they will not get the money any longer.

    The UN security council suffers from the very same problem that some countries can block the decision of all others.

  4. Partly very immature comments…. Europe needs to be a serious player in future, not a spare wheel, dictated by some individual countries with populistic governments….