The European Union should scrap its principle of unanimity for decisions regarding foreign and defense policy in order to prevent inaction, Nathalie Loiseau, a French member of the European Parliament, said on Monday
ST. PETERSBURG (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 23rd November, 2020) The European Union should scrap its principle of unanimity for decisions regarding foreign and defense policy in order to prevent inaction, Nathalie Loiseau, a French member of the European Parliament, said on Monday.
The French lawmaker, who represents the La Republique En Marche! party and is the chairwoman of the European Parliament's Subcommittee on Security and Defense, said that work should be undertaken within the bloc to conduct a common assessment of security threats that will then inform policy. However, she added that a revision of the bloc's current unanimity rule was necessary.
"But we also have to get rid of this rule of unanimity for decisions taken as regards to defense and foreign policy. Because what does it mean, unanimity? It means that if we are not a fully united 27 [member states], the decisions will be drafted, crafted by the less enthusiastic of us all, and this is not possible, this is a recipe for inaction," Loiseau said during a virtual defense and security summit hosted by the Friends of Europe think tank.
The French member of European Parliament cited Cyprus's actions that delayed the implementation of sanctions on Belarus over complaints about Turkish hydrocarbon exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean as a flaw with the system of unanimity.
"You remember when Cyprus, for obviously good reasons willing to have European measures towards Turkey, was blocking sanctions on [President Alexander] Lukashenko and Belarus, two things that were not linked, but could be linked because of this rule of unanimity," Loiseau said.
Sources in Brussels told Sputnik this past September that the bloc's attempts to impose sanctions on Belarus were being held up by Cypriot representatives who were unwilling to back the measures in protest at the EU's lack of action against Turkey.
The bloc was eventually able to apply a set of sanctions on 40 Belarusian officials in October over concerns raised by Brussels over the August 9 presidential election in Belarus that was won by Lukashenko. The list of Belarusian officials under sanctions has subsequently been expanded to include the president himself.
Throughout the year so far, Turkish vessels have conducted seismic surveys in waters that both Greece and Cyprus claim to be part of their exclusive economic zones. The Greek and Cypriot governments have called on multiple international bodies, including the EU, to respond to Turkey's actions.