The outcome of the recent EU leaders summit on the bloc’s budget for 2021-27 and the coronavirus recovery fund “are indicative of the current difficulties of the EU at present and the weaknesses of the decision-making process,” Greece’s federalists have said.
“Despite the compromises made, [the agreement] allows, for the first time, for reciprocity on part of the EU debt thus and paves the way for the Commission to acquire the competence to borrow on behalf of the Union. Proper utilization of this opportunity will facilitate the federal transformation of the Union budget which is a precondition for a deeper political union,” the Hellenic Association for the Federation of Europe (HUEF), which is the local chapter of the Union of European Federalists (UEF), said in a statement.
However, HUEF said, the agreement exposed the shortcomings of the existing decision-making process.
“Once again, EU leaders addressed national audiences and fought for national approval… Key elements of European integration that did not offer national benefits were cut or ignored,” the group said in a reference to cuts in funding for research, cutting-edge technologies, health and innovation.
“The necessary changes in the Union cannot be made as long as the states set their own priorities… The need for unanimity – and the national veto that it entails – does not allow Europe to respond in time to the growing global challenges,” HUEF said.
“Europe… is entering a new phase where it must decide whether it wishes to remain just a common market or to move towards a deeper, more democratic, political union,” it said.