European Parliament issues a set of reports looking at the EU post-Brexit
On 16 February, the European Parliament (EP) plenary adopted three different reports on Possible evolutions of and adjustments to the current institutional set-up of the European Union (Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE, Belgium), Improving the functioning of the European Union building on the potential of the Lisbon Treaty (Mercedes Bresso, S&D, Italy and Elmar Brok, EPP, Germany) and on a Budgetary capacity for the Eurozone (Reimer Böge, EPP, Germany and Pervenche Berès, S&D, France). Prior to the vote, MEPs on 14 February held a joint debate on the future of the EU centred around these reports. Verhofstadt argued for a more efficient EU, the lessening of the role of the Commission and a reform of EU elections and Council. In addition, he called for the establishment of an EU fiscal union and a Finance Minister – two ideas with broad support in the EP. These initiatives however, as pointed out by Commission Vice-President Timmermans, would require Treaty change, which is not a priority in the current political environment. Moreover, Brok called for a greater use of the Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) and highlighted the untapped potential of legislation and processes within the Lisbon Treaty. It appeared that the Commission would consider some of the recommendations made during the debate in view of its upcoming White Paper on the future of the EU.
Next step: The White Paper on the Future of Europe is expected on 14 March.