Sovereign, i.e. independent of any other country, authority or institution, and able to make decisions on key issues that are not imposed by anyone else. That’s how the linguists working on the Polish dictionary under the editorship of Witold Doroszewski understood the term. Many still associate it with values related to the state. It turns out that they are backward in their thinking and they won’t be able to defy the “forces of progress”.
Revolution without a shot
On Wednesday the Committee on Constitutional Affairs voted on the changes to the European treaties. It’s the official start of a revolution that could sweep away the foundations on which the EU was built without a shot.
The EU is to have a decisive say in 65 areas, including key ones such as: foreign policy, security, sanctions policy, multiannual budget and family law. Decisions in these and other highly sensitive areas will be taken by qualified majority voting rather than, as it has been hitherto, by unanimity, a nation that has so far determined the community of EU countries. The new system favours the largest countries of the “old” Union, i.e. Germany and France.
And it’s rather not a coincidence that Berlin has long requested changes, after the implementation of which the extension of qualified majority vote would cover the common foreign and security policies. France, for its part, has supported these efforts, stubbornly returning to the concept of a “multi-speed Europe”, already promoted under Jacques Chirac, which implies greater integration in a narrow circle of member states.
Majority vote decision making means weakening the role of the state as such, but it will be more painful for weaker and smaller countries, which may have illusory chances to oppose the solutions that are unfavourable for them.
The EU would gain new competences, including in the area of climate negotiations, which would have a major impact on the economies of individual countries. There would also be an increase in shared competences, i.e. those where European officials take precedence over national ones. New areas would be included: foreign policy and security, border protection, forestry, public health, civil defence, industry and education.
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The EU also wants to decide on migration issues and hasn’t forgotten about the ideological sphere, hence the idea of replacing equality between men and women with gender equality.