The Slovenia Times

Political reforms in the EU are a must, debate hears

Daily news

Ljubljana - Political reforms in the EU are a must and EU citizens need to be given more say in decision-making in the bloc, and at the same time develop awareness of their EU citizenship, heard Friday's debate on the Conference on the Future of Europe hosted in Ljubljana by the European Parliament's Liaison Office in Slovenia.

The speakers opened the debate with a question of political reforms in the EU and touched on the statement by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi that called for pragmatic federalism in the EU and more voting with qualified majority.

They agreed that further EU integration is a must, but that this depends mainly on how willing the member states are for that.

Matej Avbelj, a professor of European law at the New University in Nova Gorica, said that the key question was what kind of Europe people wanted, as this issue had not been dealt with sufficiently in the past.

He added that further integration was possible if the concept of European citizenship was also developed, while MEP Ljudmila Novak (NSi/EPP) noted that people were not aware enough of all the benefits brought by the EU.

The speakers also noted that the principle of lead candidates and transnational electoral ticket in the elections to the European Parliament are two ways in which EU citizens can get more say and start thinking outside their own countries.

Jerneja Jug Jerše, the head of the European Commission Representation in Slovenia, said that the EU was already in good shape, noting that it had been united in responding to the pandemic and the Ukraine war, and must do the same in the future.

The speakers added that in decarbonising its economy, the EU must make sure that it does not export pollution, and that it must work with foreign countries through the COP26 climate change platform.

It was noted that the EU must also continue to express solidarity and be welcoming of refugees, while differentiating between legal and illegal migration. Novak added in this context that a reform of the European asylum system was a must.


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