Sweeping changes to the treaties which bind the EU together will create a “centralised, hegemonic superstate” in which sovereign nations are mere “vassals”, the European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the European Parliament has claimed.
A report comprising draft changes to the EU Treaties in Article 48 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) was endorsed by MEPs last month, with 19 votes for, six against and one abstention.
The text, proposed by arch-Brexit critic Guy Verhofstadt (Renew), along with Sven Simon (European People’s Party), Gabriele Bischoff (Socialists and Democrats), Daniel Freund (Greens–European Free Alliance) and Helmut Scholz (The Left) is the result of discussions which took place during the Conference on the Future of Europe, which concluded in May 2022.
Proposals include strengthening the role of the European Parliament, and the establishment of a Defence Union and an Energy Union.
Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, an MEP for Poland’s Law and Justice Party, was speaking at a press conference in advance of tomorrow’s European Parliamentary plenary in Strasbourg, which is expected to ratify the report, bringing it one stage closer to becoming a reality.
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He said: “We are against hijacking Europe by this anti-democratic anti-federal project to turn the EU as we know into superstate.
“The purpose of this report is was is the article 48 procedure which will be triggered with this report, which we expect to be voted for tomorrow, with us being against.”
There are 267 changes to the treaties being proposed, Mr Saryusz-Wolski pointed out.
One of the conference’s six co-rapporteurs until July 2023, Mr Mr Saryusz-Wolski withdrew in July in protest at what he saw as the refusal of the other five to take on board any of the proposals presented by his group, he explained.
He continued:”Those changes are revolutionary and mark a revolution in terms of the ecosystem of the Union.
“It is also irreversible in terms of once new treaties come into force, this is practically impossible to change.
“And it leads to turning sovereign member states into vassals or into regions and creating a centralised, hegemonic superstate run by mainstream oligarchy and escaping democratic control.
“Because it moves the decision making process from the level where democracy works, which is nation-state, to the democracy where there is a huge democratic deficit, which is European level.”
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In similar remarks last month, Mr Saryusz-Wolski also suggested the push for centralisation originated in Berlin.
He explained: "The report also proposes cultural and ideological changes by replacing the term 'equality between men and women' throughout the EU treaties with the term 'gender equality', which refers to anti-scientific, intrusive gender ideology.
"The proposed Treaty changes reduce the role of states to that of federal states: the smaller Member States would be vassals of the big ones and Germany will be the hegemon. It is significant that four of the five rapporteurs come from Germany.
“The centralisation of the EU is apparently a German obsession, even if it could bring down the entire EU edifice.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Mr Verhofstadt, familiar to Brexiteers as former Ukip leader Nigel Farage’s regular sparring partner in Brussels, has an entirely different perspective on the situation.
The former Belgian MP shared a clip on X, formerly Twitter, in which he outlined his reasons for pushing for the changes, commenting: “Europe is not ready for the New World Order, nor for enlargement…
“Time for reform: a stronger and more democratic EU, drop vetoes, better subsidiarity, defend the rule of law and EU values...
“Parliament is ready with a realistic vision of reform. Let a Convention begin!”