ECR Group: Majority groups put Commission on wrong track for 2023

The European Conservatives and Reformists Group has expressed its disappointment with the statement on the Commission's work programme for 2023, adopted today in the Conference of Presidents.

“There are some positive aspects, for example in the approach to the Ukraine crisis, the Single Market and strengthening the competitiveness of European SMEs, but in other areas the proposals are unrealistic and overshoot the mark, especially where it proposes to cut the competences of Member States”, said ECR Co-Chairman Raffaele Fitto (Italy), speaking in Rome, where the ECR Group is holding its Study Days.

“We hope that the Commission will come up with a legal mechanism that would allow the Russian assets frozen during the war of aggression against Ukraine to be seized and afterwards put towards the reconstruction of Ukraine. We also need further sanctions against Russia and to do everything possible to stop importing Russian gas, oil and coal into the EU once and for all”, said fellow ECR-Co Chairman Ryszard Legutko (Poland).

“As is typical of the EU Parliament, there are calls for further centralisation of powers to Brussels. However, an extension of the principle of qualified majority voting in the Council would impair the institutional balance of the Union and is simply unrealistic. The unanimity rule ensures that no Member State is coerced. Imposing qualified majority voting is a sure-fire way to undermine European solidarity. We cannot accept that Member States be rendered vassals when it comes to making decisions that are of paramount importance to future generations”, Prof Legutko continued.

“The European Union would be better served if the European Parliament adjusted its demands to the Commission in advance to make them more feasible and focused on what really moves Europe forward”, Mr Fitto added.

The ECR Group sees other important areas neglected, such as issues surrounding a possible EU enlargement and the global situation of Christians:

“Parliament is forgetting that the situation in Georgia, which is to be given a perspective for EU membership, must be closely monitored. Should the Georgian government make tangible progress, the EU should also grant the country candidate status”, said Prof Legutko.

“We would also have liked Parliament to focus on the situation of persecuted religious minorities throughout the world, especially Christians. The position of Special Representative for Freedom of Religion or Belief outside the EU is vacant once again. This is an untenable situation”, Mr Fitto added.

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