By Ayhan Simsek
BERLIN (AA) – Germany’s foreign minister proposed on Monday the establishment of a European Union Security Council in order to better and timely respond to the international crises.
“In such a format, with a smaller group of member states, holding seats on a rotating basis and representing the whole European Union, we can address the current crises in a more rapid and effective way,” Heiko Maas said at a conference of the Federal Academy for Security Policy.
Germany’s top diplomat argued that the 27 member states of the EU should move from unanimity to qualified majority voting in foreign policy issues in order to increase the speed and effectiveness of the decision making.
“Without moving away from the principle of unanimity, such an institution can not bring solutions,” Maas stressed.
In June, Germany and France called for a Europe-wide debate on new formats for a more effective common foreign and security policy.
Last month, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced a plan to shift from unanimous voting to qualified majority in three foreign policy areas, and listed them as “responding to attacks on human rights”, “applying effective sanctions”, and “civilian security and defense missions.”
Juncker claimed that his plan did not require changes in the EU treaties, and could be realized according to the provisions of the Treaty on European Union (TEU).
The leaders of EU member states are expected to discuss recent proposals during their summit in Brussels on Oct. 17-18.