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Can the EU Avoid the Unanimity Trap?

MIN READAug 31, 2022 | 20:08 GMT

European flags fly in front of the European Commission's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on June 12.

European flags fly in front of the European Commission's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on June 12.

(Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)

On Aug. 29, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz gave a speech at the Charles University in Prague where he presented his vision for the future of the European Union. In the core part of the speech, he said that Russia's invasion of Ukraine was a wake-up call for the European Union to revise the way it adopts policy, arguing that the bloc should use majority voting instead of unanimity to decide on issues like taxation and foreign sanctions. Scholz's speech confirmed Germany's alignment with France on this issue, as French President Emmanuel Macron has also repeatedly criticized unanimity. But it also underscored the extent to which the continental bloc is struggling to streamline its decision-making process to compete against more centrally-governed rivals such as China or Russia, a problem that is only likely to become more acute in the future as geopolitical competition intensifies....

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