The European Parliament has adopted a set of three resolutions exploring the future development of the European Union. One of the rapporteurs, Elmar Brok, urges the EU to take full advantage of the Treaty of Lisbon, whose political potential has not yet been fully tapped. The EU should move towards more transparency for instance and a common defence policy.
We have to admit that Europe is increasingly under pressure from outside: with questions of domestic and foreign security, terrorism, the consequences of globalization, and ambitions in the United States and in Russia to divide Europe. To face this threat, Europe needs to be more united or else it will fail to meet these challenges. The Treaty of Lisbon is a kind of constitution for the European Union and this constitution has a lot of political potential that we have not taken advantage of until now. We need to be more transparent and we need to make quality majority voting the default much more often. We need to work together towards a common defence and security policy and we could save incredible amounts of money. Member States of the European Union spend 200 billion euros on defence. With disastrous results. We spend twice as much money as Russia and have more troops than the United States of America, but we are extraordinarily weak because everyone wants to do their own thing. There are 38 different kinds of armoured transport vehicles in the European Union. This is a waste of money, a lack of efficiency. When we look at the Eurogroup, the euro is the currency of the European Union. There are institutions responsible for it, namely the Council of Ministers, the Commission and the European Parliament. Starting an agency for 19 countries would split the European Union in a way. That’s why in this case for instance, the head of the Eurogroup should also be the Vice-President of the Commission: that way we bring these together instead of letting them drift apart.