60 Ideas for Europe

Presidential veto

The EU President (created in the Lisbon treaty) should be given a veto over decisions reached by qualified majority voting (QMV).

The way in which QMV functions presently is deeply undemocratic. States with nothing but an academic interest in an issue can pass legislation which may be very damaging to a key industry within another member state.

An example of this situation is the current debate over financial regulation. Britain, which accounts for 80% of hedge fund activity in the EU, will have to accept legislation drafted by its competitors (who account for the remaining 20% of EU activity in this area).

A veto for the EU President would ensure that all EU citizens’ opinions were considered in QMV decisions. This would enhance the democratic legitimacy of decisions reached this way. This democratic legitimacy would be enhanced further if the President was directly elected by all EU citizens.

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