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MEPs could reject proposed new EU treaty, warns De Rossa

Soon-to-retire Labour MEP Proinsias de Rossa says the new EU deal could fail if it dilutes the power of the European Parliament.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

A LABOUR MEP has warned that proposals for a new European Union treaty aimed at ending the eurozone’s debt crisis could be rejected by the European Parliament.

Proinsias de Rossa, who will step down as an MEP for Dublin next month, has called on EU leaders to ensure that the deal currently being drafted in Brussels must place a greater focus on job creation, and ensure the European Parliament remains important, or MEPs could reject the new plan.

The warning came after over 500 MEPs backed a resolution at the European Parliament which questioned the need for the new treaty, arguing that its goals – specifically to ensure balanced national budgets – could be achieved through means already allowed for in EU law.

“We need to ensure that austerity measures are balanced with concrete action to promote solidarity and growth with jobs,” de Rossa said in a statement, calling on the treaty to protect the ‘community method’ which had served the EU well for 50 years.

This meant maintaining the balance of power between the Council (the group of EU heads of government), the European Commission, and the European Parliament – each of which had its own role to play in governing the EU.

“By definition, an inter-governmental or  ’Europe of nation states’ will result in domination by the larger countries, which will inevitably lead to a disintegration of the EU given that the majority of states are small to medium sized,” de Rossa said.

De Rossa said the Socialists & Democrats group, of which Labour is a member, believed the inter-governmental treaty currently being drafted was avoidable.

“If the new treaty does not address the European Parliament’s fundamental concerns, we are ready to make use of all the political and legal instruments at our disposal to oppose this agreement,” he said.

The approval of MEPs is not strictly required to adopt a new treaty. In order to be adopted, the deal needs to be agreed by the Council – which is expected to come in two weeks – and be formally ratified by each member state through its parliament, or in Ireland’s case by referendum.

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Gavan Reilly

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