Europarlementariërs hekelen gebrek aan voortgang bij onderhandelingen Grondwet (en)

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The European Parliament's representatives in the Constitutions have criticised what they see as backward steps in the treaty negotiations.

German MEPs Klaus Hänsch and Elmar Brok on Monday (24 May) were quick to pour cold

water on the so-called emergency brake system which is gaining ground as a possible solution to break the deadlock on where member states will keep their veto in the future.

Speaking of the issues still to be resolved, Mr Hänsch said "You can't solve [them] with this emergency brake".

Mr Brok said it is a "new invention of the veto in a prettier form".

The brake system proposes that qualified majority voting be introduced but with the proviso - or emergency brake - that member states could refer an issue back to the European Council (and so unanimity) if they feel it is vital to national interests.

There is no timetable for how long a member state could keep stalling on an issue, which MEPs also object to.

They two politicians also showed some impatience with the way the UK has been conducting its negotiations at the European level - with its continued insistence on its red lines.

"There are red lines for others as well", said Mr Brok.

Power over the purse?

On the red line issue for the European Parliament - having power over the EU's budget - the MEPs were relatively optimistic.

Mr Hänsch said a majority of member states "do not want to humiliate the European Parliament".

Those member states and the Irish Presidency will maintain a balance between EU governments and the assembly, said Mr Hänsch.

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