SPEAKING NOTE OF MR VYTENIS POVILAS ANDRIUKAITIS, MEMBER OF THE CONVENTION ON PART III OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL TREATY 4 July 2003
Thank you Mr. President,
Early on in the work of the Convention, we reached a broad consensus on qualified majority voting in the Council as a general rule and unanimity as an exception. There is a considerable progress in Part III of the Constitution in that respect. But there remain areas where further progress can be achieved.
First, in Article 5 on measures needed to combat discrimination, we need to provide for ordinary legislative procedure and decisions by QMV in the Council. Fight against discrimination goes to the core of democracy and there is no reason why the European Parliament should be surpassed in legislating such measures.
In general, in Part III there are too many areas where the Council legislates by itself. Further efforts need to be made to rule out this practice. Legislation on the European level should involve the European Parliament. This should also be the rule.
The scope of QMV in the Council should be further extended to CFSP where incentives of the Minister of Foreign Affairs are supported by the Commission, to harmonisation of measures in the field of indirect or company taxation relating to administrative cooperation, tax fraud and tax evasion, and to social policy in relation to protection of dismissed workers.
In harmony with Article 3 of Part I of the Constitution I suggest that Article 94 speaks about Union contributing to full employment rather than a high level of employment.
Finally, I fully support the initiative to amend Article 6 of Part IV to provide for the European Parliaments consent to the decision of the European Council not to call the convention for certain future revisions of this Constitutional Treaty.
Thank you for your attention.