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Von der Leyen's speech: mixed feelings

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivered her first speech on the state of affairs in the EU on Wednesday in Brussels. In it, she outlined her intention to reform the WHO and the WTO and to abolish the Dublin Refugee Agreement. Is it a laudable pursuit of an overly vague initiative?

End of total consensus

Turun Sanomat fully supports the partial relaxation of the unanimity principle:

“It is possible that the most important position in the speech concerns the decision-making mechanism in the EU. In most cases, the European Council needs unanimity to do this, but often it leads to toothless and lingering compromises, which only take time to discuss. ... It is clear that the chairman of the commission considers it necessary to make appropriate decisions with the help of a qualified majority. Such an approach would partly simplify the work of the commission and strengthen its influence. In her speech, von der Leyen said that EU member states should muster all their courage and move on to making decisions by a qualified majority — at least on human rights and migration policy. That was her proposal — and it is in Finland's interests.“

Didn't beat around the bush

Ta Nea praises von der Leyen:

“We are used to looking at the bureaucrats from the European Commission and their affairs with a supportive but boring look. ... However, the speech of the President of the European Commission was very informative, ambitious, and touched upon acute political issues. Von der Leyen spoke very bluntly on two topics that are of great concern to Greece. It marked the widening gap between the EU and Turkey. Regarding the refugee issue and the situation in the Moriah camp, von der Leyen explained that the Dublin Agreement should be replaced by new European migration management. And that Greece and Cyprus can count on the full solidarity of the EU both in the Greek-Turkish conflict and in the migration issue.“

Why grimaces and jumping?

Nepszava believes that a tougher position should be taken with regard to EU countries that do not respect the fundamental values of the EU:

“Ursula von der Leyen maneuvers between the EU member states donor and recipient countries, states ready to receive refugees, as well as Visegrad Four countries and all others that are not ready to accept refugees. In a normally functioning European Union, such a policy would be perfectly logical. But right now we need a President of the European Commission who could speak harshly with states that regularly violate the fundamental values of the EU, directing them directly where the borderline lies. Until now, von der Leyen has never done this, so the Hungarian and Polish governments do what they want.“

Long-awaited course change

As La Stampa notes, it is especially gratifying that the decision has been made to revise the Dublin system:

“If we look at things cynically, we can say that a pandemic was needed, which claimed hundreds of thousands of lives before Europe decided to change its course. However, it happened. ... At first, the economic course was changed, and yesterday brought a surprise at all — in the form of large-scale assistance to Italy (and not only). ... In her speech on the state of affairs in the EU, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that the notorious Dublin Agreement would be canceled — and a new system would come to replace it. It was decided to remove the burden of the independent solution of this complex (and politically insidious) problem from the countries where migrant flows arrive. And that's great news! “

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