EU Commissioner Does not Rule Out No Vote from EU Parliament on Nice Summit
European Union Enlargement Commissioner Guenter Verheugen has said it is possible that the European Parliament will reject the EU treaty hammered out at the Nice summit earlier this month.
"I do not rule out the possibility of a 'no' vote on the Nice treaty by the European Parliament," Verheugen was quoted as saying in the Monday edition of the German newspaper Die Welt.
"The mood there is very critical; the parliamentarians are very disappointed," he added.
EU leaders at the summit agreed to expand a system of majority voting to a greater number of issues as they tried to streamline the decision-making process before taking in new members, mostly from eastern Europe.
Verheugen said that the European Parliament and the European Commission, the EU executive, wanted to eliminate the national veto and the consensus principle entirely in Nice but that some states voted against that in order to preserve their influence.
"Apparently they believe that the current situation will not lead to gridlock, even after the enlargement (of the EU)," Verheugen said.
But despite serious concerns in the European Parliament that the Nice reforms did not go far enough to put the EU house in order, its members realized that voting down the treaty would have grave consequences for EU enlargement, he added.
"Rejection of the treaty by the European Parliament would be seen as a rejection of enlargement, although Parliament completely supports the project," Verheugen told Die Welt -- BERLIN (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)