Most importantly, however, the way decisions have been taken within the EU has been changed by extending the number of decisions covered by qualified majority voting (QMV), including on certain foreign policy issues. For the first time, it gave the Commission control over the majority of judicial and domestic policy that was previously in the hands of the European Council. In addition, the idea of enhanced cooperation has been created to enable some members to cooperate more closely in areas within the competence of EU treaties, without unanimous agreement. At the same time, he acknowledged the idea of a constructive abstention – that a Member State could withdraw from security or foreign policy matters without preventing other countries from continuing. To oppose this new obligation at the last minute, a declaration was added at the last minute – in the hectic haggling of the summit, just three days before the signing of the formal agreement on the Treaty of Amsterdam. The declaration asserted the right of a Member State to require that a document it obtained could not be disclosed without its consent, evidence of a significant flaw that was exploited when the new regulation was adopted. The most pressing concerns of ordinary Europeans, such as their legal and personal security, immigration and the fight against fraud, have all been addressed in other chapters of the treaty. In particular, the EU has become responsible for immigration legislation, civil law or civil procedures, as it is necessary for the free movement of people within the EU. At the same time, intergovernmental cooperation in the field of police and criminal justice has intensified to enable Member States to better coordinate their activities.
The Union aims to create an area of freedom, security and justice for its citizens. The Schengen agreements have been integrated into the EU legal system (Ireland and the UK have not remained below the Schengen Agreement, see the details of the common travel area). Where it is necessary to reach an agreement with one or more states or international organisations for the implementation of this title, the Council may, if necessary, authorise the Presidency, assisted by the Commission, to engage in negotiations to this effect. These agreements are concluded by the Council on the recommendation of the Presidency. The Commission`s proposal has now moved on to the codecision procedure, where it was up to the European Parliament to adopt its position at first reading, and then the Council to respond (“common position”) to the original proposal and to Parliament`s opinion. Since the measure was part of the codecision procedure, nothing could be adopted without the full approval of the European Parliament. The provisions of this section also apply to Matters under Title VI. Where the agreement deals with an issue for which a qualified majority is required for the adoption of internal decisions or measures, the Council acts by qualified majority in accordance with Article 34, paragraph 3. The conditions of approval and the adaptations of the treaties on which the Union is based, which involves such authorisation, are agreed between the Member States and the candidate country. This agreement is subject to ratification by all States Parties, in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements. The Council decides unanimously when the agreement covers an issue for which unanimity is required for the adoption of internal decisions.