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Tuesday 23.05.2017 | Name days: Leontīne, Ligija, Lonija, Leokādija

EU’s largest four support multi-speed option of bloc’s future

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(From L) Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President François Hollande and Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni visit the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles Palace

Evaluating the long-term development options for the European Union as offered by the European Commission, heads of the governments of France, Germany, Italy and Spain have after joint talks voiced their support for the option of multi-speed future of the EU.

«Unity does not mean uniformity,» France’s President François Hollande evaluated as he hosted the other leaders in the Versailles Palace near Paris.

BBC reports and evaluates that EU leaders are focusing on a strategy of promising both deeper co-operation but also the possibility of different member states joining common projects at times that see as suitable to them.

In several major aspects, the bloc a multi-speed association of countries – not all members are in the Schengen border-free zone, and 19 of the 28 use the euro as their national currency.

Reportedly, on 1 March, head of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker unveiled his plans to save the EU. At the same time, he warned that the bloc has to write a new chapter, considering the upcoming Brexit in 2019.

The former Prime Minister of Luxembourg presented five roads towards unity. EU leaders will have to discuss those roads at the upcoming summit in Rome on 25 March.

Among the proposals is the idea to reduce the EU to the level at which the union would exist only as a single market and create a ‘multi-speed’ Europe, in which similarly-minded member states can realize their plans even if other member states oppose them.

This plan has already caused a great deal of opposition from Eastern European countries, which are worried that traditional heavyweights like Germany and France will shove them aside in matters like immigration.

There has also been dislike voiced in regards to the publication of those plans shortly before important elections in Netherlands, France and Germany.

One of Juncker’s plans provides opportunities for EU countries to integrate at different speeds in different matters like euro currently and defence.

In conclusion, Juncker proposed retaining the current status quo and pushing existing EU member states towards larger unity. At the same time, it would mean more sharp arguments in matters like immigration.

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