Experts Say: 2017-03-09

Angela Merkel - German Chancellor

Some EU member states could "go more quickly"

"Europe must have the courage to accept that some countries are moving faster than others. It's necessary for Europe to have a key role to face other actors of globalization", said German Chancellor Angela Merkel after a meeting with the French President Francois Hollande, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni at theFranco-German-Italian-Spanish summit ahead of upcoming EU Summit, in Versailles, near Paris, France, March 6, 2017.

Merkel urged Europeans to "have the courage to accept that some countries can advance more rapidly than others", and that that should not stop members on a slower integration footing from catching up. "We must be able to move forward," she said.

"Unity is not uniformity," French President Francois Hollande said at the end of the meeting, noting that some member countries of the European Union could go faster and "further in areas such as defense, tax and social harmonization, culture or youth. " For his part, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has noted that the European Union is a success story which must be well built. Expressing readiness for better integration, Rajoy hailed European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's White Paper which he said would further improve integration in Europe. As to Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, he noted that the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which will take place on March 25 in the Italian capital, will aim at pushing ahead integration in Europe.

Jean-Claude Juncker has also laid out five possible scenarios for the EU after Britain leaves. They include reducing the EU to just a single market, returning some powers to member countries and creating a "multi-speed" Europe.

Published: 2017-03-09
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