Angela Merkel Calls for ‘Multi-Speed Europe’EU | March 7, 2017, Tuesday // 11:21| views
File photo: EPA/BGNES
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said late on Monday that the European Union will have problems if do not allow individual members to participate in various degrees of integration with each other.
Merkel made the comment in Paris after a meeting with the leaders of the four largest economies in the Eurozone – Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
The EU "is founded on common values, solidarity and the rule of law," they added, in a reference to the most divisive issues between a core of member states and some countries such as those in the Visegrad group - Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.
German Chancellor said European leaders may commit to a union of ‘’different speeds’’ when they make a major declaration on its future at a summit in Rome this month.
The EU has long been riven by debate about whether all countries must commit to full integration including the single currency, or whether some can go at different paces.
“We certainly learned from the history of the last years, that there will be as well a European Union with different speeds, that not all will participate every time in all steps of integration,” said Merkel.
Francois Hollande, the French president, joined Merkel to say that some stronger countries should be able to move quicker than others.
Visegrad countries have also refused to take asylum seekers and migrants despite EU demands for solidarity.
Hungary's leader Viktor Orban wants to build an "illiberal democracy" and the new government in Poland is under EU monitoring over constitutional violations.
Their meeting comes ahead of an EU Council meeting in Brussels this week and the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome on March 25.
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