Monday

21st Aug 2017

Juncker foresees two-speed Europe

  • 'It will no longer be possible that 33, 34 or 35 states will proceed at the same speed' (Photo: EPP)

The European Union will have to develop a framework in which some core member states can do everything together and others will be less involved, Jean-Claude Juncker, EU commission president, said on Wednesday (18 November).

"I think that, eventually, it will no longer be possible that 33, 34 or 35 states will proceed at the same speed with the same momentum in the same direction,” Juncker said in a discussion with citizens in Brussels.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The 28-member EU is in accession talks with countries in the Balkans with the aim of having them join the bloc eventually. Juncker said at the start of his presidency, however, that there will be no enlargement under his mandate until 2019.

Of the 28 EU countries, some already work more closely together on certain issues than they do with others.

Most notably, the 19 member states that share the euro currency coordinate budget policies and have a banking union in which all the large eurozone banks are under a single supervisor, the European Central Bank.

They also have a common method of winding down failed banks with a joint fund to cover the costs. The Schengen states, meanwhile, share a common external border and have dismantled border checks amongst themselves.

Juncker added that the EU should reconsider its organisation to make sure members may share policies at different speeds, if they wish, Reuters reported.

"One day we should rethink the European architecture with a group of countries that will do things, all things, together, and others that will position themselves in an orbit away from the core," Juncker said.

His predecessor, Jose Manuel Barroso, former EU commission president, opposed allowing a split within the EU and creating core and non-core EU countries – a two-speed Europe.

Speaking at the event, Juncker also declared: “Brexit will not happen”.

He added: “I spent three years of my life to avoid Grexit. I will not spend three years of my life to facilitate Brexit.”

British prime minister David Cameron is aiming to secure economic safeguards for non-eurozone countries during the UK membership negotiations with Brussels and wants to be excluded from an “ever closer union”, a principle enshrined in the EU treaty.

Juncker also said on Wednesday that the commission is planning to present next year a proposal on “common, minimum social rights to be applied in all member states”.

Juncker also reinstated his call for a European army and argued for a common defence policy in the EU.

Merkel speaks out for two-speed Europe

German Chancellor Merkel has said she will push ahead with plans for a political union, including more powers to Brussels and a two-speed Europe if necessary.

Maltese PM hails pope, calls for multispeed EU

Malta's prime minister Joseph Muscat said that Pope Francis has "the skills and vision" to inspire the EU and that some EU countries should integrate more to be able to act.

EU founding states pledge deeper integration

The six founding members of the EU have recommitted to building a more integrated union, while acknowledging others may move at their own pace, backing the idea of a "two-speed" Europe.

Opinion

Macron goes east to test appetites for EU integration

The next few months will be decisive in selecting who stays in the core of the EU and who stays behind, writes Tomas Prouza, a former state secretary for European Affairs of the Czech Republic.

News in Brief

  1. Austria has begun checks at Italian border
  2. Slovenian PM: Brexit talks will take longer than expected
  3. Merkel backs diesel while report warns of economic harm
  4. UK to publish new Brexit papers this week
  5. Macedonia sacks top prosecutor over wiretap scandal
  6. ECB concerned stronger euro could derail economic recovery
  7. Mixed Irish reactions to post-Brexit border proposal
  8. European Union returns to 2 percent growth

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressEuropean Governments Must Take Stronger Action Against Terrorism
  2. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceDoes Genetics Explain Why So Few of Us Have an Ideal Cardiovascular Health?
  3. EU2017EEFuture-Themed Digital Painting Competition Welcomes Artists - Deadline 31 Aug
  4. ACCABusinesses Must Grip Ethics and Trust in the Digital Age
  5. European Jewish CongressEJC Welcomes European Court of Justice's Decision to Keep Hamas on Terror List
  6. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  7. Centre Maurits CoppietersWe Need Democratic and Transparent Free Trade Agreements Says MEP Jordi Solé
  8. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  9. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  10. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  11. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  12. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference