Friday

23rd Feb 2018

Juncker to outline EU forking paths

  • Juncker will present his strategy paper in a speech at 3PM (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker is expected to present several scenarios for the future of European integration in a strategy document to be published on Wednesday (1 March).

According to a botched European Commission press release, the title of the so-called white paper would be Avenues for unity for the EU at 27.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  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.

  • An apparently accidentally published press release said the strategy paper would be called "Avenues for unity for the EU at 27". (Photo: Screenshot)

The press release can be found in the Commission's database and is dated Tuesday 28 February, but only contains a title. The subtitle and body of the text consist only of the words “empty”.

Later this month, British prime minister Theresa May is expected to trigger the process which will lead to Brexit – her country leaving the EU.

The bloc's leaders see the event as an opportunity to renew the focus of the European project.

Juncker's spokesman Margaritis Schinas told journalists on Tuesday that the white paper will be presented at 3PM on Wednesday, and that it contained possible options for the future of the EU.

“Positive and realistic options, which are not mutually exclusive, which will lead towards unity and cooperation between the 27,” said Schinas, adding that Juncker would discuss the “final version” with his commissioners already on Tuesday afternoon.

Last week in a speech, Juncker hinted at the contents of the paper by positing that “the time has come” to decide on a Europe of various speeds - the notion that not every member state follows integration at the same pace.

There is already a de facto Europe of various speeds, with a core group participating in the eurozone, and others still having national currencies. Some member states have opt-outs on specific policy areas.

According to Belgian newspaper Le Soir - a favourite of Juncker's - the strategy document will outline at least four scenarios.

The first is to continue European integration without any significant changes; the second is to move to a more federal and centralised system; the third is the multiple-speed Europe idea; and the fourth some combination of the first three.

The white paper is timed to be able to influence the debate of EU leaders who will meet for a summit in Rome on 25 March, on the 60-year anniversary of the Rome treaty, which established the European Economic Community.

Juncker envisages EU of core groups

Commission head Juncker say EU states which want deeper integration should press ahead in core groups, in reaction to the UK’s departure.

EU leaders nix transnational lists, cool on 'Spitzenkandidat'

The 'Brussels bubble' ideas for transnational electoral lists was put on ice at the summit, while Jean-Claude Juncker's idea for an EU 'super president' was also rejected. The 'Spitzenkandidat' proposal backed by the European parliament also suffered a rebuff.

News in Brief

  1. EU calls for immediate ceasefire in Syria
  2. UK's post-Brexit vision is 'pure illusion', Tusk says
  3. EU leaders express solidarity with Cyprus in Turkey drill row
  4. EU to double funding for Sahel forces
  5. EU parliament president: 'The immigration problem is Africa'
  6. May to unveil EU departure strategy next week
  7. Pregnant workers may be dismissed, EU court rules
  8. Romanian minister demands anti-corruption prosecutor fired

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ILGA EuropeAnkara Ban on LGBTI Events Continues as Turkish Courts Reject NGO Appeals
  2. Aid & Trade LondonJoin Thousands of Stakeholders of the Global Aid Industry at Aid & Trade London
  3. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.European Free Alliance Joins MHRMI to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  4. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism Year to Promote Business and Mutual Ties
  5. European Jewish CongressAt “An End to Antisemitism!” Conference, Dr. Kantor Calls for Ambitious Solutions
  6. UNESDAA Year Ago UNESDA Members Pledged to Reduce Added Sugars in Soft Drinks by 10%
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  8. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  9. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  11. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP
  12. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.Suing the Governments of Macedonia and Greece for Changing Macedonia's Name

Latest News

  1. EU agrees budget to focus on defence, security and migration
  2. EU leaders nix transnational lists, cool on 'Spitzenkandidat'
  3. Regions chief: calls for smaller EU budget are 'impossible'
  4. Election fever picks up This WEEK
  5. EU-Morocco fishing deal casts doubt on EU future foreign policy
  6. EU leaders put 'Spitzenkandidat' on summit menu
  7. European far-right political party risks collapse
  8. The key budget issues on EU leaders' table