Tuesday

22nd Aug 2017

Reding predicts eurozone to become a federal state

  • "In my personal view, the Eurozone should become the United States of Europe" (Photo: Valentina Pop)

European Commission vice-president Viviane Reding has predicted that the eurozone will become a federal state, while urging the UK not to leave the Union.

The Luxembourg politician in Cambridge University on Monday (17 February) recalled a speech by Britain’s World War II leader, Winston Churchill, in Zurich in 1946.

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.

“In my personal view, the eurozone should become the United States of Europe. Like Winston Churchill, I believe that the UK will not be part of this, but it should remain a close ally with the federated eurozone, with which it would continue to share a common market, a common trade policy, and, hopefully, a common security agenda,” she said.

Reding noted that euro countries have made an “extraordinary” leap in terms of integration due to the economic crisis.

Citing the commission’s new powers to scrutinise national budgets and plans to create a banking union, she said: “a few years ago no one could have imagined member states being prepared to cede this amount of sovereignty.”

She added that “if this country [the UK] decides one day to be part of a stronger integration, you know where to find us. The door is open, and there is a seat at the table for you.”

Reding also lambasted the quality of British debate ahead of its potential EU in/out referendum in 2017.

She noted that Cambridge University itself has a tradition of “rational” discourse, but “the most important questions we are faced with in Europe are debated so very differently in this country … [there are] so many lazy assumptions.”

She took aim at calls to curb immigration from fellow EU states.

“Simply trying to project all problems on the supposed issue of too many foreigners moving into the country is certainly not the answer,” she said.

She noted that British politicians “have even abandoned their policy of pushing for ever more enlargement of the EU.”

She also warned that, with the UK “gradually, inexorably, drifting away” from the Union, it risks losing access to the “goldmine” of the single market and being taken less seriously by overseas investors.

Churchill in 1946 said: "The structure of the United States of Europe, if well and truly built, will be such as to make the material strength of a single state less important.” He called on the then Soviet Union, the UK, and the US to be “friends” of the project.

The Cambridge speech is Reding’s second high-profile visit to the UK after a debate in London on 10 February in which she also criticised British immigration attitudes.

Open Europe, a London-based think tank which criticises deeper integration, at the time asked “Is Viviane Reding Ukip’s most effective recruitment sergeant?” referring to the UK Independence Party, which advocates Britain leaving the Union.

Speculation grew last year she wants to be the centre-right’s candidate for the next commission president.

But she said in January that she is backing fellow Luxembourger, former PM Jean-Claude Juncker, for the post instead.

Analysis

Visegrad lobby makes food quality an EU issue

Fico convinced the EU commission chief to take action in the perceived problem of discriminatory food practices, even though the evidence for the phenomenon is anecdotal.

Opinion

Setting course for strong and focused EU

From strengthening the internal market to completing the energy union, the prime ministers of Denmark, the Netherlands and Finland set out their vision for the EU.

News in Brief

  1. US will ask Nato allies to send more troops into Afghanistan
  2. Greece to be absent at event on Communism and Nazism
  3. Czechs want observer status in Eurogroup meetings
  4. Putin sends EU-blacklisted ambassador to US
  5. Austria has begun checks at Italian border
  6. Slovenian PM: Brexit talks will take longer than expected
  7. Merkel backs diesel while report warns of economic harm
  8. UK to publish new Brexit papers this week

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