Merkel and Hollande call for “multi-speed Europe” at mini summit

Edited by walterp on . Posted in Politics

The leaders said the bloc could lose its momentum without the changes they propose, and Hollande has warned the future of the union itself is at stake.

(From L) Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President François Hollande and Italian premier Paolo Gentiloni deliver joint statements following an informal summit of heads of continental Europe’s biggest economies focusing on the Brexit, on March 6, 2017 in Versailles.

Hollande said: “Unity is not uniformity and this is the reason why I call for new forms of cooperation (…) that we could go quicker and stronger with some countries without excluding others and without having others who can oppose.”

Merkel said: “We must have the courage that some countries precede if not all want to participate: a Europe of different speeds is necessary, otherwise we will probably get stuck.”

The two leaders were joined by Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy for talks at the opulent palace near Paris.

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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