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Goodbye Old EU, Hello New Multi-Speed Europe / by Peter Korzun via The Strategic Culture Foundation / Mar 15, 2017

Hit by a wave of crises, the European Union is urgently searching a new model of functioning in order to survive in one form or another. The need to balance between unity and diversity is a dilemma faced currently by the bloc. Currencies, politics and interests differ to make a new pattern of European integration a reality.


It is expected that the final decision on the future functioning of the community will be made in December. The coming months are likely to see further turbulence. The EU faces legislative elections in the Netherlands this month, followed by presidential elections in France in April and May. Germany holds legislative elections in September.

French President Francois Hollande hosted his counterparts on March 6 in Versailles, near Paris, to prepare for a larger EU meeting in Rome on March 25. France, Germany, Italy and Spain used the occasion to express support for a multi-speed Europe in a joint effort to cushion the impact of the Brexit. «Unity does not equal uniformity», French President Francois Hollande told reporters ahead of a working dinner with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Italy’s Premier Paolo Gentiloni. «For this reason I support new forms of cooperation», he said at a joint press conference with the other leaders. Some EU member states could «go more quickly» and «further in areas such as defence and the eurozone, by deepening the economic and monetary union, and by harmonizing fiscal and social policy», the French president said. Other EU members could choose to opt out of measures intended to deepen integration, he added. Hollande also emphasized the need for a European defense that would operate in coordination with NATO.


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