Saturday, March 11, 2017

Multi-speed EU not to create "new iron curtain": Juncker

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Friday said a "multi-speed Europe," one of the five scenarios put forward in a white paper of the Commission, is not going to create a "new iron curtain."

"As far as this so-called multi-speed Europe is concerned, by some of our colleagues, this is seen as introducing a new dividing line, a new kind of iron curtain between the east and west. That's not the intention," Juncker said at a press conference with European Council President Donald Tusk.

"The white paper is saying the starting point of each scenario is 27 members move together as the union, that's the principle," he stressed, following an informal meeting of EU27 leaders minus British Prime Minister Theresa May.

The white paper, presented by Juncker on March 1, laid out five scenarios for the EU's remaining 27 member states after Britain leaves the bloc, each offering a glimpse into the potential state of the EU.

The third scenario "Those Who Want More Do More," referring to a multi-speed Europe, has raised concerns among the bloc's eastern members, which fear that they will be excluded from deeper integration in the future.

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