European Western Balkans

Macron says EU should consider evolving to “multi-speed” union if it wants to enlarge

Emmanuel Macron; Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday the EU should “maybe” evolve toward a “multi-speed” union if it wants to integrate new countries and has to build consensus with more than 30 member states, Politico reports.

“The risk is to think we can enlarge without reform. I can testify that it is hard enough for Europe to advance on sensitive topics with 27 members. With 32 or 35 members, it won’t be any easier,” he said at the annual gathering of French ambassadors in Paris.

“We’ll need audacity, to accept more integration in some areas and maybe even a multi-speed Europe,” he said.

The French president did not elaborate on how this multi-speed Europe would function, but added that an overhaul of EU procedures was necessary for bloc to deepening and maintain “its attractiveness.”

Politico reports that, according to several French officials, Macron’s government is working on several proposals for a multi-speed Europe, which would include creating informal groups of member countries that would work on specific policy areas.

Macron also hinted he would detail his thoughts on enlargement and EU reform in the months to come, and ahead of next year’s EU election.

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