DW – February 24, 2017
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker suggested a radical re-envisioning of the EU on Thursday. The new plan would see a smaller group of core EU members, and then different levels of belonging for other nations that were not prepared for full membership.
“Do we want to always advance as a group of 28? Or shouldn’t it be that those who want to go fast can do so, without affecting the others?” he asked a conference in the Belgian city of Leuven. He suggested that the bloc may function better if not every country was compelled to take part in projects they had no interest in, even in matters of defense.
He suggested instead a “structured design, open to all” in the format of some “core” EU members surrounded by an outer “orbit” of less involved nations. These looser-knit nations could include the UK, for example, or even Turkey, which has been pursuing EU membership for years despite the bloc voicing concerns about Ankara’s human rights record.