Poland’s prime minister moved to criticise Jean-Claude Juncker’s, president of the European Commission, proposed European dream in the wake of Union’s celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Treaty of Rome.
The eurocrat faced dissent from the EU’s poorer nations after he launched a blueprint for Europe’s survival after Brexit, calling for further integration between the bloc’s member states.
At the beginning of March, Mr Juncker offered five scenarios for the Union’s future: “carrying on”, “nothing but the single market”, “those who want more do more”, “doing less more efficiently” and “doing much more together”.
Germany, France, Italy and Spain will support Mr Juncker’s bid for a “two-speed” Europe in which core countries can integrate their systems at breakneck speed, while those who are more eurosceptic are allowed to hang back.
Jean-Claude Junker has faced heavy criticism for his plot for a 'two-speed' European Union
A two-speed Europe can only lead to break up and a lack of cooperation, when we should be closer
The system is designated to allow the more developed Western nations to press ahead with wide-reaching reforms, particularly to the euro, without dragging along less reluctant nations.
Discussing the plot, he said: “I think that, eventually, it will no longer be possible that 33, 34 or 35 states will proceed at the same speed with the same momentum in the same direction.”
Beata Szydlo, the Polish prime minister, is among a group of European leaders to oppose the views of the bloc’s leaders.
She said: “Europe must be one, indivisible and strong thanks to the strength of all the sovereign member nation states.
“Creating artificial divisions in our circle, a multi-speed Europe, will not produce the expected results.
“It can only lead to break up and a lack of cooperation, when we should be moving closer.”
Despite the opposition from Poland, a former prime minister believes it is “inevitable” Brussels will ignore smaller nations and proceed with their plan.
Leszek Miller said: “I think the process of creating a multi-speed Europe inevitable because the countries which want a deeper integration of the European Union, should rid the EU of members opposed to the process and are slowing it down.”
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He urged EU leaders to get rid of the “ballast” who don’t want to participate in further economic and political integration, preventing them pursuing further integration of the eurozone.
Mihaly Varga, the Hungarian economy minister, previously warned “strong actors” in Europe could seek to sideline countries that decided not to join the euro, adding that this could ever lead to “social unrest” among the nations left behind, as his nation joined the dissent.
He said: “There’s a real threat that those who favour a two-speed Europe will say that those who are in the euro areas are ‘in’ and those who are out of the euro are ‘out’.”