British Prime Minister David Cameron has kicked off a two-day tour of the European Union with meetings with his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte in The Hague, and in Paris with the French President François Hollande.
There, he warned changes were necessary within the EU, to ensure the UK’s continued membership.
“My priority is to reform the European Union to make it more competitive and address the concerns of the British people about our membership. The status quo is not good enough. And I believe that there are changes we can make that will not just benefit Britain, but the rest of Europe, too,” Cameron told a press conference in Paris.
While Hollande added:
“David Cameron will present his proposals, we’ll discuss them and we’ll see how we can move forward so the British people can be consulted in a way which will allow them to make the choice that best suits them.”
It was a diplomatic response from the French president, following Cameron’s demands to shift the balance of power away from Brussels. This would, in theory, allow Britain to opt out of greater political integration within the 28-member bloc.
The tour comes as the UK introduces a law ensuring a referendum on EU membership will be held by the end of 2017.
Cameron is meeting the leaders of Poland and Germany on Friday, May 29.