Poland has hit out at plans for a “multi speed” EU, arguing it will sideline some of the newer member states.
Warsaw made its intentions plain after the EU 27 discussed the European Commission’s blueprint for the future of the bloc.
“This is an attempt to divide the European Union… (our interest) is about those regions that want European unity, mutual respect, equal chances. And they are mostly Central and Eastern European countries,” said Beata Sydzło, the Polish prime minister.
French President Francois Hollande, appearing at one of his last EU summits, said Europe could not afford to be paralysed by inaction.
“There are weaknesses there are difficulties and Europe has shown that it is not able to make decisions at the right time. So what should it do for the next few years? Must show that it is united, that is a first condition and that it has values,” he said.
Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, rebuffed accusations from one British journalist that leaders had made no tangible progress on what to do next.
“It’s not just about big words in such a declaration, it’s about the fact that you can say after one, two, three or five years: We have achieved, what we’ve written down.”
EU leaders of the remaining 27 countries meet in Rome later this month.