EU must reform or face decline, says Nick Clegg
Wednesday 09 November 2011
The European Union must not become a series of "clubs within clubs", Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said today.
"Europe as a whole is at its strongest when it moves as one convoy rather than several disjointed caravans," he insisted during a visit to Brussels.
But Mr Clegg said it would be a "caricature" to say that the strengthening of the 17 eurozone countries would only come at the expense of the other ten member states.
It was feasible, he said, for the eurozone to "beef up" economic surveillance in the wake of the crisis "without creating a gulf between those inside and those outside".
Mr Clegg had talks with EU Commissioners including European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, and then warned MEPs in a speech to the European Parliament that Europe faces a future of "perpetual decline" unless it reforms to make itself more competitive.
Before delivering the speech he said it was vital to look at the longer term problems of achieving competitiveness and growth.
And he insisted the answers were not to be found in endless Brussels meetings.
"We can't get into a protracted, introverted bout of institutional navel-gazing," said Mr Clegg.
"We must not get bogged down by having heads of government locked into windowless rooms for months on end."
Responding to growing concerns that the economic crisis will result in an inner core of the 17 eurozone countries increasingly formulating policy without consulting the other ten, he said: "The EU 27 must work more closely together. I do not want clubs within clubs."
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
- 5 Rashida Jones speaks out against male-centric porn saying 'women should have sex and feel good about it'
Boris Johnson claims porn-obsessed Islamic jihadists are 'literally w*****s'
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Putin opponent reveals Russian President's daughter's secret identity
Ball pool for adults opens in London
Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is a two form entry primary schoo...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...