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 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
Earthworms rain down from skies over Norway, puzzling scientists
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a white stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Russian warships in English Channel 'to conduct anti-aircraft and anti-submarine military drills'
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...
£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...