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Zile: not all countries will be able to get involved in EU integration

Roberts Zile/flickr.com.
The most likely development scenario for the European Union is the multi-speed Europe in which not all member states are able to participate, because they are unable to fit the necessary standards, says MEP Roberts Zile.


According to him, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker wants to work in the direction of several policies: tax harmonization, immigration policy and social policy. This could result in the appearance of policies that can be carried only by the richest EU member states – Benelux countries, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
 

«The door will remain open for other countries, but we will not be able to participate because we cannot afford paying benefits, pensions or social fees on par with Western Europe,» Zile explains.
 

According to him, the opinion of many Western European old generation leaders is that many Eastern and Central European countries are not actually part of EU, and Latvia should fight against it.
 

Zile believes the most appropriate scenario for EU development should focus on doing less, but better. This is acceptable for many European Parliament parties. «The current situation proves that we do not cooperate on many things and we usually have arguments over them,» MEP says.
 

Zile says matters of social policy should be resolved in each country separately, because Latvia can increase as much as it can within established standards. There is no way Latvia can match Luxembourg in welfare.
 

Latvia has to be clever and has to communicate with same-minded government representatives when it comes to EU reform processes. «Foreign Affairs Ministry, Finance Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Bureau should form cooperation groups with same-minded people. It is important to watch out for traps laid in certain scenarios,» Zile said.
 

«In Brexit talks, it is necessary to find an approach to work with UK. Our businesses – exporters and start-ups – that work with financial markets and research should cooperate with British partners, because there is a lot of experience in science and research there,» explains the MEP.
 

At the same time, Latvia’s position in the EU budget policy is also important. It has been said in the context of this policy Cohesion policy’s budget could start declining from 2021 onward after Brexit. This means Latvia could lose a great deal of access to EU funds.

BNN/LETA

19-06-2017
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