Thursday, 30 July 2020

Zeman: Schulz harmed European federation idea

ČTK |
13 December 2017

Bratislava, Dec 12 (CTK) - Nothing has harmed the idea of the European federation as much as German Social Democrat (SPD) chairman Martin Schulz by his words that the EU members should either adopt a joint constitution or leave the Union, Czech President Milos Zeman said during his visit to Slovakia on Tuesday.

He reacted to Schulz's words in support of the EU turning into a federation in the years to come.

"I have always labelled myself a Eurofederalist. Consequently, I may have been pleased by Martin Schulz's statement: Let us create the United States of Europe and those who do not like this idea can get out. I think that no one has caused as high damage to the idea of Eurofederation as Martin Schulz by this statement," Zeman told reporters.

The EU integration may be faster in one area and slower in another one, Zeman said, citing tax harmonisation as an example.

Both outgoing Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (Social Democrats, CSSD) and European Parliament Czech Vice-President Pavel Telicka called Schulz's plan of the EU federalisation unrealistic.

On the contrary, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico did not reject Schulz's initiative openly.

Fico said on Monday that Slovakia was obliged to take part in such a discussion. He reiterated that Slovakia should be part of the EU core.

Schulz said at a meeting of his SPD last week that the EU member states should adopt a joint constitution and those who would disagree, should leave the EU.

However, not even German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Christian Democrats, CDU) supported his idea.

Schulz's proposals are nothing new under the sun. In 2002- 2003, the EU Convent drafted the EU constitution, but it was rejected in referenda in France and the Netherlands. It was replaced with the Lisbon Treaty later.

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