Addressing students in Strasbourg, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said that the EU will eventually have to include the Balkan countries.
According to him, eurozone countries need to accelerate and deepen their integration while a wider and expanding group outside the currency bloc should stay more loosely connected, Reuters and index.hr have reported.
Sarkozy stressed that the “two-speed” model for Europe was the only way forward given the prospect of more countries joining the European Union.
“There are 27 of us. Clearly, down the line we will have to include the Balkans. There will be 32, 33, 34 of us. No-one thinks that federalism, total integration, will be possible with 33, 34, or 35 states,” he said.
However, Reuters points out that at the forefront of Europe’s efforts to stem its debt crisis Sarkozy advocates integration in public but in practice has favored a distinctly inter-governmental approach – consulting first with his German counterpart Angela Merkel before bringing in EU decision-makers.