The European Commission’s president, Jean-Claude Juncker, will today unveil a White Paper comprising of five options for the EU’s long term future, in the hope of rebuilding unity between the EU’s 27 member states, post-Brexit. The five options include a move towards the use of “multi-speed” decision-making in the EU, whereby member states will move towards greater integration at different rates – an approach that is favoured by both the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and Mr Juncker. Resistance against a “multi-speed” Europe has already begun, with some poorer Eastern European nations fearing it will be used by larger, wealthier nations such as Germany and France to freeze them out. Other options include a greater move towards integration, or a deepening of Europe’s single market.
Mr Juncker’s White Paper will be presented to members of the European Parliament ahead of an EU summit in Rome in late March where EU leaders will discuss strategies for the bloc’s future in the coming years. The Rome summit will also celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome – the treaty which founded the EU – and leaders will meet, without Britain, to issue a special declaration about the EU’s plans for the next decade. It is expected that by the time of the Rome summit the UK will have triggered Article 50, the process by which it will leave the EU.