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Europe

Schröder Calls for Two-Speed Europe

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has spoken out for a Europe of various speeds after the European Union enlarges on May 1, saying it may be necessary to push unification forward.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has spoken out for a Europe of various speeds after the European Union enlarges on May 1. The chancellor told the German press agency, DPA, that "in the areas where a continuation in integration is necessary, we should very pragmatically look for ways that would enable a group of member states to progress." Schröder added that it must be considered "how European unification can be brought forward in a much bigger European Union." The chancellor's words contrast sharply to those of Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, who last month abandons the idea of a "core Europe." At the time, Fischer said "varying speeds of integration will appear from one state to the next," adding, "we don't want that, and that's why it can only be a transitional situation." Schröder's statement comes after talk of a multi-speed Europe has died down. ( EUobserver.com)