IATE Term of the week: variable-geometry Europe

February 1, 2019 11:09 am

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MEPs discussed earlier this month in Strasbourg the challenges posed by multi-tier integration, and how to tackle them. However, what exactly is meant by ‘multi-tier integration’? Known by various terms including: ‘variable-geometry Europe’ ‘Europe à la carte’, ‘multi-speed Europe’, these phrases all refer to the differing levels of European integration:

The end result of this discussion, was that the European Parliament opposed ‘variable-geometry Europe’. On the 17th of January, European Parliament voted in plenary on a resolution on variable-geometry Europe, wanting to maintain the level of differentiation that already exists in the EU.

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MEPs encouraged flexibility to drive integration forward, but still highlighted that ‘differentiated integration’ should be used as a ‘second-best option’

The outcome of this resolution has been a potential revision of the level of differentiation in a future treaty. In a statement released by the European Parliament on 17th January, they have stated this would mean that:

  • Members would need to fully comply with primary EU law in all policy areas
  • There would be an end to member states deciding to opt out of EU law on a permanent basis
  • Countries who do not want to fully comply with EU primary law could have ‘some sort of partnership’ with the EU available to them.

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References

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/summary/glossary/variable_geometry_europe.html

https://www.cer.eu/in-the-press/variable-geometry

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20190109IPR23023/eu-integration-meps-want-to-end-permanent-opt-outs-from-eu-law

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/agenda/briefing/2019-01-14/14/challenges-of-multi-tier-eu-integration

 


Written by Mairead Finlay – Communication Trainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament (Luxembourg). She has studied Translation at the University of Geneva and holds a BA in Politics and French from the University of Bristol.

 

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