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Piks, Rihards

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Diena - Latvia | 15/06/2006

The proposal for a two-speed Europe

Richard Piks fears that a new proposal for a "two-speed Europe", according to which the Eurozone countries set the pace for all other countries, could be put forward at the EU summit. "Unfortunately, this concept overlooks the fact that nowadays it's the new member states who are showing dynamism, initiative and competitiveness in terms of economic growth, political leadership and foreign policy. There are already two different speeds within Europe, but it's in the new states that the engine is running faster, while for years now the older states have been unable to push through reforms, in particular labour reforms and pension reforms. In 2005, average economic growth in the 12 countries of the Eurozone was at 1.3 percent. In Latvia it was 10.2 percent, in Estonia 9.8 and in Lithuania 7.3 percent. The snail's pace at which the old countries are moving forwards only reinforces scepticism about Europe's future."

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