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EU to vow 'common future' after Brexit body blow: draft

AFP  |  Brussels 

The is set to re-commit itself to "our common future" at a summit marking its 60th anniversary, defying Brexit and growing euroscepticism, according to a draft declaration.

They also vow to work for "even greater unity" while allowing "different paces and intensity" of cooperation -- a notion which could fuel tensions among member states.

"We are determined to make the stronger and more resilient, through even greater unity and solidarity amongst us," says the draft document by 27 member states and institutions, dated March 16.

The declaration is likely to be subject to negotiation by EU nations ahead of a summit on March 25 summit, marking the 60th anniversary of the bloc's founding Treaty of

The anniversary summit comes at a critical juncture for the European Union, with about to trigger divorce talks while other eurosceptic movements vie for power.

The one-and-a-half page text, a copy of which was obtained by AFP today, vows: "Unity is both a necessity and our free choice.

"Taken individually, we would be sidelined by global dynamics. Standing together is our best chance to influence them, and to defend our common interests and values."

But it continues: "We will act together whenever possible, at different paces and intensity where necessary, as we have done in the past within the treaty framework and leaving the door open to those who want to join later."

The wording evokes the notion of a two-speed or multi-speed Europe, backed by EU heavyweights France and Germany in response to Brexit.

But it is resisted by newer central and eastern European EU members, led by Poland, who fear being left behind.

The draft document, written in English, the bloc's main working language even though is about to leave, may well be subject to change before the summit.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, March 18 2017. 21:57 IST