Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Responses to David Cameron's Europe Speech

Responses to the PM's Europe speech are starting to come in.

European Council President Donald Tusk has posted a note on Twitter acknowledging receipt of the email which contained the letter referred to in David Cameron's speech setting out his negotiating position. Trump said that

"With David Cameron's letter, negotiations" (on the UK's status in the EU) "can now begin."

Bart De Wever, leader of the N-VA party in Belgium gave a positive response, saying that

"Reforming Europe is also necessary for Flanders."

He argues that the current European Union is unable to adequately deal with the changing social reality.

"The bureaucratic and centralist approach doesn't provide progress. The EU all too often causes problems instead of offering solutions. The British reform proposals will change this," he said.

"Cameron has made thoughtful proposals to strengthen our Competitiveness The extent to which companies in one country can compete with similar companies in another country. A law came into force in Belgium in 1996 to monitor competitiveness  and to build the Union through a bottom-up approach.

"He deserves credit for daring to show where the problems lie and for pointing out abuse. Cameron's ideas will not only benefit the United Kingdom, but also Flanders and the whole European Union."

De Wever emphasised the British proposals on immigration and Social security

"The EU is built on shared values," he added. "

"But these basic principles can't be used as an excuse to undermine the welfare state. Newcomers cannot enjoy the same social rights as those who have for several years contributed to the social security system. Free movement within the Union shouldn't be misused to shop between Member States, looking for the best social protection. Cameron makes this very clear and shows he had understood this."

Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark, tweeted that DC's speech was
"A good basis for concrete negotiations."
He added that those negotiations would be difficult but hoped they would succeed.

Angela Merkel said last week that, although she did not agree with every line of David Cameron's proposals,  she backs UK calls-for European Union reform.

"Where there are justified concerns - whether competitiveness or a better functioning of the EU - British concerns are our concerns." she said.

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