More centralised EU 'democratically unsustainable': Hague
LONDON - Agence France-Presse
German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle (R) and his British counterpart William Hague (L) listens to Finland's foreign minister at the Berlin Foreign Policy forum in Berlin on October 23, 2012. The foreign ministers of Germany, AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSENBritish foreign minister William Hague will on Tuesday issue a stark warning to European leaders that the EU will face a crisis if it continues to take more powers from national governments.
During his speech in Berlin, Hague will also insist that the eurozone's current structures are not fit for the purpose but that any changes to remedy the currency union's problems must respect the primacy of the single market.
"Clearly the eurozone's current structures are not working," he will tell guests at the Koerber Foundation, according to pre-released extracts of the speech.
"If we do not succeed in making our economies globally competitive and generating sustainable growth then whatever else we do, whatever treaties we sign, whatever structures we build, whatever declarations we sign, will all ultimately be irrelevant," he will add.
According to Hague, the EU has to decide how to accommodate the different kinds of integration members states want; and how to deal with the problem of democratic legitimacy and accountability within the EU.
Thirdly, Hague will stress the importance of getting "the right balance of what the EU does do or doesn't do." Hague will warn against any attempt to use the current crisis to centralise powers, highlighting growing euroscepticism in Britain.
"It is not for Britain to tell you what the exact remedy should be," he will say, while adding: "Some proposals would severely curtail national democracy -- issues like national budgets -- forever.
"Public disillusionment with the EU in Britain is the deepest it has ever been.
"People feel that in too many ways the EU is something that is done to them, not something over which they have a say.
"If we cannot show that decision-making can flow back to national parliaments then the system will become democratically unsustainable," he will add.
At an EU summit last week, British Prime Minister David Cameron threatened to veto the EU's 2014-20 budget if it included increases in spending at a time when member state budgets are being cut.
Germany on Monday denied reports that it would seek to have a future EU summit on the bloc's seven-year budget scrapped if Britain threatened to veto a deal.