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Differentiated Europe Macron's Initiative for Europe
The idea of Europe is not new and does not start with the European Union. Throughout the centuries, there have been various visions for the old continent. Through the conquests of Napoleon, to the European society of Westphalia, up to the present European Union, the project build on a promise for peace, prosperity and freedom. Each period brought different challenges for the Europeans, for which solutions were made in accordance with the current political and international circumstances, from the time of empires to today's Europe. The uniqueness of the old continent is in the richness of different cultures and peoples. Europe, as a garden with unique original beauty, created by the uniqueness of the different flowers (countries), of which it is composed. And here, in this metaphor for Europe, is the challenge. How from this collage of differences, to reach the goal of Europe as a power, with the ambition of an independent geopolitical player on the chessboard. One of the key elements for geopolitical Europe is a territory (uniting the countries on the old continent), demography (number and structure of people) and strong economy and defense. The idea is not new and dates back to the very beginning of the creation of the European Community. As early as 1970, Europe had political cooperation on diplomatic issues. In 1992, the Lisbon Declaration created the European Union, and since 1999, a common security and defense policy. "European power" is not a new term, and it is traditionally used by France. Although criticized for Euroscepticism, General de Gaulle had a vision for a strong and united Europe. This claim is confirmed by his Fouchett plan for the political Union. Fuschett's plan did not materialize at the time it was proposed, but his vision began to be realized later. At the Summit held in 1974, at the suggestion of France, the European Council was created. The European Council, as the European collective head of state, is the "leadership" of European policy, both in terms of strategic policies and crisis management. Although the 1970s were marked by Euro-pessimism due to the economic crisis and the stagnation of European integration, the Strong Europe project was revived through the Maastricht Treaty with the beginning of foreign policy and security policy cooperation. And later through the creation of the European Union and the Monetary Union (Lisbon Declaration, 1992). It should be noted that France has always been in favor of greater integration inward (deepening) at the expense of territorial integration/enlargement. That is why, in any enlargement with new members, France's demand is for greater integration within the Union. No surprise is the recent Macron's calling for reform inside the EU. After the latest enlargements of the Union, especially in 2009 with the countries of Eastern Europe, the problems caused by the diversity of the member states are seen, which negatively affects the good functioning of the Union. Additionally, the period of economic crisis, and the danger of Greekxit, the migrant crisis that began in 2015, the rise of populist parties, Brexit, but also previous failures with referendums in France and Denmark over the European Constitution / Lisbon Declaration are some of the challenges that even questioned the very existence of the EU as such. Lately, differences have been reflected within the Union in deciding on common issues, where we are witnessing a veto by certain Eastern Bloc countries, but also a problem with the rule of law in some member states. If we recall that one of the basic values on which the EU is based in democracy and the rule of law and indications of absence is seen in some member states, then the alarm goes on for the need to reconsider the functioning of the Union itself. Over the last decade, by expanding into new political areas and countries with very different institutional traditions and capacities, making the Union too slow, weak and inefficient, the EU has faced a new set of concerns at the cost of growing heterogeneity. The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, opens the debate on the future of Europe in 2017 with the presentation of his Initiative for Europe. He stressed that Europe at the moment is weaker, unprotected from the troubles of today's globalization, and the alternatives offered by certain groups (patriotism, identity, protectionism, neutral sovereignty) are problematic solutions for the future of Europe (Macron E.,2017). Discussions about the European Union's compactness, as well as the prospect of its stagnation or status quo, are nothing new. How can all these differences fit into a system that works, unites and will lead to the ultimate goal for Europe as a power and a political union? The solution and answer to this question try to give one of the most researched notions and part of the debates on the future of the European Union, the notion of differentiation integration.
2. What is differentiated integration (DI)?
Ever since the early 1990s, and especially since the adoption of The Maastricht Treaty, differentiated integration has become one of the main topics of debate in the European Union. Although, Leruth argues that some legal mechanisms of differentiated integration can be traced back to the Treaty of Rome (Leruth, B. 2020). We are witnessing that certain EU policies and rules are not applied in the same way by all member states, and vice versa, for example, in relation to the monetary Union, the Schengen area, the rules of the internal market and the alike. Certain policies involve non-EU countries, while EU members are not part of the same policies. All these examples are a feature of differentiated integration(DI). DI is a consequence of the expansion, both territorially with new members and deep inward, by expanding the scope of Treaties competencies. DI often can be found describing formal opt-outs, refereeing to multi-speed integration (Stubb, A. 1996, Kölliker, A. 2001). Schimmelfennig defines European integration as differentiated if EU rules and policies are not legally valid in all member states - or not exclusively valid in member states. In internal differentiation, individual EU member states do not participate in specific EU policies. Either they enjoy opt-outs that free them from the obligations of membership, or they are excluded from the rights and benefits of an integrated policy. In external differentiation, non-member states selectively adopt EU policies (F. Schimmelfennig, 2019). According to Kolliker, flexibility and European unification identify legal differentiation (flexibility) as a key mechanism of the European Union to overcome the stalemate over the past two decades. He argues that "differentiation" is a general term for the possibility for member states to have different rights and obligations in certain areas of common policy (Kölliker, A. 2002). The EU is made up of a number of policies, which vary from country to country in terms of their centrality and territorial extension. 'Vertical integration refers to the centralization of EU decision-making in various policy areas. Vertical differentiation refers to the fact that the level of vertical integration varies between policies. Some policies remain the sole responsibility of states, while others are in the realm of EU supranational policy-making. "Horizontal integration" captures the territorial expansion of EU jurisdiction in each policy area. Horizontal differentiation captures variation in horizontal integration through policies. Some integrated policies apply to the whole of the EU, others even extend to non-member countries, and still, others liberalize a large number of EU Member States. (D. Leuffen, B. Rittberger, F. Schimmelfennig, 2012). Suppose we say that the EU is a hybrid type ((D. Leuffen, B. Rittberger, F. Schimmelfennig, 2012), i.e. the EU as a system with an organization and a core member state, but with a level of centralization and territorial extension that differs according to (Leuffen et al. 2013: 10), then the dynamics of flexible European integration through the policies of the EU and the Member States can best be explained through the perspective of the DI.
The Maastricht Treaty (1992) introduces a milestone in institutional differentiation, i.e. differentiation in governance structures, introducing three different pillars of decision-making: a supranational pillar for the single market (the European Commission, which has a monopoly on the legislative initiative, and the European Parliament, which approve/disapprove of the Commission proposals), as well as the two intergovernmental pillars: The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Justice and Home Affairs Council (JHA), where the main decision-making institutions are the Council of the European Union (government ministers from each EU country) and the European Council (heads of state or government of EU countries). The differentiation of decision-making regimes was further consolidated with the creation of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) in 1994, whose economic policy was placed under the control of intergovernmental institutions, while monetary policy was given full control of a supranational institution, i.e. European Central Bank (ECB). The Treaty of Lisbon of 2009 (which gave full legal entity to the EU) formally abolished the division into pillars, but left a significant division in the system of governance between different policy-making regimes, strengthened the supranational single-market policy-making regime, and institutionalized the intergovernmental decision-making regime for CFSP policies by decision of the European Council (Fabbrini 2013, 2015; Fossum and Menéndez 2011). In addition, with the Lisbon Treaty, not only was the European Council fully recognized as an EU institution, it became an appropriate executive institution (a separate entity). Furthermore, the European leaders with the 'Rome declaration' from March 25, 2017, acknowledged the reality of continuing the differentiated integration, with the following words: "We will act together, at different paces and intensity where necessary, while moving in the same direction, as we have done in the past, in line with the Treaties and keeping the door open to those who want to join later." (The Rome Declaration, 2017).
This approach is also found in the Initiative for Europe of the French President Macron, where he mentions different integration as a solution for further EU integration and Europe's future. However, it is important to note that he emphasizes the importance of first providing a stronger, more stable foundation for the EU in order to enable greater forms of differentiation, i.e. differentiation as a basic form of integration. Announcing the return of time for France to make its proposal, he, in 2017 in his speech at the Sorbonne, explained the idea for a sovereign Europe, which is based on basic goals: united, differentiated Europe, a democratic Europe that supports the initiative from conventions. He further explains that the EU should not be defined as a closed club only for those who could be members of it, but to define the method and the way forward, and all who have ambition, desire and power to be able to join without blocking or stopping others. But let's see what the key goals of the Initiative for Europe are, seeing them through the prism of DI. For Macron, the application of differential integration is conditioned by the stability of the European institutions through their reform, so it will be possible to realize the ambitious DI through which the countries of the Western Balkans can gradually join the EU. The first commitment to reforming the institutions is the establishment of a smaller Commission that would have 15 members. If we compare the previous Jean-Claude Juncker's Commission and the new one of Ursula von der Leyen, we notice a decrease in the number of members of the Commission, from 20 to 18 Commissioners. But if the necessary efficiency is achieved, if you look at the number together with the vice presidents, the difference would be reduced to - 1. Not enough to achieve change.
Let's look at Macron's proposals in the field of defense and migration through the prism of DI.
Macron is pushing for stronger defense and security cooperation. His commitment to further integration on these issues is, in fact, a two-tier one: "building a European defense in partnership with Germany and bringing together other prepared European member states through the European Defense Fund aimed at funding military equipment and a permanent European headquarters." In this case, for Emanuel Macron, the goal would be an autonomous opportunity to act for Europe in addition to NATO. To achieve this goal, "Europe needs to establish a common intervention force, a common defense budget and a common doctrine of action." He also expressed a desire to accelerate the implementation of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO). This wish was fulfilled with the start of PESCO at the meeting of the European Council in December 2017. Emmanuel Macron also called for a "European intervention initiative" "to better integrate our armed forces at every stage". This means a new and big change, not only a technical but also a psychological change. In fact, France is developing defense cooperation outside the EU, hence "moving from an EU-focused approach to a European-oriented approach". In other words, he wants to promote a "common strategic culture" by opening up the French army to military personnel from "all European volunteer states" - not just the EU. The aim will be to participate, "as far as possible, in French operations planning, planning, intelligence and support operations". This is a medium-term project (2022-2024) that allows willing European countries to act militarily "regardless of the existing institutional framework of the EU or NATO". In addition, Emmanuel Macron is aiming for a European Intelligence Academy and a joint civil protection force.
According to Macron, defense is the basis of all political communities, which is the essence of sovereignty. The best way to realize cooperation in this area is when countries sovereignly decide to cooperate. The way in which this strategy will be achieved is first through the support of the most concerned European partners, who would lay the foundations for its implementation, i.e. DI approach in the realization and achievement of the goal for European defense. Furthermore, by designing tangible tools, common awareness is expected to be achieved, shared interests, acting autonomously and in solidarity. This path involves building European freedom of action that encapsulates and strengthens national sovereignty. In his vision for Europe, Macron recalls to words of General de Gaulle: "No alliance can be considered separately from the effort undertaken by each of its members, on its behalf, at its cost and on the basis of interests which are it's own".
Although the issue of defense was raised in 1999, in the past 20 years, there have been no real steps in that direction, to date through the European Defense Fund, strengthened cooperation (PESCO), but also the European Intervention Initiative (EI2). The development of Defense Europe begins with the launch of an initiative by the European Commission, supported by the Franco-German Alliance, i.e. through a supranational institution. Given that Europe is composed of countries with different cultures, historical, political, etc., and in order to bring closer and cooperate at a closer level in the spirit of common interests, a European intervention initiative is formed, with a goal to form a shared strategic culture. On June 25, 2018, nine member states, including France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain, launched the "European Intervention Initiative" to build a common strategic culture among its members. Finland, Sweden, Norway and Italy have since joined. EI2 aims to promote the sharing of anticipatory work, planning habits, operational experience, and joint deployments with EU's major partners. Permanent Structured Cooperation is assuring making enhanced commitments, common progress and better coordination between states. Great changes are needed to create this convergence and this DI approach to have success. France is launching an initiative in the French forces to include members of the service from all European countries who wish to participate, which would help other European countries to follow the example that would lead to the creation of a common culture in this regard. The ultimate goal of this approach is for Europe to establish a common intervention force, a common defense budget and a common doctrine of action by the beginning of the next decade. Since not all member states are participating in all these new policies, the road map is drawn with DI, with an open door for the others to join once they decide and are ready.
Another challenge to Macron's strategy, related to security and stability, which also can be debated in a matter of DI, is the migration crisis. The migration crisis is a lasting challenge. For the French president, Europe has only one choice: "either to withdraw to our borders, which would be illusory and inefficient or to build a common zone of borders, asylum and immigration." In this context, Macron reaffirmed the need for: a European Asylum Office to expedite and harmonize procedures, as well as the creation of interconnected databases and secure biometric identification documents and the establishment of a European Border Police Force that could ensure "rigorous management" with the borders and the return of "those who can not stay." Beyond these more repressive aspects, Emmanuel Macron called on the EU to "fund a major European refugee training and integration program" and a solid common foreign policy towards the Mediterranean and Africa. The latter will contribute to their stabilization and development and potentially succeed in reducing migration flows.
Although the migrant crisis of 2015 has been overcome, there are still challenges in the future, with migrants waiting in Turkey, the Balkan route which continues to be active and human smuggling networks are still operating, the central Mediterranean route (problem with refugees and displaced persons currently waiting on the Libyan side). Italy and Libya are especially affected, but also and Spain (the western Mediterranean route is becoming a priority once again). That is why a joint declaration was adopted in Paris, between France, Italy, Spain - European nation, Chad, Niger - the African nation, the one affected and willing to be part of this action.
Through progress in migration policy, the ultimate goal is to build the external and internal community that Europe desires. Therefore, by creating a European Monetary Union's program (EMU) that directly and financially supports the indigenous authorities that receive and integrate refugees, and at the request of the Council of the EU, in September 2020, the Commission designed the New Agreement on Migration and Asylum the so-called New Pact on Migration and Asylum, replacing the "Dublin regulation ". The new agreement has common structures for asylum and is a return and a robust replaceable mechanism of community, i.e. a new balance between responsibility and community. Attempts to reform Dublin, which introduced a mechanism for distributing expatriates across the EU, so far have failed; several European countries such as Poland and Hungary have rejected asylum seekers from alternative EU countries. So, this is the first step toward a new policy that replaces Dublin regulation. Furthermore, in June 2021, an agreement to establish an EU Agency for Asylum is made, which aim is the asylum procedures in the EU to go faster and be more uniform. The external dimension of the pact - which includes strengthening partnerships with countries of origin and transit in the EU's immediate neighborhood and at the far end - is its basis. The next level concerns policies to strengthen and improve the management of the EU's external borders. With the last level, it proposes rules for solving the long-standing challenge at EU intervals to realize an even additional distribution of responsibilities and promote unity among EU members in the management of asylum seekers and refugees. At all three levels, the agreement faced setbacks. For the relevance of the third floor, the Commission was criticized for prioritizing additional conservative and anti-immigrant member states such as Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. The written agreement allows members to cooperate in relocating asylum seekers and refugees at EU intervals, giving them the opportunity to support alternative member states. Serious doubts have been expressed about the sustainability of this topic, and the complicated nature of DI can be seen here.
To sum up, DI is desirable but to be debated with caution. The Initiative for Europe of the French President Macron, as shown through the two policies of defense and migration, is based on multi-speed, i.e. gradual accession of countries, i.e. on the basis of DI. So, analyzing the French position, differentiated integration is a way forward for Europe, but only if at the same time countries have fulfilled the non-negotiable requirements for respect of the basic values as democracy, the rule of law and acceptance of the acquis communautaires. Hence, for these policies, DI is not an option. All member states, as well as candidate countries, must respect these policies as fundamental common values: the rule of law and democracy. In the absence of these policies, there will be no basis on which the EU exists as a political union, so the key question is to be careful about which forms of differentiation are in favor of democracy and do not endanger it, and which forms of differentiation are not in favor of democracy, i.e. give the opposite result lead to disintegration (read more: F. Schimmelfennig (2020), Fossum. JE, 2015). Macron's proposal for a new Enlargement Methodology can be seen through the prism of DI. The new approach to enlargement, according to France, is based on four principles: gradual association, strict conditions, material benefits, reversibility (gradual association, stringent conditions, tangible benefits, reversibility). The new methodology groups all 33 negotiating chapters into six clusters. Candidate countries will be integrated through gradual integration into the various EU policies; if the reforms are properly implemented or if this is not the case and there is a lack of progress, the process is reversed, i.e. positive and negative conditionality and reversibility are introduced within the process of accession. In addition to the role of the supranational body of the EU Commission, a significant role is also given to the intergovernmental body of the European Council. In this way, the enlargement process will be more dynamic and politically driven. Those who can do more go further, those who can not do not stop the progress of the former. As Vivien A. Schmidt contends this multi-clustered Europe is the only feasible future, with institutional reforms as necessary for ensuring a positive future of differentiated integration (V. Schmidt,2019). Something which we can find in Macron's proposal for Europe: multi-speed Europe, reform of institutions and decision making, with core full-field values such as the rule of law and democracy.
3. What is European Union (EU)?
The European Union is, by its nature, original and unique. The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1951, The European Economic Community (EEC) in 1958, to the present-day European Union. The European Union (EU) is an ambitious project for international integration that results in the creation of a huge geopolitical region. It is a political model that challenges conventional assumptions of governance and even sovereignty. The European Union (EU) is not a conventional international organization because its member states are now so closely linked that withdrawal is almost never a viable and easy option. But Brexit, on the other hand, is proof that the EU is facing significant disintegration pressure, which could lead to a member state withdrawing from the Union (Article 50). The EU does not comply with conventional sovereignty rules. EU member states have shared sovereignty. Transnational institutions have been set up, such as the European Commission or the European Court of Justice, which can make decisions against some Member States. Judgments of the court have direct effect and supremacy in national judicial systems, although these doctrines have never been explicitly supported in any treaty. The European Monetary Union has created a Central Bank that now controls the monetary affairs of three of the Union's four largest countries. In a sense, the European Union is a product of a country's sovereignty, as it was created through voluntary agreements between its member states. But in another sense, it is fundamentally at odds with the conventional understanding of sovereignty because those same treaties undermined the legal autonomy of its individual members. The conclusion is that the EU has the characteristics of both a state and an international organization. In which direction it will move more is a constant debate, especially between the proponents of supranationalism and those of intergovernmentalism. Macron in the Initiative for Europe stands for Europe as a political project, a political union. This means further sharing the sovereignty of the member states in a wider segment of EU policies. At the same time, Macron insists on keeping national severity, and that's why in his initiative, the place of the European Council is so strong. Some authors look at the EU from a different perspective and propose to conceptualize the EU and explain its development as a 'system of differentiated integration' (Schimmelfennig F., Leuffen D., Rittberger B, 2015). According to them, as a basic feature of the EU, the differentiation, which we encounter in both deepening and enlargement, becomes important when we have an increase in tasks, competencies and EU membership, which is the case at the given moment.
4. Between intergovernmentalism and supranationality
Intergovernmentalism sees national governments as key actors in European integration. According to this concept, European integration is guided by national interest. At its core, this interest consists in preserving national autonomy while at the same time increasing national power through integration. Integration decisions are made in intergovernmental negotiations in which national governments agree to further implement the national interest, in which negotiations are dominated by powerful governments. According to intergovernmentalism, the integration process remains under the control of the governments of the member states, which jointly determine the speed and substance of all further steps of integration. Intergovernmentalism originated in 1960 and is associated with de Gaulle and the "empty chair crisis". Andrew Moravcsik explains the liberal intergovernmentalism or European integration from 1955 to 1999. He considers several fields as relevant: 1. formation of national preferences, whether they are solely due to geopolitical interests or due to other special interests (as economic); substantive bargaining, whether they take place through manipulation of information of supranational actors or through interstate bargaining; 3. Creation of EU institutions, where we see the federal idea, the need for technocratic management or the interest to create a credible commitment of states. The conclusion in the study, The Choice for Europe, is that EU integration can best be understood as a series of rational elections of national leaders (A. Moravcsik, 1998).
Supranationality considers actors and processes above and beyond the view of the nation-state is the source of European integration. Supranational actors and transnational interest groups are increasingly gaining autonomy throughout the whole integration process and trying to get the integration process in the desired direction. In order to achieve their goals, transnational interest groups rely on their power to lobby. Transnational organizations use their formal institutional competencies, as well as informal institutional resources (such as expertise), to influence integration processes and outcomes. Under certain conditions, institutions set up by the governments of the Member States encourage a process of self-empowerment, thus escaping the control of the Member States. Integration thus has a transformative impact on the state system and state actors. The supranationality of the EU, in a structural sense, means the existence of institutions of government authority that touch on the archetype of the federation, closer than any international organisation in the past. Even though supranationalism has developed into a hybrid in practice in which neither the federal nor the intergovernmental tendency has clearly triumphed, these relations have created expectations and shaped attitudes that undoubtedly lead to greater integration. Compared to conventional international organisations, supranational diversity facilitates the restructuring of expectations and responds to events far more easily.
Has European integration reached its peak, and is interstate cooperation returning to the "old normal" of intergovernmental relations of "sovereign states," which is the foundation of international relations? (B.Leruth, J.Trondal, S.Ganzele, 2017) This is one of the questions that, after the crises in the EU, are asked.
The EU not only exercises its own competence, but also coordinates basic state powers in areas of national competence. In order to combine the two tasks of exercising its competence and coordinating its national competence, the Union had to distinguish between its own decision-making methods and the models of participation of member states in specific policies. The effect is that the EU includes two institutional systems or principles, respectively to the supranational system of the community and more the intergovernmental system of the Union. No other solution would be compatible with preserving the integrity of the two-tier system (Fossum. JE, 2019). In this regard, analysing the Europe Initiative, it is noted that there is an intertwining at both levels of decision-making, i.e. Macron includes supranational and interstate governance. This feature and his approach are also present in the new Enlargement Methodology, which was adopted in 2019 at the suggestion of France. In addition to the role of the EU Commission (supranational body), which had an important place in this process, in the new French proposal, in the new methodology, a more important role is assigned to the Council (interstate body). With this two-level system, the argument is that it will provide stronger political steering, better results, credibility and legitimacy of the process on all European levels.
5. The White paper
"Europe will not be made all at once or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity", said Robert Schuman on May 9 1950. This is the thought of one of the founding fathers of the European Union, which was placed at the beginning of a document called The White paper on the future of Europe, published by the European Commission in 2017, a few months before the 60th anniversary of the Rome Declaration. The White paper presents five scenarios, according to which the future of the European Union can take place, as follows (European Commission, 2017): Scenario 1: Carrying On; Scenario 2: Nothing but the Single Market; Scenario 3: Those Who Want More Do More; Scenario 4: Doing Less More Efficiently; Scenario 5: Doing Much More Together.
This is the first document of this kind by the Commission, which comes after the crises that the European Union went through its existence. As we mentioned at the beginning, the economic crisis, the rise of populist parties, the two failed referendums - Denmark and France, but also the growing difficulties in agreeing on common policies - can be cited as factors in the Commission's move. The document itself provides a starting point for a debate on the future of Europe, setting out the five options as possible scenarios for the future.which are going from disintegration to more closer EU action (more:Riddervold, M.,Trondal, J.,Newsome, A.,2021). In this document, the approach of differentiated integration can be identified. In this regard, Vivienne Schmidt and Matt Wood, in their analysis of the document, argue that while the focus on differentiated integration is pragmatically useful in the current circumstances, this strategy may exacerbate mistrust in the EU if not accompanied by greater accountability and transparency in decision making (V. Schmidt, M. Wood, 2017). Better involvement and openness to the public in EU decision-making must accompany all forms of differentiated integration, along with further democratisation, if the EU is to restore the trust and legitimacy that the White Paper acknowledges it has lost. Basically, DI in the EU is multi-speed, and the effects of a certain policy on some members are felt after a while. The project of holding a Conference on Europe, where Europeans will be able to give their views on the future of Europe, is also a proposal arising from the Macron Initiative for Europe. Involving the public in the debate to decide their future is key to restoring trust between citizens and the Europe project. Proposing the philosophy of differentiation, differentiated Europe as a way forward, and given that Europe is already developing at several speeds, Macron recognises scenario number 3 of the White Paper of the EU Commission. That is, those who can and want to do more, to do more, to involve others according to their own decision. This not only provides an opportunity for Europe to develop in many respects, whitening and deepening, but also provides an incentive for those who lag behind to get involved in policies already established by a number of Member States that have accepted the challenge in the first moment. From today's perspective, in extremely complicated geopolitical circumstances, as well as the reality of a multipolar world, it would be negative if certain countries are excluded from the integration process, but at the same time, it should not be allowed those who want to make faster progress to be blocked. So, the conclusion would be that Europe's progress will be based on the determination of several countries (core Europe), which ambition does not mean a source of exclusion, but a seed of European unity and sovereignty (Macron E., 2017). In this way, unity in Europe is preserved, with open cooperation for those who want in the policies they choose. This way, the rights that citizens enjoy from the EU differentiation are depending on which member state they live in. Multi-speed Europe or two-speed Europe (core Europe) is the idea that is obviously taking place now, with different countries of Europe integrating at different levels, depending on the political situation in each country. At the moment, this scenario is trying to save the "widening and deepening" in the face of political criticism.
Today's world is multipolar. In recent times, we have seen that there are, and will remain for the foreseeable future, more than two global superpowers: the USA, China, Russia, India, and EU. Some of them still on the rise but with a challenge to get as relevant players to the chessboard of the geopolitical table. EU is situated at the Old Continent, where the heart of connecting the world lies. Having all this on mind, the EU can't afford not working on the profile as autonomy power and political factor, final goal for the geopolitical entity. For achieving this, the EU must consolidate itself, with at the same time expanding territorial along the borders of the Old Continent. Until now, as a possible solution, is seen the differentiation integration in that process. As we elaborate above, the Initiative for Europe has its ground on differentiated Europe, but with basic preconditions for each country willing to joining: the rule of law and democracy. Countries not fulfilling these common values can't be part since that will cause further disintegration. After, each country can join the policy for which she thinks is fully prepared (multi-speed Europe). Defense and migration as two fundamental policies for sovereignty, security and stability of the EU, according to Macron's Initiative, are built on a differentiated integration approach, where supranationality and intergovernmentalism in decision making are mixed. This way, the national sovereignty is guaranteed for the Countries, but also and the supranational entity of the EU (shared sovereignty), fulfilling that way the common Union's goals.
· V. Schmidt, M. Wood (2017) The EU's new white paper underlines why Europe needs to be more open to its citizens, article for EUROPP - European Politics and Policy/ London School of Economics.
· Vivien A. Schmidt (2019) THE FUTURE OF DIFFERENTIATED INTEGRATION: A 'SOFT-CORE,' MULTI-CLUSTERED EUROPE OF OVERLAPPING POLICY COMMUNITIES, Comparative European Politics 17(3).
· S. Fabbrini (2021) Differentiation or federalisation: Which democracy for the future of Europe?, European Law Journal, 1-13.