Germany mulls 'a la carte' European treaty changes
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Wednesday that EU countries should be able to opt whether to take part in European treaty changes on fiscal reform.
With some non-eurozone European Union nations reluctant to re-open talks on modifying treaties, notably Britain, the German minister said a "differentiated" approach could be the way forward.
"Some of the 10 countries that are not in the eurozone have big reservations... they are not ready for a deepening" of European treaties, he told MPs on the lower house of parliament's European affairs committee.
"But a differentiated cooperation is always possible," he added, citing the example of negotiations on the visa-free Schengen area.
"Everyone would be invited but there would be the possibility to differentiate," he said, pointing to the option of choosing to what degree, or at what speed, a country signs up for the treaty change.
Berlin is pushing for a change to Europe's treaties to include more coercive budgetary discipline, including the possibility to take countries that contravene budgetary rules to the European Court of Justice.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said earlier at a conference in Berlin that the EU was "not viable" without treaty changes that would place stricter controls on public finances, allowing the bloc to become a "stability union".
© 2011 AFP