The foreign ministers of Lithuania and Germany say that discussions of the idea of a "multiple-speed" European Union (EU), it is necessary to prevent major gaps among countries, as only a unified Europe can retain its influence on the global arena.
Jean-Claude Juncker
© AFP / Scanpix

"EU differences should not become big enough to put certain countries in a leading position and make others lag behind. It should not be a scenario where the bigger countries unite and don't take the smaller ones along," Germany's Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said.

"EU is not just Germany and a few other countries," Gabriel said in Vilnius at a joint news conference with his Lithuanian counterpart, Linas Linkevičius.

The ministers spoke a few hours after European Commission (EC) President Jean-Claude Juncker presented five scenarios of EU future after Britain's exit from the community.

Gabriel expressed belief that the EU should keep its competences in protection of the organization's external borders, common security and defense policy and some other issues, as only a unified Europe can offset the growing power of China and the United States.

Linkevičius noted that some countries had already chosen different models of integration. In his words, discussion of future scenarios should not boost disunity.

"We already have different speeds – not all EU countries are part of the Schengen zone and have adopted the euro. Our opinion in Lithuania is that the future scenarios should be developed by way of including others as much as possible, not fragmenting them," said the minister.

In Linkevičius' words, Lithuania is against revision of the EU treaty.

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