As it turns 60, the European Union appears engulfed in a crisis. In response to this, political actors have recently advocated a multi-speed Europe. A metaphor for the central idea is the integration highway: since member states are already moving with different speeds, countries need to be separated into different lanes to avoid a major accident. Although the idea of a multi-speed Europe has been criticised as an abatement of the initial dream of simultaneous European integration, this commentary views it as a realpolitik that will allow for greater flexibility in decision-making at times when a fast response to financial, humanitarian and security challenges is imperative. To illustrate this, a scenario is presented on how a multi-speed Europe policy can be applied within the Eurozone to shape two parallel common currency zones. A meticulous application of the multi-speed Europe principle to the Eurozone could address the shortcomings of the initial monetary integration plan and protect the long-term interests of the continent and beyond.
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