In his highly anticipated speech on Europe delivered on Wednesday in London, British Prime Minister David Cameron proposed a referendum on whether the UK should or should not remain a part of the European Union. The vote would take place before the end of 2017, provided the Conservatives win the general election in 2015.
David Cameron listed the three main challenges the EU is currently facing, which if unresolved might push the UK towards the exit: fundamental change in Europe caused by problems in the Eurozone, a crisis of European competitiveness and a widening gap between the EU and its citizens.
“The EU must be able to act with the speed and flexibility of a network, not the cumbersome rigidity of a bloc,” he said.
David Cameron also suggested that he does not wish Britain to leave the EU, he just desires an improvement in the relationship between them: “I do not want that to happen. I want the European Union to be a success. And I want a relationship between Britain and the EU that keeps us in it.”
Merkel and Hollande announce a joint initiative to support the EU
France and Germany announced on Tuesday that they will present a joint initiative to other European Union countries to improve economic and monetary union. The leaders hope the initiative would improve competitiveness and growth.
The initiative would include joint proposals, that go through the labor market to the power sector, focusing on the promotion of renewable energies.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a joint press conference in Berlin with François Hollande, that both of them are aware of their responsibility to overcome the euro zone crisis. Still, she stressed that governments cannot face this challenge on their own and asked the help of unions and employers.