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European Union

France's Sarkozy urges two-speed Europe and a different migration policy

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has called for big changes to EU structures, calling the idea of Eurozone economies’ equal rights a "myth". He also lashed out at the EU’s current migration policies.

On Thursday, Nicolas Sarkozy weighed into the European Parliament election campaign by pressing for changes to the 28-member bloc's structure.

The conservative former French leader, who is widely expected to seek re-election in 2017, argued for a profound overhaul of EU institutions in an editorial for the weekly news magazine Le Point.

He called the idea of all eurozone nations being of equal weight a "myth", and proposed the creation of a large Franco-German economic zone at the heart of the euro area to reflect what he called a "two-speed Europe."

Heavyweights and dwarfs?

"There is not one Europe, but two, and in the eurozone we must stop believing in the myth of equal rights between all members," Sarkozy commented.

He said a Franco-German core economic zone would allow the two nations to better defend their interests and eradicate current fiscal and social handicaps.

France's urgent need for economic reform

Sarkozy also called for an end to Europe's current visa-free Schengen area, in which there are no passport or border controls in a zone comprising 26 nations.

He warned European migration policy had failed, adding that without a quick fix in coming years, France's social system could break up.

"Europe is not meant to organize social and migratory dumping, almost systematically at the expense of France," he said.

hg/nz (AFP, Reuters)

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