Terricabras on the future of Europe
President of the European Free Alliance Group in the European Parliament, Josep-Maria Terricabras has called for Europe to embrace the diversity that strongly pro-European nations like Catalonia and Scotland have to bring to the future of the EU.
Terricabras was speaking in a debate in the European Parliament with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on his much awaited 'White paper on the future of Europe', which sets out five scenarios for the future course of the EU post-Brexit.
The different scenarios are "carrying on", "nothing but the single market", "those who want more do more", "doing less more efficiently", "and doing much more together."
The paper had been widely anticipated ahead of the EU's 60th anniversary summit to be held in Rome on 25 March.
Speaking in the debate, Josep-Maria Terricabras said:
"I speak on behalf of the European Free Alliance in this Parliament. With Brexit, we know that the future of Europe will be quite different in a few months' time. In preparation for that, we need to start taking our own slogan of 'United in Diversity' a lot more seriously.
"Up until now it's been quite possible for each member State to do its own thing, and in this sense we are not building a genuine 'Union'.
"In future, the Union will only be possible if two conditions are applied.
"Firstly that Europe recognises the importance of medium sized nations and embraces strongly pro-European historic nations like Scotland and Catalonia.
"Secondly that all member States, existing and future, accept that respect for diversity can only be achieved if at the same time they accept common bonds and commitments that make us stronger, including ties in the fields tax, trade, foreign policy, defence and respect for human rights.
"This means that for a Europe of the future we need to embrace more diversity, combined with a more effective unity. This is the only way to maintain the credibility of our European values."