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    In an interview with Sputnik Poland, economist Grzegorz Malinowski said that the fate of the EU may be sealed during the upcoming presidential elections in Germany and France rather than at the EU summits

    EU Risks Being Divided Into 'Important and Most Important Countries'

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    In an interview with Sputnik Poland, economist Grzegorz Malinowski said that the fate of the EU may be sealed during the upcoming presidential elections in Germany and France rather than at the EU summits.

    During an EU summit in Versailles on March 6, the leaders of France, Germany, Italy and Spain called for the creation of a so-called "multi-speed" Europe.

    French President Francois Hollande said in turn that the option of a "multi-speed" Europe, with different countries integrating at different levels, has been resisted for a long time but is now being considered as a possibility, according to Euronews.

    Asked about what this "multi-speed" Europe would mean for Poland and other Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, Polish economics expert Grzegorz Malinowski told Sputnik Poland that there are several scenarios as far as the future of the EU is concerned.

    He recalled that debates about the future of Europe are under way, reflecting that it is "inevitable now that the former formula of the EU has exhausted itself after Britain's decision to withdraw from the bloc."

    "Currently, many meetings and forums are devoted to finding a way out of a difficult situation. But personally, I suppose that much will be decided during the presidential elections in France and Germany, not during the EU summits," Malinowski said.

    "But already now, one can see several scenarios related to the future development of the EU, with one of them stipulating a strengthening of the role of leadership and bureaucracy in Brussels," according to him. 

    "For Poland and other CEE countries, this will deal a blow to their national interests, and this will prevent us from taking part in making all vital decisions. So it is safe to say that there will be only two categories of countries in the European Union — important and most important," he added.

    When asked whether Brexit will have an impact on the future of the euro, Malinowski again pointed to the forthcoming presidential polls in Germany and France, which he said may be of paramount importance.

    "We perceive Brexit as a kind of a terrible dark cloud of 'our ignorance'. For the EU, the loss of Britain is very tangible because the country was the strongest in the bloc from a military and financial standpoint," he said.

    As for Brexit's impact on the euro's future, the answers can probably be found not at the EU summits, but during the presidential elections in France and Germany, which could bring a lot of surprises, according to Malinowski.

    "We may see different scenarios, including the most pessimistic one: the disintegration of the Eurozone and the breakup of the European Union, something that certain forces inside the EU and beyond are looking forward to," he concluded.

    Earlier this month, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said that the Visegrad Group countries, namely the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, had adopted  a joint declaration on the future of the European Union, which is expected to be presented at an EU summit in Rome, due to kick off on March 25.

    The Polish PM added that the key provision of the declaration was the necessity to maintain the bloc's unity and opposition to the divisions within the international organization.

    According to Szydlo, the statement also stresses the necessity to oppose protectionism in the labor market.

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