Dutch PM Rutte wants less integration in the EU
Unlike French President Emmanuel Macron, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte doesn't want to push forward with integration in the EU. The EU is not an "unstoppable train speeding towards federalism", he said in a speech on his vision for the future of the EU in Berlin on Friday. He demanded that the Union works more for its Member States, instead of the other way around, the Financial Times reports.
Rutte wants member states to take more responsibility for their own problems and own financial stability. "That the Dutch national football team won't be competing at the next World Cup is not a reason to send a European team in 2022. The Netherlands is going to get there on its own, I guarantee that", the Dutch Prime Minister said.
Rutte addressed France and Germany's wish for a European emergency fund. Rutte is not against such a fund, but he thinks that asking for aid from other EU countries should be a "last resort, not first aid", he said. "The recipe for a larger cake is not centralized bailout funds and printing more money, but structural reforms and sound budgets."
And if countries can't get their affairs in order, Brussels should be able to punish them, Rutte said. Subsidies countries receive should not be taken for granted. If Member States do not adhere to the EU economic agreements, subsidies must be withdrawn. "A deal is a deal", Rutte said.
The remaining EU members should also not push more money into the EU budget after the Brexit, Rutte said. "My goal for the multi annual budget is this: no increase in contributions, but better results with a smaller budget."
Nevertheless, Rutte believes that the future of the Netherlands is in the European Union, as long as the EU takes on concrete projects, he said, according to broadcaster NOS. He wants the EU to focus on security and stability in the coming years. "It is absolutely clear that no Member State can deal with these developments alone: insecurity and instability are many headed monsters. Our unanimity is the best weapon against this", he said. "Pompous visions don't provide jobs and safety. Nor does screaming on the flanks. Only hard work does that. Step by step.", Rutte said.