BRUSSELS, February 10. /TASS/. The European Union does not have any new big ideas for the continuation of its integration, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, said in an interview with TASS.
"A certain big idea has always been a guiding star in the process of the European integration. Initially, the idea of setting up what is known as the European Union was as simple as a stroke of genius - to prevent a new war in Europe. Every major conflict in Europe during the previous two centuries involved the French and the Germans. That was why the founding fathers of the European project collectivized the key pillars of the economy, at that time those were coal and steel, establishing the European Coal and Steel Community," he noted.
"The next idea was a common market, then - the common currency and later the common space for people’s movement, that is, the Schengen area. The next stage was the EU’s enlargement and the ‘democratization’ process in the whole of Europe in terms of that time, which led to the 2004 explosive expansion (when 10 central and eastern European countries joined the EU that consisted of 15 countries) followed by Romania and Bulgaria in 2007 and Croatia in 2013," Chizhov said.
"There is nothing like that today. No new ideas emerged," he added.
The ambassador noted that the process of forming the European Union and deepening its integration "proceeded at a different pace." "It was thorny and winding, but there were no instances of backtracking," he said referring to the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU.