Palma.—17 European Union foreign ministers have been meeting in Palma to discuss the future of Europe and yesterday morning, they were joined by Crown Prince Felipe as the conference entered its final day in Palma. All 17 are members of the Reflection Europe group set up by the German foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, and this is the second consecutive year the meeting has been held in Majorca where Westerwelle owns a second home.

As the meeting drew to a close yesterday, all of the delegates attending agreed that a greater level of unity is needed within the European Union to protect the European project from “deconstruction.” During a press conference given by the Spanish foreign minister, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo and his German counterpart, Guido Westerwelle, the two men said that outside of Europe “there is no salvation” under the current climate and warned that not one European country is “capable of facing up to the challenges of the new world on its own.” Whether these claims will filter back to the United Kingdom, which is not a member of the group, remains to be seen, but it appears that quite a sizable part of the UK would beg to differ and opt to go it alone.

The 17 ministers have drawn up a report entitled “A strong, competitive, committed Europe with a stronger position on the world stage.” Garcia-Margallo said that unless the European Union has a stronger and more united voice “we will be heard less in a more competitive world.” Westerwelle stressed that the Union has to understand that if one country sneezes the union will catch a cold and called on fellow member states to be more proactive, “it is naive to think that a member state would want to drift away from the benefits of being part of the Union.” But, he admitted that the forthcoming European election will decide the direction in which the Union goes “that is why we have drawn up this document which we hope sets out a clear road map as to where Europe should be going in the future.”


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