Merkel plays down expectations for June EU summit

Thu Jun 7, 2012 3:30am IST

* June 28-29 EU summit part of gradual process, Merkel says

* Will not "decide the big throw" on fiscal integration

* Merkel says two-speed Europe already a reality

BERLIN, June 7 (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel played down expectations on Thursday that a European summit at the end of the month could produce a master plan for the future of Europe but said it would come up with an agenda to integrate further.

"I don't believe that there will be one single summit that will decide the big throw," Merkel said in an interview with ARD public broadcasters to be aired later on Thursday.

"But what we have been doing for some time, and on which a working plan will certainly be presented in June, is to say we need more Europe," she added.

European leaders will devote the summit in Brussels to discussing closer integration and more central power to manage euro area finances.

Expectations are mounting in financial markets that the summit could come up with more than a general path towards a formal accord a year from now.

Merkel, who has said repeatedly the way ahead was "more Europe, not less", said that did not just include a currency union but also a fiscal union, joint budget policy and a political union.

"That means in the future we will also have to hand over competencies to Europe step by step and give Europe opportunities to control," Merkel said.

Merkel said closer integration in some parts of Europe - such as in the euro zone currency bloc and the Schengen area of free movement - would lead to a two-speed Europe.

"We already have that in different areas today," she said. "Whoever is in a currency union, will have to get move closer together. We have to be open to make it possible for everyone to participate. But we cannot stand still because some do not want to go with us," she said.