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CCTV Script 02/03/17


This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on March 2, Thursday.

Welcome to CNBC Business Daily, I'm Qian Chen.

With the European Union encountering systematic risks and economic weakness, the bloc is looking at potential changes after Brexit.

The question is -- what that vision will be.

Britain has become the first member state to leave the system and populist movements are getting power in some other core member states, such as France and the Netherlands.

On Wednesday afternoon, European Parliament in Brussels proposed five scenarios for the bloc's future.

And here are the five visions mentioned -

1. Carrying on

The first scenario would keep things as they are: Brussels would continue to make an effort to deepen cooperation in the fight against terrorism, build up joint defense capabilities and defend borders, and the eurozone would see "incremental" attempts at improvement.

However, consensus would remain elusive in crucial but contentious areas, and, the white paper says, "the unity of the EU27 is preserved but may still be tested in the event of major disputes."

2. The single market

A second option would acknowledge the difficulties in getting member states to cooperate by essentially asking them to no longer try in most areas. Instead, the focus would narrow to the so-called single market and its 500 million consumers.

This scenario would represent a dramatic and humbling rollback of long-held European aspirations. It would mean an end to efforts for further integration in areas like migration, security and defense.

3. Those who want more, do more

This proposal calls for what is known as a multispeed Europe. Countries willing to integrate in specific areas would do so as "coalitions of the willing." Others could join over time.

Core areas for cooperation could include defense, with European armies readied for joint missions, and the fight against organized crime, which would require deeper cooperation between police and intelligence services and the use of "fully interconnected" databases.

Trade deals with countries outside the bloc would continue to be managed entirely by the European authorities in Brussels, and there would be "greater harmonization of tax rules and rates" to reduce compliance costs and limit tax evasion.

4. Doing less more efficiently

This scenario is all about defining choices and setting priorities. Member states would reclaim responsibility in sectors where they do not want to cooperate; in other, predefined areas, the European Union would act more like a fully federal entity.

"As a result, the EU27 is able to act much quicker and more decisively in its chosen priority areas," according to the white paper, which adds that, "stronger tools are given to the EU27 to directly implement and enforce collective decisions, as it does today in competition policy or for banking supervision."

One benefit of this approach is that it would align Europeans' expectations about what Brussels can deliver by making more clear where European officials have authority. In a recent case where automakers broke pollution rules, Brussels was "widely expected to protect consumers from cheating manufacturers," but it had "no powers or tools to do so in a direct and visible manner."

The paper also suggests a single "European Asylum Agency" to handle all refugee cases. Areas where Brussels might relinquish power include overseeing public health and social policy.

5. Doing much more together

Doing so would offer "far greater and quicker decision making" at the union level, according to the paper. But "there is the risk of alienating parts of society which feel that the E.U. lacks legitimacy or has taken too much power away from national authorities."

Which of the visions outlined below is most likely to prevail? That will depend in large part on which one is favored by the winners of the next round of European elections, to be held in 2019.

One thing that will not change anytime soon is the glacial pace of European decision making. The process of determining what path to take will probably take at least two years, a time frame similar to the one negotiators will have to negotiate Britain's withdrawal from the European Union.

Another thing to notice, on the data front, the IHS Markit euro zone manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 55.4 in February -- the highest reading since April 2011 -- that reading is well above the 50 mark denoting growth and suggests a solid pickup in activity. Optimism among euro zone manufacturers about future business is also surging.

CNBC's Qian Chen, reporting from Singapore.