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French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (L) and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni (2ndL) attend a joint news conference during a Franco-German-Italian-Spanish summit ahead of upcoming EU Summit, in Versailles, near Paris, France, March 6, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

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VERSAILLES, France (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday said the European Union risked running into trouble unless it allowed members to participate at varying levels of intensity.

"We need to have the courage for some countries to go ahead if not everyone wants to participate. A Europe of different speeds is necessary otherwise we will probably get stuck," Merkel told a joint news conference with the French, Italian and Spanish leaders in Versailles.

"It needs to always be open for everyone - no one should be excluded but not everyone needs to be forced to participate in every project," Merkel added. "If Europe gets stuck and doesn't develop further, then this work of peace may run into danger faster than one might think."

(Reporting by Reuters TV; Writing by Michelle Martin; Editing by Andrea Shalal)

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