A few days ago, the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi joined the fourth edition of "The state of the Union", a three day initiative promoted by the European University Institute (EUI) in Fiesole. The Premier held his speech at Palazzo Vecchio, Florence. His main idea and wish for the future is to see the twenty eight European countries united under a single State of Union.
Minister Renzi summarized the aim of Italy's next European presidency in three main points:
First, they will concentrate on growth and employment rather than on rigor and authority. Concrete measures will be taken to support European middle class citizens, thus shifting the focus away from other macroeconomic factors. Europe should converge into a unified set of laws that regulate the labour market. By reaching a common right, they would be a stronger entity to face international competition. The specifics on the future of European economics, which is moving towards digitalization, will be discussed in depth in "Digital Venice", on the 9thof July.
Second, rights of citizenship will be defined. On this topic, he further invoked more participation of the European Union on the definition of borders. "Is the Mediterranean Sea Italy's border or Europe's?", asked Mr. Renzi. In particular, he stressed the importance of sharing responsibilities of welcoming in Europe the over 30 thousand immigrants reaching Mediterranean shores every year. The same applies to the situation in Ukraine, where, he claims, problems should be solved with a Unitarian approach.
To conclude, Renzi suggested a higher focus on cultural values rather than economic factors. We live in the era of Schengen agreement and Erasmus exchange programs. Younger generations constitute our greater resource and we should invest more in creating a more spread European shared set of beliefs and sense of belonging.