New Pact for Europe - National Report - ITALY
This is the fifth in a series of National Reports to be published as part of the new phase of the New Pact for Europe project. According to the NPE Italian Reflection Group, the EU is stuck, with member countries prioritising national interests over the European ones, while problems in the economic, security and migration policy areas are far from overcome. Drawing on the discussions held amongst the members of the group, the report presents a set of conclusions on how to address the key challenges the Union and member states are facing at the moment, and calls on them to take action to boost the legitimacy of the European integration project:
- The Group recommends the completion of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), with a beefed-up Single Resolution Mechanism and a Deposit Insurance Scheme within the Banking Union. It also supports the creation of a European Minister of Finance, responsible for an EU budget that could be drawn from a financial transaction tax or Eurobonds, a European Investment Fund and the development of European unemployment and pension schemes to stimulate citizens' welfare.
- The EU Global Strategy makes a compelling case for EU member states to coordinate their foreign policies more closely and integrate further in the defence field. In this perspective, the Italian NRG considers the implementation of Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), cyber security schemes and more efficient systems for information sharing as national and European priorities.
- Migration is a European problem made more acute by the reluctance of certain member states, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, to show solidarity with those who are most affected by the phenomenon. Migration waves cannot be stopped, but the EU needs to contain and manage them more effectively by, among other things, developing a common asylum system and boosting EU border management assets.
- The electoral performances of anti-European parties, together with the high level of abstention in France, make a European 'great leap forward' in the integration project an unrealistic option. Hence, the group has embraced, with some exceptions, the idea of a multi-speed or multi-tier Europe. The Italian NRG has identified two policy fields in which differentiated integration should be pursued: a) the EMU, with the completion of the Banking Union and greater macroeconomic coordination; and b) defence, with the support for PESCO.