Tuesday, 9 September 2014
Venue: Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Ave de Cortenbergh 71, 1000 Brussels
From 1th July, Italy held the Presidency of the European. While holding the Presidency for the eleventh time, this term will be particularly crucial, with the EU facing institutional and political transitions after the European elections. In response to the rise of Eurosceptics in the European Parliament, Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, wanted to push for a “United States of Europe” and an “idea of Europe that corresponds to an attractive adventure, rather than just a financial or economic exercise”.
In line with this wish, the Italian government announced it would focus on two main during their Presidency: stimulating growth and fighting unemployment through the redefinition of the European 2020 Strategy as well as solving the migration crisis through the establishment of a common European migration/asylum policy framework. Half-way through the presidency we now ask how Italy is keeping up with its pre-Presidency promises? Has it been able to make its voice heard at a moment where rhetoric surrounding euroscepticism and exit-referenda dominate the media? Can the Italian Presidency open the hearts and minds of the European citizens for Europe once again?