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Martedì, 23 Agosto 2016 14:16

Hope to go forward together on Ventotene issues - EU

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Brussels - The issues discussed by Italian Premier Matteo Renzi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande at Ventotene are "extremely topical and have topped the European Commission's agenda for some time," an EC spokesman said after Monday's three-way summit off the Italian island.

"We hope to be able to proceed swiftly together, in the interests of all our citizens," he said. "In the meantime, the Commission will continue to work actively on these issues". Topics addressed by the three leaders in a summit aimed at symbolically relaunching the EU post-Brexit included migrants, security, growth and budget flexibility.
Ventotene was chosen by Renzi because one of the founding fathers of European unity, Altiero Spinelli, wrote a precursor document to the EU treaty during WWII there.

Renzi,  Merkel and Hollande on Monday said they wanted to write the EU's future at the summit on an aircraft carrier off Ventotene aimed at helping relaunch the EU at a time of
pressure from terror, migrants, flagging economies and Brexit. 
Speaking amid huge security measures, Renzi said "the EU is not finished with Brexit, let's write the future" and "we want
strong measures for growth". 
Merkel praised Renzi's structural reforms and said Germany wanted "more cooperation on migrants", stressing it had changed its mind on the "Europeanisation" of the problem and that Turkey's role against migrant smugglers was essential.
Hollande said the EU must "protect itself but also welcome those who are fleeing" war and desperation.
All three leaders said their summit was aimed at laying the groundwork for a key mid-September EU summit in Bratislava, Slovakia.
The main topics on the agenda were security and defence, growth and investments, and young people, but also Turkey, migrants and terrorism, Libya, Syria and Italy's reiterated request to move from austerity to more budget flexibility.
In other remarks, Merkel said "I think the stability pact has many possibilities of flexibility" but it will be up to the European Commission to deal with (EU) member States.
"We want Italy, France and Germany to grow to create jobs and the conditions for the future of private investments," she said.
Renzi said that "Italy has the lowest deficit of the last 10 years and will continue with structural reforms and the reduction of the deficit for our children and grandchildren".
He said "we believe Europe is not the problem but the solution.
"Europe for us represents the solution, for the populists on the other hand everything is Europe's fault.
"Europe is the greatest opportunity.
"Let's not be discouraged by Brexit," he said.
Renzi said that the EU must do more to stop migrant departures and "help those who really need it".
He said 102,000 migrants had reached Italian shores this year, compared to 105,000 as of August 20 last year.
Renzi said ahead of the summit that it was easy to blame the EU for things that go wrong but harder to try to build a
different Europe, more attentive to values and less to financial factors.
Trying to improve the European Union is harder than blaming it for everything that goes wrong, Renzi said.
"It's easy to blame Europe for everything," he wrote on his online newsletter ahead of the three-way summit.
"It's difficult to try to build a different Europe, one that focuses more on values and less on high finance. We're trying, with all the energy we have".
His summit with Hollande and Merkel "goes in this direction", Renzi said.
He also said he "respects" chronic critics of the EU who take every opportunity to "scream that everything is going downhill".
The European Union must relaunch ideals of unity and peace, Renzi added.
"Faced with problems, you have to choose: find a good culprit or find a good solution," Renzi wrote on his e-news. (Ansa)

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