“We Need Brave Europeans!”

Pier Luigi Bersani, General Secretary of the Partito Democratico, speaks at the DGAP about the Opportunities that the EU offers Italy

05/02/2013 | 13:30 - 15:00 | DGAP | Invitation only

Speech

Category: Italy, Elections

In late February Italians go to the polls. Pier Luigi Bersani, the center-left candidate has good chances to become Italy's next leader. In Berlin, he talked about Italy's problems and his plans as Prime Minister. He stressed that the economic crisis can only be overcome through deeper integration and member state solidarity.

Pier Luigi Bersani

Italy is still in the midst of economic and social crisis. Austerity programs and recession have been taking a toll on inhabitants. 700,000 jobs have been lost and the economic outlook for 2013 is not optimistic.
Rome is working hard to get the economy growing again, said Bersani on February 5 in a discussion at the DGAP. In particular, more must be done to end the extreme unemployment among younger people.

 

Hope Rests on the Common Market

Bersani hopes momentum will come from the common market. European integration has brought Italy prosperity before. Which is why “developing Europe further is Italy's biggest national interest,” according to Bersani. Bersani argued strongly that further European integration should be seen as the solution to the current problems – and as a goal worth fighting for. “Europeans cannot retreat to the national level and leave the stage to the EU-skeptics.”

The crisis, Bersani argued, cannot be addressed through financial measures alone. “Cutting costs is not a sufficient political approach,” he said. “The EU has to address issues that interest the people,” including common economic and social policies.

Bersani also stressed the importance, indeed, necessity of solidarity. A country that is doing its part to implement the savings and reforms asked of it, must be able to depend on the solidarity of the other member states. The level of current integration already makes it impossible for a state to worry only about itself. All members share responsibility, her argued: “We are sitting in the same boat.” 

 

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