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14 December 2015

The Telegraph: Britain and Italy stand together on EU reform

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Only by accommodating both federalists and free-traders will Europe be fit for the future, the Italian and British foreign ministers write.

[...] And today, Italy and the UK agree on the need for a deep reform of the EU, simplifying its functioning, its procedures and its rules. The time has come to equip the EU with policies and tools better suited to new international challenges. We need to encourage a competitive economy, to promote greater employment and to fully exploit the potential of the single market, not just in physical goods, but also a single market in services and digital goods.

The EU should set a target to reduce the overall regulatory burden on businesses.

But more broadly, we need a better EU to find the right long-term policy response to migration, to bring security and stability to our neighbourhood, to conclude a successful TTIP negotiation and to rebuild trust between EU institutions and European citizens.

Italy and the UK both believe we can work together on an EU reform package that deals with specific issues such as the role of national parliaments, competitiveness, economic governance and welfare, in order to make the EU simpler, more efficient and less bureaucratic. This renegotiation, prompted by the UK reform agenda, is an opportunity to create a more competitive, democratically accountable and flexible EU.

However, to make the most of this opportunity, first and foremost we need to clarify one issue.

The Italian government believes that eurozone member states are entitled to go ahead with greater integration, also as a way of regaining their growth potential and reconstituting the political credibility of Europe. This path can be undertaken in a way that recognises that there is more than one currency in use in the EU at present - and for the foreseeable future - and has full regard to the rights and interests of non-euro member states, in particular safeguarding the integrity of the single market, which is a shared asset of the whole EU. [...]

A successful EU will be on which can combine these different visions of Europe and embrace that diversity. We need a flexible, reformed EU in which different paths of integration can coexist successfully to build a Europe fit for the future. This is what we are working together to achieve.

Full article on The Telegraph

© The Telegraph

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