Friday

15th Dec 2017

Monti warns of backlash against EU integration

  • The economic crisis has ‘"undermining the raw material on which European integration is constructed" (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

In the aftermath of the euro crisis, the "backlash against integration" is Europe's biggest political problem, according to Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti.

Speaking at a dinner hosted by the Friends of Europe think-tank in Brussels on Thursday (11 October), Monti said the economic crisis is "undermining the raw material on which European integration is constructed" and has evoked a "north against the south" split.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

He added that there is an urgent need for EU heads and states to have a "free discussion in the European Council about this."

Monti referred to June's EU summit as a significant turning point because member states finally realised that it is not enough to simply keep one's own financial house in order if your neighbour's house is burning.

But he said he could not be sure if EU leaders will stick to promises made at the event.

EU leaders in June agreed to establish a banking union with a new supervision mechanism to allow the eurozone's rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), to inject capital into troubled banks.

In this context, next week's EU summit should be measured "not only on what it achieves, but on what it sticks to," Monti said.

Looking ahead, the Italian politician said the European Commission should in future have more power to enforce internal market rules, an area where member states have for years been falling behind on promised implementation.

He also said more should be done to fight tax evasion and that "we need to reconstruct credible fear of public authorities."

The quiet acceptance of tax evasion should be replaced by social responsibility, said Monti. He admitted that to create this kind of new culture would mean "nothing short of a war," however.

Monti is one of Europe's longest-serving politicians.

He trained as an economist before serving as competition and internal market commissioner for almost 10 years, from 1995 to 2004. Since November 2011, he has been non-elected Italian prime minister stepping into fill the void after Silvio Berlusconi resigned. Monti has never been a member of a political party.

Asked what he will do when his term as Italian leader comes to an end in spring, he said he would not run for elections as it would risk breaking the newly-established and fragile co-operative spirit between Italy's main political parties.

He noted he does not need to be re-elected as he already enjoys life-long senator status.

"But should there be areas where I could be helpful, then I'm ready," he said.

Monti ups the stakes ahead of EU summit

Italian leader Monti is warning of dramatic consequences if next week’s EU summit fails to find concrete solutions to save the euro.

The EU in exile - a cautionary tale

For Doomsday enthusiasts and eurosceptics, 2018 should be the year they put in their calendar as the year when the EU will disintegrate.

Centeno: Eurogroup picks Southern head

Portuguese finance minister was chosen by his eurozone colleagues with a 'very substantial majority' after he appeared to be the only one ticking the boxes.

Commission wants more centralised eurozone by 2019

EU leaders will discuss at their summit next week the commission's proposals, which include a European Monetary Fund and an EU finance minister - but no eurozone budget, as proposed by French president Emmanuel Macron.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Dialogue PlatformThe Gülen Community: Who to Believe - Politicians or Actions?" by Thomas Michel
  2. Plastics Recyclers Europe65% plastics recycling rate attainable by 2025 new study shows
  3. European Heart NetworkCommissioner Andriukaitis' Address to EHN on the Occasion of Its 25th Anniversary
  4. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  5. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  6. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  7. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  8. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  10. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEU-Armenia Relations in the CEPA Era: What's Next?
  12. Mission of China to the EU16+1 Cooperation Injects New Vigour Into China-EU Ties

Latest News

  1. Estonia completes two out of three priority digital bills
  2. EU countries are not 'tax havens', parliament says
  3. Tech firms' delays mean EU needs rules for online terror
  4. Slovak PM: Human rights are not a travel pass to EU
  5. British PM limps to EU capital after Brexit defeat
  6. US pleads for clarity on Brexit aviation 'black hole'
  7. Tusk migration note prompts institutional 'hysteria'
  8. Migration looms over summit, as Africa pledges fall short