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Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Renzi highlights Europe's 'UK problem'...or UK's 'Europe problem'

Speaking in the European Parliament, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has just outlined the priorities of Italy's rotating EU Presidency. It is no secret that Renzi would like to see a 'United States of Europe' - and today he made much of the need for Europe to "find its soul".

A couple of points from Renzi's speech could be interesting from David Cameron's perspective. He said:
"Europe without the UK would not just be less rich. It would be less Europe, less itself."

"We will do everything [...] to affirm that these values of investing on a different Europe need to be brought together to unity."

"Different ideas are a positive thing that make us proud, [they do] not irritate us."
On top of this short bit specifically devoted to the UK's situation, Renzi also spoke of the need to achieve a "smart Europe" and of the importance of making EU institutions "simple". He also stressed how badly the EU needs to boost its economic competitiveness, because "the rest of the world is [currently] running twice as fast as Europe." 

The challenge here, for Cameron as much as the Italian Prime Minister, is to reconcile Renzi's vision of a 'United States of Europe' with his professed desire to keep the UK in the EU. His predecessor, Enrico Letta, spoke about EU treaty changes designed to settle UK concerns.

It is progress, of sorts, that EU leaders are able to identify the issue. However, now there needs to be progress on finding solutions that work for everyone.


Anonymous said...

"Europe without the UK would not just be less rich."
He's right - just look at the EU budget and you'll be able to tell by how much...

The rest is garbage. The EU is slower because of the EU.
How is Switzerland not slow? The only way to fix the EU is to put it down.

jon livesey said...

The begged question here is exactly what a United States of Europe has to do with growth. What's holding the euro area back is simple. Austerity.

To leave austerity in place, and then try to stimulate growth by "simplifying" EU institutions is just fiddling round the edges.

DeeDee99 said...

There is no solution which is right for everyone.

The EU intends to create a United States of Europe, which Germany will dominate.

The UK wants a Europe of nation states, trading freely.

We have lost the argument. There IS no compromise which will satisfy both sides.

Cameron's "renegotiation" is a sham. We should simply get out.

Anonymous said...

The UK needs a solution that the rest of the EU will not agree to.

It is so simple - we just need to exit. I have no faith in even trying to re-negotiate anything.

As for Europe being held back by austerity, that is just not true.

Excessive debt, a political elite that cannot/will not resolve the problem, nations locked into a currency that is too high, a lack of economic restructuring, the problems of EU empire building (in Ukraine and eastern Europe) and austerity are holding Europe back.

And let's not forget the complete and utter lack of any democratic validation from the citizens of Europe too.

What a mess.


johnlandseer said...

John Livesy said:

What's holding the euro area back is simple. Austerity.

No.....it's the EURO.....

This phrase, not mine spring's to mind....One size fits NONE ....

And, OE, do stop acting as an apologist for the EU....getting boring or, we will start to wonder who your paymasters really are..

Average Englishman said...

More nonsense

Many people in the UK want nothing to do with the EU and the vast majority of those who are interested in engaging with the EU 'project' only ever wanted to be part of a Common European Market. No more.

Others in Europe always wanted and still want a United States of Europe.

These two positions are not reconcilable, however much anyone may talk about compromise. One cannot 'square a circle'; they are different things.

The EU would do well to listen to Dave rather than trying to sideline him because if major reforms are not initiated soon then the whole shambolic structure will fall apart with or without the UK. However, no reforms will be adequate to deal with the requirements of the UK voter. For us the only way is out and the sooner the better.

Ray said...

One of the ultimate differences between continental Europe attitudes to the EU and the British, is that almost all the EU members have grown up in societies where corruption is a normal situation. When Brits look at an openly corrupt organisation, with financial mismanagement,open theft and back room secret deals they are horrified, the bulk of the rest of Europe shrugs it's shoulders and says the various versions of "se la vie"

Anonymous said...

Who gives a f*ck what an Italian NWO flunky says about the UK?

Anonymous said...


That doesn't make it acceptable though.

Why should be take a huge step backwards and just blindly accept what the EU has become when we have a tried and tested (and comparatively honest)system of our own.

Organisations like the EU MUST be honest, transparent, democratically elected and accountable for them to work - especially as it is a foreign body ruling over nation states.

What a mess.

NO thanks. No more.


volvoman said...

I am completely astonished by the EU Elite pushing us into greater and greater integration with the down and out Countries of Southern Europe. Just how do these people sleep at night? Do they not have nightmares? Crazy and all brought upon the UK by one Edward Heath! Who was also a Tory!!! Need one say more?

Geoff said...

I only voted to join the last time round because I was conned into thinking that we were joining EFTA.

We should give notice that we are electing to leave and exercise our right to negotiate a new deal under Article 50.

That way we can continue to trade with Europe as has Norway and Switzerland and they're not exactly 'on their uppers'.

We had a Common Market - the Commonwealth - and the EU has hamstrung our ability to deal with our old allies there!