Back from the brink of the financial crisis, Italy’s economy has turned a corner and the country is on track to continue its stable return to growth. Sandro Gozi, a representative of Italy’s Democratic Party (DP), has been working on behalf of the country to help shape a more cohesive European Union, noting that there is a need for deep reforms within the EU. “We are convinced that the European Union must get out of the status quo.”
Gozi ensured that Italy has always been a strong advocate of a united European continent. However, as populist movements and Eurosceptic political parties continue to gain momentum in parts of the region, it highlights the necessity for the Eurozone to implement needed reforms in order to keep all members content. “We have to start reshaping the Eurozone, strengthening European democracy and developing a new transnational politics in the Union.” He spoke openly about his support for the idea of a “two-speed Europe”, noting that his political party has been advocating for this idea long before French President Emmanuel Macron brought it to the global stage. He said that the most dangerous thing that Europe can do is stay in the status quo, which he believes would be a serious threat to the Union. “I think that a two speed Europe is not to divide Europe. It is not to create new divisions of Europe. It is very useful to make Europe move faster.”
He said that recent global events such as Brexit and the new European defense project have galvanized action on the part of several EU member states, which have allowed the bloc to avoid a stalemate stance in both regional and global politics. Gozi says moving forward to face challenges such as these is the only way to ensure the continual existence of the European alliance.
A major topic that has brought Italy into the forefront of EU obstacles is migration. In fact, Gozi fought against the EU’s initially proposed budget in late 2016 on behalf of Italy, calling for increased spending on future EU budgets to support the migration crisis, along with security issues and youth unemployment. “I think that Italy realized that migration is a global issue and it is a matter for European concern much faster than other European countries.” As Italy is a frontline country receiving thousands of asylum seekers at its borders each month, it has taken both domestic action and also called upon the bloc to support frontline countries in an effort to mitigate a growing issue that affects the whole continent. “We have first, on our own and then with the help of other European countries, started to better manage the migratory flow of human beings, even though I do believe that still much more needs to be done, notably to tackle and to fight against the trafficking of human beings.”
In terms of Italy’s upcoming parliamentary elections, Gozi noted that the outcome of the race will not just be a matter of domestic interest, but also an important event for the region. While he admits that the division of political forces between pro-European and anti-European forces may be more complex within the country itself, he says regional politics in Rome demonstrate that the Eurosceptic Five Star Movement is not fit to rule the country. He said his party, the DP, is fully behind the reshaping of Europe for the betterment of the region.
He sees Italy’s participation in the South EU Summit as another useful political tool that the southern region can use to achieve its collective goals and work towards conquer pressing issues that affect the entire Eurozone. In regards to the gathering of these seven heads of state for the Summit he said, “it is certainly not to create new divisions in Europe, but it is to promote new policies, or stronger policies on issues of common concerns.” Gozi highlighted that the issues the Mediterranean region faces are in fact global issues at large, and a collective effort to face them will bring about prodigious results for the entirety of the European Union.