In Taobuk, Economy Commissioner Gentiloni offers warnings and ‘budgets’: “The European identity must be built on pluralism”


By John

«We have reconciled ourselves with patriotism, but putting it at odds with European identity is a mistake: I am proudly Italian and proudly European, and there is no conflict. Don’t play on contrasts.” The European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni expressed the theme of the 14th edition of the Taobuk festival in terms of pluralism, on a scenario that makes international political issues a daily priority, between conflicts and the definition of the new community bodies – Parliament and top jobs, the top positions – after the outcome of the vote and the heavy “after-effects” on the Franco-French front German. The European Commissioner then returns to Taormina, and it is time for memories and balances, between past and future, passing through a present full of unknowns.

The meeting began with the volume “Nelle vene di Bruxelles” by Paolo Valentino, a journalist from Corriere della Sera who introduced the dialogue in which the newspaper’s director Luciano Fontana also took part.
“Right here – Valentino recalled, referring to the halls of S. Domenico, cited in the volume – we can say that Europe was born, with the Messina Declaration of 1955, the premise of the Treaties of Rome from which the EU was then born”. «The European identity is not in conflict with one’s own. Indeed, the Union is a reality devoted to compromise, in representing the effort of 27 countries for integration in a common project, to which this book also aims to contribute.”

«Let’s think about what we were and what we have become due to mobility, the single currency, investments. Europe is not a regulatory moloch that slows down the economy: the idea that small nations alone can do better has no foundation”, reiterated Fontana, proposing the “test of reality” in the attitude towards Europe for the parties that they come to government. «It is an illusion to think that nothing has happened – he added referring to the blow to the Franco-German leadership – It seems like a return to the Europe of Homelands, but if there is a country that cannot exist except in Europe it is Italy: fighting to make it understood is the task of far-sighted politics.”

“The European identity is not a linear building, but we have the privilege of being there, and I don’t know if we realize it” reiterated Gentiloni, referring to parameters relating for example to life expectancy, public health, issues of inequalities and guarantees of universal rights and freedoms, in which Italy does better than others. «I cite the example of Covid – he added – those who were in Europe were lucky compared to those who were in China or the USA. And if everyone had the vaccines it was thanks to the European Commission. We have launched Eurobonds, Next Generation Eu, which in Italy is called Pnrr. And I am proud to be the commissioner who made these proposals, and these successes changed the discussion on Europe.”

«I hope that the pro-European forces will also have good results in France» he highlighted and in response to Valentino on the future of the Commission he expressed a positive opinion on the current president, prefiguring his re-nomination and commenting: «Kissinger said: for Europe I don’t know who to call. I would say: call von der Leyen.” «Now – he prefigured – new challenges are opening up: the three pillars, Russia with energy, the USA with security and trade with China, are “dancing”, and Europe is called to work miracles. The crisis of the last decade, between Greece and Brexit, is archived, but others are opening up: Europe cannot stop.”