Italy and Spain are in perfect sync on the future of the European Union and the irreversibility of the euro, in the knowledge that their national interests coincide with those of Europe. The 13th intergovernmental summit in Madrid, chaired by Premiers Mario Monti and Mariano Rajoy, sought to strengthen the foundations of the European construction process in order to overcome the economic crisis and regenerate growth.
Mario Monti arrived this morning in Moncloa, where he was received by Spanish Premier Mariano Rajoy, and was accompanied by Minister for European Affairs Enzo Moavero, Minister for Foreign Affairs Giulio Terzi, Minister for Economic Development Corrado Passera and Minister for the Interior Annamaria Cancellieri. Agenda items included European growth and bilateral trade, in addition to cooperation in the tourism, telecommunications and energy sectors, as well as the fight against terrorism and organised crime.
Difficulty cements friendship and collaboration
In a joint press conference with Rajoy, Monti underscored that “our two nations have been through and continue to weather difficult moments in the adolescence of the European construction on the way toward something more solid and satisfying, but moments of difficulty can cement friendship and collaboration”. The premier then explained that “the June and October EU summits produced major decisions that strongly influenced the EU’s determination to preserve the integrity of the euro”. Italy and Spain, he added, are united on the “achievement of an agreement” at the next EU summit of 22 and 23 November that “pursues not only the interests of our two countries but also the interests of Europe as a whole”. Rajoy assured that Italy and Spain were “in perfect sync and agree on a common analysis of the situation afflicting the euro zone, as well as on the means and instruments the EU should adopt”, specifying that “our commitment to the euro is irreversible”.
Positive contribution by the Westerwelle Group
The future of Europe was also the focus of a meeting between Minister Giulio Terzi and his Spanish counterpart José Manuel García-Margallo, not least in light of the positive contributions of the foreign ministers in the context of the Westerwelle Group. Italy and Spain are called upon to play a fundamental role in the Mediterranean in terms of raising EU awareness toward the countries of the southern shores. The two countries have coinciding views also on the promotion of religious and minority protections, the Syrian question, the Sahel-Mali situation and support for Euro-Mediterranean formats.