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Moavero Milanesi – «Sovereigntists and People’s Parties together in Europe? Difficult but possible» (Corriere della Sera)

A stronger Europe, also without amending the Treaties. In the five proposals that the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung launched on the front page, Enzo Moavero Milanesi indicates a “Europeanist Way” ahead of the 26 May EU elections. The Italian Foreign Minister outlines «Five concrete proposals for a more effective European Union aimed at giving Parliamentary groups the power of legislative initiative to launch an effective and completely unitary policy to regulate migrations…».

At the same time, President Mattarella went to see Macron to reinforce common values while Salvini flew to Budapest to admire Orban’s new anti-migrant wall. Which Europe do you like more?

«With respect to migrants, what is most shocking is the incapacity of a few European governments to come to an agreement instead of entrenching themselves behind differing positions on the road to undertake. Europe is too divided and is incapable of developing an effective common policy to regulate flows. »

Can Hungary become a model for Italy?

«Its refusal approach ends up becoming one of the possible models for a series of Countries that have greater difficulties in absorbing migrants. In failing to effectively tackle the issue, because of deep divisions between the governments, Europe reveals to have a serious weakness. »

Do you think that if Salvini were appointed Prime Minister, we too would see walls and barbed wire put up to stop «economic» migrants?

«Without a European policy, every State, left on its own, will tackle the problem in the way demanded by their respective public opinions. The possibility that the Hungarian approach be taken as a model for Italy will depend on the Italians’ vote and the EU’s capacity to find a solution. »

Are you disappointed by the EU Commission’s reply to your letter on the risk of a new wave of arrivals?

«I sent a letter following the statements by Libyan President al-Sarraj, who said that 800,000 migrants were ready to leave the Country: an excessive number that is also enormously smaller than the number that could be configured in an emergency. I wrote to the EU Commission to tell them to prepare for a possible emergency and they answered by indicating ordinary instruments. We will address the issue again; perhaps there was a misunderstanding. »

Isn’t Italy prepared?

«This is not what I am not saying: I am saying that European Treaties also provide for extraordinary temporary instruments to not leave the States first impacted alone. If Europe does not take action, it obliges single Countries to move on their own, making the issue increasingly divisive. »

Do you think that the assumption of an alliance between European sovereigntists and People’s Parties is realistic?

«It is difficult although theoretically possible. The major players exclude the possibility although it could actually happen. These are the first truly political European elections ever held. Simple geometry tells us that People’s and Socialist Parties can no longer manage to rule on their own and that, after the vote, they will have to find an alliance with Liberal and Green Parties. »

And what if the alliance fails?

«Then perhaps parliamentary numbers could lead us to form a more conservative coalition led by People’s Parties eventually supported by parties which are currently defined as their adversaries because we label them as sovereigntists which, by the way, is a rather vague notion. »

Orbán wants Salvini to join the PPE but Merkel is against alliances with illiberal and anti-Semitic right-wing parties.

«None of the parties that will win seats in the Parliament denies the existence of the Union; the truth of it is that they have a different approach to integration and to the reforms needed. Some envisage a federalist approach and others indicate a perspective in which much of the sovereignty remains with or is devolved to the single States. »

The Hungarian Prime Minister is accused of leading an «illiberal democracy» and Poland’s Kaczynsky, another of the Lega’s allies, is subjected to an infringement procedure for violating the rule of law principle. Many see an abyssal cultural, ethical and democratic difference between them. What about you?  

«This is a simplistic interpretation. I think it is Manichaean to brutally qualify as illiberal governments that, precisely to obey the EU, have adopted measures to realign them with the other Countries. The real point is that it is inevitable to have a deep-reaching debate seeing the large number of member States. We must find a synthesis between different stands and I think it is possible. »  

War is ongoing in Libya. Italy has recognised al-Sarraj but you are urging to talk with Haftar. How do you respond to the accusations of double-dealing in your foreign policy?

«We and the whole international community recognise the government led by al-Sarraj but there are other important players in the Libyan scene. Inclusive dialogue does not mean double-dealing; it is a necessary approach for a Country that wants to have a reconciling role in a war that is witnessing a new wave of violent armed conflict. »

And what about Venezuela, in respect of which Salvini and Di Maio have taken opposite stands, don’t you think it is time to either side with Maduro or Guaidó?

«Also in the case of Venezuela, we are equidistant or neutral. We do not recognise the legitimacy of the last election of Maduro while we instead recognise the legitimacy of the National Assembly and its President Guaidó. But the way of fostering new elections is not to side with alternative presidents. It is not by electing the anti-Pope that we can solve the problem of a possible schism. »

Will we ever know the truth on the murder of Giulio Regeni?

«The more time goes by without obtaining the truth, the more embittered and concerned we become. But we do not intend to loosen our pressure to have justice. »

Is the Government likely to fall over the case of Undersecretary Siri?

«Everything is always possible with sensitive and delicate political issues. Much depends on how Prime Minister Conte will present the case at the Cabinet meeting. »