Gentiloni, ex Italian prime minister, warns over risks of national populism: “The core EU countries must work more closely “

London 7 March 2019 – The rise of far right and populists across Europe, the Italian economic recession, the future risks the European Union is going to face and the challenges of the upcoming European elections, immigration policies and the chronic North-South economic divide of Italian regions: the former Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, previously Foreign Secretary, outlined his concerns and views over the future of Europe to a young audience of LSE students.

In his speech at the event hosted by LSE IdeasDahrendorf Forum co-directed by Prof. Ian Begg, Gentiloni made clear that“Taking back control means only destroying the project of Europe”, underlying the idea “the core 15 countries of the EU should work together more closely, always leaving the door open to all other EU members”because “maintaining the status quo is not an option”.

“We have to move on before the achievements of the Paris agreements disappear”, said the Gentiloni, one of the founding members of the Italian Democratic Party, stressing that the core of the Union have to be more integrated because national populism is not only affecting Europe but also transatlantic relations “changing perspective on NATO and Russia”.

Gentiloni recently wrote the book “La sfida populista” (The populist challenge), addressing the risks of rising populism and far right across Europe. 

At LSE he highlighted how the Italian foreign politics marked a recent shift: “Italy is one of the most stable countries in terms of foreign relations which have been steady over the last 60 years, but now Italian current government feel closer to Trump and Putin than to the European Union”.