At the end of the European Council, Mario Draghi he stopped at the press conference to give information on the issues discussed during the summit, the last one with Angela Merkel as German chancellor. The conference started later than expected and the premier himself apologized to those present: “Sorry for the long wait, it wasn’t me who was late but the discussion was longer than expected. It had envisioned itself as a transitional council, it turned out to be an important council with complex discussions“.
On the table of EU leaders there was the energy transition but also the Polish question, which at the moment is of concern for Europe. But there were many issues addressed. “The weaknesses of the European construction, don’t destroy the building, and I think nobody wants it“, declared the premier during the meeting with journalists.
The migration issue
The hypothesis of making changes to the Schengen treaty, with regard to the migration issue. Draghi himself reported it, explaining that it is “disappeared any reference“in the conclusions of the EU Council.”For this we are satisfied“, declared the Italian premier.”I stressed the fact that we are basically left alone but today this situation is everyone’s problem. The important thing is not to divide, it makes no sense to privilege a country or a route“, continued the premier, issuing a warning to other countries:”On returns, the European Union must all act together“. In any case, Draghi clarified,”on the part of the EU there is no opening to the financing of in on the external borders. The committee disagrees, many in the European Council, including us, disagree“.
The case of Poland
The confrontation between Warsaw and Brussels is stirring the waters in Europe and the climate within the Union has never been so tense. “There are no alternatives. The rules are clear. A secondary law of the Union has not been called into question but it is the Treaty. The Commission can do nothing but move forward but we must maintain a dialogue with Poland, an open political path“, Mario Draghi said speaking of the Warsaw case, the subject of a long discussion during the European Council. The premier then added:”We need extreme clarity on the principles of the Union and readiness for dialogue. Language is very important, respect for the positions of both interlocutors“.
Prime Minister Draghi also extinguished the controversy over the Italian position: “Nobody in Europe doubts that this government is Europeanist. The accession of the government League was decided on the basis of respect for Union law and respect for the path that led us to the euro“.
The energy transition
The hot topic of the summit was also that of the energy transition, especially given the latest international developments. “The European Commission has proposed short-term solutions for the moment, but structural solutions are needed. We need a strategy that aims at the strategic autonomy of the European Union over energy, and for this in the long term we must not depend on gas provided by other countries“, declared the Italian Prime Minister, reiterating already known concepts that are currently being analyzed and studied.
Also for this reason, “we were explicit: it is necessary to start preparing hypotheses immediately for an integrated storage with regard to strategic stocks and to make an inventory of the various reserves available in the countries to protect the EU countries in equal measure“. Then, he added:”Difficult to give up on gas immediately. But the point of arrival must be that of renewable. On nuclear power, some countries have asked for it to be envisaged as clean energy, but for the moment we must continue with the renewables we know“.
Differences in the Council, however, regarding the adoption of the nuclear: “Some countries ask for it to be included among non-polluting, acceptable sources of energy. The commission will make a proposal in December. There are very divisive positions in the Council. We will see which nuclear and then in any case it takes a very long time“.
Pensions and Pnrr
Space also for internal issues, with a question about pensions addressed to Mario Draghi by the press office, in the days when the debate on the reform is on. “The issue of pensions is the subject of discussion in the budget law, one hundred quota will not be renewed but it is necessary to ensure a gradual transition towards normality“The premier reiterated that he is not in favor of quota 100 and added that “it will not be renewed in three years, but it must be gradual“. The economic maneuver also falls on the PNRR, on which Draghi says he is optimistic:”There is no delay and I don’t register any worries. We must move forward with conviction and speed on the implementation of the commitments made“. So, to facilitate the achievement of the objectives, Mario Draghi explained that a decree will come to streamline the process.
On the management of the pandemic in Italy, Mario Draghi resumed the ISS data of the last week, showing himself quite calm: “In Italy the infections are greater than a few days ago but it is necessary to understand if it is due to the number of tampons which is much higher than before. In a few days we will know“. The situation in the country is under control and at the moment there is no risk of seeing a replica of what is happening in the UK:”Compared to Great Britain we have kept some precautions such as masks and spacing“And in the details of the vaccination campaign, as regards the possibility of administering the third dose, explained that “it will be necessary for certain categories, we will proceed in order of importance, in that sense it will be done“.