Interview with Carlo Peanointerviews 13 December 2017
Could you give a short introduction about yourself?
I am a Co-founder and Executive Partner of European Hub, a consulting company on innovation and investment with headquarters in Pavia (near Milan, Italy) and an operational office in Brussels.
Could you explain more about the European Hub and what your activities are?
European Hub is a consulting company on innovation and investment in the sectors of medical devices and general mechanics. We provide services on national, regional and European funds, internationalisation, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), business plan, industrial plan, business strategy, marketing plan. Our main partners are Assobiomedica (the Italian industrial association of MedTec companies), ANIMA (the Italian industrial association of general mechanics companies), the European Medical Association, and Grant Thorton Italia.
I am the one that manages the office in Brussels.
So you came to Brussels for your job? Was it hard to leave your hometown in Italy?
I have lived in Brussels since 2011, but the first time I moved here was in 2007 when I worked as an intern at the Socialist Group in the European Parliament for some months and came back to Italy. It was one of the most important experience in my life.
In 2011, as Italy was in the middle of an economic crisis and I could not see any perspective to improve my career, I moved back to Brussels.
Leaving my hometown in Italy for going to Brussels in 2011 was quite easy, as I had already lived in other five towns (Forlì, Bologna, Brussels, Milan, Turin): I come from Cuneo, a small town in the North-West of Italy, and I left it in 1999 when I started university.
What was difficult?
Leaving Italy was difficult, because I knew what moving to another town implied and all the difficulties that I would have faced – as I already did it five times. That’s why I chose Brussels: I had friends here…
What was your first impression of Brussels and the European Parliament?
Brussels reminded me of Turin before the 2006 Olympic games: dirty, congested, but with hidden beautiful places.
What makes Brussels different and worthwhile is the multicultural environment that you can find here. That’s what impressed me about Brussels and the European Parliament.
Italy is famous as founder of the European Union (Treaty of Rome). Could you describe the relationship between Italy and the EU nowadays? What could be better?
It’s complicated. Italy has always been pro-EU but the austerity measures of the last years have created scepticism. The economic growth and social security in the EU countries could have been much higher with a real European approach.
The European Union is going through a very difficult crisis. We are seeing an increasing gap between the citizens and politics. Do you see similar trends in Italy?
Yes, I do. Actually, this is a long story to tell. In few words, I believe this is a consequence of the economic crisis and how the EU institutions and its member states managed it: Italy is not an exception.
Last question: What has been your most memorable experience in this diplomatic heart of Europe?
I’m living my most memorable experience right now: it’s my daily life here.