Strengthening relations with the Dutch EU Presidency

Employment and Social Affairs

Last week , Prime Minister Mark Rutte held talks with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on growth and jobs in Europe, strengthening the single market and topical issues like migration.

Mr Rutte and Mr Renzi focused on how to continue the recovery of the European economy and create more jobs in the EU. They agreed that strengthening and deepening the single market could produce further major gains. They also highlighted the need to improve the investment climate in Europe. ‘At the same time, EU member states should continue their economic reforms, as Matteo Renzi is doing with great enthusiasm in Italy,’ said Mr Rutte.

Italy’s strategy remains, however, to make pressure on European partners and in this perspective Roma would be willing to form alliances with the Portuguese government and also with the Spanish one, provided that in Madrid the Socialists manage to successfully complete the formation of a coalition that will support the new government.

Today, while the new Lisbon Socialist government led by Antonio Costa has managed to avoid rejection by the EU Commission, to its law of 2016 stability by inserting in the document additional measures for more than 800 million euro in order to reduce the structural deficiency. But “the risk of non-compliance with the Covenant remains”, warned today the commissioners Valdis Dombrovskis and Pierre Moscovici.

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel, referring to requests for flexibility from Portugal and other partners, has reiterated that the Pact already “contains a flexible and clear guidelines”. The key to create new jobs, for Merkel, is the “growth competitiveness” of Europe.

By May, Brussels is expected to answer to the Italian requests of flexibility on the basis of the implemented reforms, investments and expenses occurred while dealing with migrants, security and culture. Meanwhile , on the upper floors of the Commission some observed that Rome did many requests, without providing all the necessary details to make appropriate assessments.

The dialogue is still open.


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