Plenary session - Debate with Giuseppe CONTE, Italian Prime Minister on the Future of Europe © European Union 2019 - Source : EP

European representatives need to re-establish their connection with the people on the grounds of ‘solidarity and cohesion between member states’, Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has said.

Conte explained that if the distance between elected representatives and the people they represent does not alter, there is a risk of the ‘European project imploding’.

The Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was addressing a plenary debate on the future of Europe, where he spoke on a range of topics which are continuing to impact the strength and capability of the European Union.

On the topic of foreign policy, Conte said that the EU needs to have a permanent representation in the United Nations Security Council, as a way of improving the bloc’s connections with the USA, Russia and China as well as Europe’s common defence.

Segwaying into the topic of migration, Conte explained that there needs to be ‘stable solution to manage migration flows’ which was based on a shared responsibility from EU member states.

On the subject of economy and growth, the Italian representative said that there should be a priority be given to employment followed by greater investment in the areas of ‘youth, education and innovation’.

In concluding his address, Conte said that the best way to improve ‘Europe’s crediblity’ with European citizens was to increase the European Parliament’s agency. This could be done by increasing the powers of the institution which would include rights to carry out inquiry and initiate legislation.