Campus - 21.11.2014 - 00:00 

Enrico Letta's vision for Europe

Focused on the topic “Another Vision for Europe: The EU, Italy and Switzerland by 2025” Enrico Letta, former prime minister of Italy and Swiss Senator Filippo Lombardi give their insight.
Source: HSG Newsroom


18 November 2014. Enrico Letta shared his vision for Europe and the European community for the next decade in light of the Italian presidency of the European Union. Ticino Senate representative Filippo Lombardi added to the discussion with a Swiss perspective that included the implications for Switzerland and its relations with its neighbouring countries.

The event was organized by foraus, a Swiss grassroots think tank, and the Global Democratic Governance profile area of the School of Economics

and Political Science at the University of St.Gallen (GDG-HGS). Prof. Dirk Lehmkuhl moderated the discussion.

Changes in world economy

Letta admitted his bias towards the Euro Zone, stating that he is very pro-European. He pointed out that since the fall of the Berlin Wall there have been dramatic changes globally. “In 1994, western countries made up 45% of the global economy and BRIC countries made up 17%. Now BRIC countries are on the verge of overtaking the West, with both groups having 32% of the world’s economy.”

Letta also noted that while Europe is no longer the economic center of the world, it is expected to be a leader in international affairs. “The powers of the BRICS is economic. The group has trade powers but it is not a leadership power in the world. “

Values rather than individual interests
Lombardi sees common values as an important achievement in Europe, but was quick to point out that he believes “Europe has a communication problem… Young people don’t see the accomplishments of the EU, they don’t know the past and they can’t see the future.”

He also discussed past attitudes of the Euro Zone. “The countries had expansion needs and they had (internal) reform needs... This idea of enlargement has taken over, acting as a multinational company where growth was the most important thing, and they didn’t pay attention to other elements and postponed the discussion about institutional reform to a later date.”

Lombardi stated that his hope for Europe over the next 10 years is that the EU does not lose a single member state. “I am ready to become pro-European, if we can see a Europe that stands for common values.”

Another challenge that Letta says Europe needs to overcome is a lack of political leadership. He closed with the statement: “Germany is a reluctant leader. I would like to see European leadership that is able to solve problems.” 

Photo: Robert Stürmer / foraus