Interview: Why Italy’s December referendum is not 'Brexit'

Updated: 2016-10-24 11:11


  Comments() Print Mail Large Medium  Small

5. Some news reports compared the referendum with the "Brexit" vote. Do you see this as a misinterpretation of the referendum, if so why?

I do. As I said, the parallel with the UK experience is totally misleading, as you can understand yourself by reading the question.

This is not a vote on Italy's permanence in the EU. By the way, we have a specific clause in the constitution, article 75, that precisely forbids a referendum on the abrogation of international treaties.

The results of the Brexit referendum gained the attention of the media worldwide and now some speculate on Italy's vote by drawing the wrong parallels. Besides the fact that the subject of the referendum is totally different, I want to stress that thanks to the guarantees provided by Italy's constitutional system, one can totally exclude a phase of instability after the vote.

But if one looks carefully, Italy is totally committed to a more efficient and solid union, where the principles of responsibility and solidarity go together. Indeed, as a founding member of the EU, Italy's most sincere aspiration is that the current crisis might provide new impetus for reforming the EU institutions and deepening the solidarity among its members.

Italy is resuming its historic role as a source of Europe's best ideas and leadership in politics, and also in economics.

I'll give you just one example of that. On Aug 22 in the Island of Ventotene, the Italian government hosted a trilateral summit with Germany and France specifically planned to discuss the future of the EU by resuming the spirit of the founding fathers that in Ventotene wrote the manifesto of a political Europe. This ambitious initiative testifies Italy's proactive approach within the EU which, building upon the spirit of the founding fathers, would promote a more effective integration.