Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, has asked Mario Draghi to prepare a report on the future of European competitiveness. Draghi, the former Italian Prime Minister and former head of the European Central Bank, has accepted the task and is committed to supporting Europe in the important challenges ahead.
This proposal, which brings prestige to Italy, was made days ago but was only announced today, during a turbulent period in the Rome-Brussels relationship. Von der Leyen has asked Draghi to delve into “a topic of absolute common interest, in a rapidly evolving geopolitical framework,” shedding light on “how relationships that govern competitiveness between countries or regions at a global level work.”
These concepts will be explored in the report that Draghi has been asked to prepare, a task that has naturally sparked curiosity among those who wonder what the future holds for the former premier. While some, like Carlo Calenda, imagine Draghi leading the next European Council, sources close to him assure that he will collaborate with the requested report, but he is not interested in holding institutional positions.
For now, Draghi is ready to work on outlining the future of competitiveness in difficult years for a struggling Europe. After all, this is a topic that is very dear to “Super Mario,” as demonstrated by his recent public statements. In his most recent statement, published just a few days ago in The Economist, Draghi emphasized the need for new rules in the Eurozone and more shared sovereignty. Depending on Russia for energy, China for exports, and the US for security, as in the past, is no longer imaginable.
Therefore, “substantial investments are needed in a short time, including defense, the green transition, and digitalization.” To achieve this, it is necessary to overcome budgetary rules and state aid regulations that limit the ability of individual countries to act independently. According to Draghi’s recipe, the framework of EU budget policies and decision-making processes should be redefined through strict rules to ensure credible state finances in the medium term, but also flexible enough to allow governments to respond to unforeseen shocks.
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