Brussels - Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, following his two-day meeting at the European Council, expressed 'a relative optimism' regarding the Rome Summit scheduled to take place on March 25. "There is an awareness of the fact that this is a good opportunity to relaunch the European project and do away with this tense atmosphere which was triggered on June 23, when the referendum in the United Kingdom was held. I would be most satisfied and honoured if this atmosphere would change on March 25 in Rome," said the prime minister.
European Union leaders are divided on the issue of a social Europe which Italy and other countries would like to launch as the theme for the Rome Summit on March 25. This theme "has much been debated", explained Prime Minister Gentiloni during a press conference held at the end of the informal meeting of European leaders on the draft declaration on Europe's future, which is to be approved in Rome. "Many countries are reluctant on the sharing of social policies," said Mr Gentiloni.
"At times even the countries that have an advanced welfare and social security policy think that this issue should be a national competency." Prime Minister Gentiloni underlined that Italy is "in favour of a convergence of common social policies". The prime minister believes that a common understanding will be reached on this issue before the Rome Summit.