Italy will use its Presidency Semester to discuss about flexibility. First step tomorrow, during the EcoFin meeting chaired by Pier Carlo Padoan: a discussion about the practical realisation of the measures already contained into the Stability and Growth Pact so far unused. Sources from the Presidency do not hide the frailty of the issue, connected with the different sensitivities of the Council. “Were we to propose a debate on flexibility,” Brussels sources say, “hawks would tell us the increase of public spending is not synonym to growth.” Italy does not want to review rules, nor to re-discuss treaties. Something Matteo Renzi reiterated several times. To say it simply, “for years we’ve been focusing on Stability only, and the area of the Pact dealing with Growth hasn’t been developed enough.” No news, still Italy will try to understand how to make reforms possible without the rigidities so far followed.
The issue is practical, and the presidency in charge will put it on the table tomorrow: how the stability included in the Pact should be used? Which flexibility measures to enact? Which are the way to exploit flexibility mechanisms?
“We’ve got some ideas” on the matter, sources from the Italian Presidency said, and we want to discuss them with Member States.” The debate will be started tomorrow, when the Economy Minister will present – during a public session – the programme of the Italian Presidency. A necessary debate: the Six Pack and the Two Pack shall be reviewed by the end of 2014 in fact – when the ‘revision clause’ of the two pacts will be activated, in view of the obtained results in term of influencing policies of Member States.
Italy will hence be in charge of managing this ‘reflection phase’ on European Pact: from tomorrow on, debates will be opened, starting from what is flexibility and how it is possible to use it – the reforming process is in fact inevitable. Italy will reassure everyone on its commitments: “We are aware that we need to reform, notwithstanding anyone and anything else, and we are keeping them up, with or without Stability and Growth Pact or Commission recommendations,” reiterated Italian sources.