Where is the EU heading?

Where is the EU heading? An insight from the Warwick Economics Summit, with Mario Monti

Vidushi Goyal

By Vidushi Goyal

Have you ever wondered about the future of the EU post-Brexit referendum? What about how great leaders and politicians have addressed the matter? At the Warwick Economics Summit, delegates received a first-hand account by Mario Monti, former Prime Minister of Italy, of associated political activity during the referendum, and provided his own perspective on the EU and where it is heading. He discussed topics around social sustainability in the form of international social and political integration and cohesion, and the potential for the UK to become politically isolated from the rest of the world.

International social sustainability relies on political trust and links to goals that are similar for all stakeholders. On the one hand, Monti argued, the UK is pushing towards individualisation and political isolation from the EU. On the other hand, the EU is fighting towards keeping a united front against the potential for political diffusion among the EU member countries. These political differences are what is causing unrest on the political front for these Western nations. The pinnacle of Monti’s concern lay upon the potential of the EU to disintegrate, a question considered by many following the Brexit referendum in 2016. Monti believed that this would be the beginning of the end, causing stress amongst the other member countries and pushing some towards leaving the EU. Surprisingly, however, post-Brexit, a pro EU sentiment seemed to run through the people in the EU; especially in Italy, he noted. This changed his feelings towards the EU disintegrating and now believes in a stronger and prosperous future for the EU.

Monti also asserted that, within the EU, social integration amongst the different populations is poor and the lack of communication and understanding is shocking. For example, Monti mentioned the negative opinions Austrians have of Italians, as some believe that they have been shouldering the fiscal burden of responsibility for the Italians, especially during its debt crisis.

The mistrust exhibited in this relationship, and consequently the lack of unity and respect that people might have for each other is the root problem for social sustainability. Monti hopes to see these qualities in a better EU in the future where “governments spend for a more productive growth in their respective countries.”

“140 characters is changing politics”

It is always such a debate whether the media has improved our lives or made it worse through the deceptive world of social media, where nothing is transparent. Monti is skeptical about social media’s influence in politics, as it promotes gaining followers rather than being a responsible leader for the people. He believes that it cannot be used the core method of campaigning or ‘staying in touch with the people’, though despite this maintains that if it is used responsibly then social media can help to build awareness of political matters. Do you think that media is influencing politics in a negative way which is threatening the democracy of our countries?

Monti gave an insightful look into the EU and the international political issues surrounding Brexit. It is important to reflect on ourselves and our viewpoints regarding this controversial issue and, how we feel about the divorce everyone is talking about.

Header image: Vidushi Goyal

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