Climate and jobs highlighted in Rome

The European Union (EU) must take on the challenges of providing jobs and prosperity while combating climate change and managing migration, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and European Council President-elect Charles Michel told reporters at a joint press conference in Rome last night.

The two leaders spoke ahead of a bilateral meeting at Palazzo Chigi, the official residence of Italy’s prime minister.

Conte called for the EU to have “more internal solidarity and to be stronger in the world”.

“I will reiterate to Charles Michel that the Italian government’s commitment to these objectives is strong and determined,” said Conte.

“We must work courageously and without hesitation towards a Europe that pays more attention to the social dimension: growth, jobs, respect for the environment, and a structural rather than emergency-based management of migratory flows,” he said.

Michel said that “European member states must work on a daily basis to support employment, prosperity, and economic development.”

He called for “strategic investments” in the digital sector and “to face the climate challenge”, and added that Italy and France must work closely together on the migration issue.

“We must have a solid partnership and a close cooperation on the European level in order to support the countries on the frontlines (of the migration flows), one of which is Italy,” said Michel, calling for “more solidarity on the European level”.

With regards to climate change, Michel said that it is “a challenge for the European Union and we must work to turn it into an opportunity”.

To do so, said Michel, the EU must make “targeted investments, be innovative, and carry out research…so we can continue to lift standards of living and to foster prosperity while driving back the climate threat we face”.

“We must deliver results – we owe it to the younger generations, who are mobilizing everywhere in Europe and who expect us to take action,” Michel said.