ROME, May 2019 – Eutopya is honoured to conduct an interview with Beatrice Covassi, outgoing Representative of the European Commission in Italy and current candidate with PD (Partito Democratico), the main Italian left-wing party, at the 2019 European elections.
Special thanks to her for meeting with our writer Gabriele Gennarini.
Why did you choose to approach the European institution that directly represents the EU citizens?
I’ve been working in EU institutions for 20 years, and I have always had a firm belief in Europe – I’ve dedicated my entire life to Europe. For this reason it is unacceptable for me to see all that I built threatened; in this particular historical period, we absolutely need to prioritize political effort in order to make Europe grow, evolve, become stronger and more united. There is a need to avoid a return to nationalism, which would take us back to the past.
Would you tell us the main themes of your campaign?
First, [my campaign] champions the person [over national affiliation], and prioritizes humanity, equality, and the general welfare of society.
But my campaign also focuses on the students – [I hope to initiate] an enlarged Erasmus program accessible to everyone; the third sector, with a “Civil Compact” to help European volunteering; and a unique European civil service.
Europe can also be leader in the digital revolution and sustainable development; lastly, we need an EU more closely linked with territory and citizens’ daily lives, thus reaffirming again the very core of being European.
Do you think Italy needs to feel more a part of the EU, or, more generally, a part of something larger that extends beyond national borders?
We surely need more information and knowledge about what the EU does for us all – not only regarding money and investments, but also concrete development opportunities.
And most importantly, we need to purse the European dream, the true objective we want to achieve as European citizens, and to me it is a Europe that goes beyond the trade union: it is a Europe based on society.
The Italian right-wing, particularly FI (Forza Italia), underlines the need to “count more in Europe.” Do you agree with this emphasis?
Beyond our differences in political beliefs, it is obvious that Italy can and must count more in Europe. To do this, we need to have competent and well-prepared representatives in the EP and EU institutions, and to valorise their officials.
So does Italy have to raise its demands of Europe, as some politicians of ours state?
I don’t believe I agree with this kind of politics. [This mindset] will not take us far. I think our most important strength is our ability to compromise on issues that are always complex and demand technical knowledge. So we definitely need to search for transverse agreements and alliances with all EU countries.
What are your expectations about the upcoming elections?
I expect my party to achieve very good results and to reaffirm its presence, so that we can show Italy that we are here and we want a better future than the one the nationalist movements are pushing.
We also want to let everyone know that, as well as expert politicians, people from the civil society are involving themselves in these elections, embodying the willingness of the citizens and the civil associations to be, again, the protagonists of this new European era.
Thanks for all. Best wishes to Beatrice Covassi, Italian PD and to the future of Europe.
Updated to: 24-05-2019
Some quotes have had to be altered in translation from Italian to English.
This interview was released before the elections. Mrs Covassi has not been elected as an MEP.
Featured imaged sourced from <https://formiche.net/gallerie/intelligenza-artificiale-foto/antonio-nicita-1-1/>