The Daily Express, 18 July 2013, reported on a joint press conference held by UK Prime Minister, David Cameron and Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta “committed pro-European”, saying that, “either Europe is able to answer fundamental questions about its future, or it can no longer be a sustainable project.” Daily Express
We fully concur.
On the same day, 18 July 2013, European Voice, reported on its front page the lettori case as a Fresh challenge to Italy and carried an editorial Italy’s disrespect for the rule of law hurts all of EU
One of the fundamental principles of the EU is free movement of workers.
UK Minister for Europe, David Lidington has described Italy’s treatment of lettori as both “illegal and immoral”.
We are grateful to Mr Lidington for this robust and important statement, which firmly points the finger at the main culprit.
Mr Cameron has found some common ground with Mr Letta on the future of Europe.
European Voice editorial makes 3 points about the lettori case:
• Having exhausted due process, “they found that Italy has failed to comply. It falls to the European Commission to ensure that Italy complies with ECJ rulings. Such failure to comply and failure to enforce constitute a grave threat to the EU’s legal structures.
• The Italian authorities have resorted to extreme measures to thwart the plaintiffs. The Gelmini law of 2011 has been used not to refute or overturn the judgment of the ECJ and its effects, but to sidestep them entirely”.
• This case has been going on for “well nigh three decades”
European Voice concludes: “What has been missing in Italy for so long – and latterly in the EU institutions – is a proper appreciation of the significance of the lettori case…. After so many years of contempt by successive governments, this case has become a test of whether or not the rule of law applies in the EU”.
Such a grave warning from European Voice, which is read by every politician in Brussels, Europhile and Eurosceptic, is unprecedented.
It has taken us three decades to fully expose the chasm between Treaty rights on paper and Treaty rights in practice. What we are looking at now is not merely a quest for equal and fair treatment – but a test on whether Europe can survive – that is the significance of the European Voice editorial.
It is incumbent on our leaders – at least those who continue to see Europe as a “sustainable project” – to put this issue on the agenda of the Council of Ministers.