French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni have pulled off a diplomatic coup at their one day summit in Lyon. They ended a damaging dispute over a naval shipyard in the west of France that had been souring bilateral ties.
On the back of it a study group has been set up to look into the creation of a joint “European champion” in military shipbuilding is being mooted.
“Euronews reporter Cecilia Cacciotto commented that the trade talks had appeared to have sparked discussions over the future of the European Union.
Indeed moments later that was clear at the leaders’ joint press conference:
Putting trade deals aside Prime Minister Gentiloni made reference to the growing calls for modernising the EU. With the damaging impact of an international economic crisis waning, with a destructive form of populism being stopped at the ballot box in several counties, now is the time to look at ambitious ideas for reform. “The moment might not come again”.
For his part President Macron said “the roadmap that this summit has sought to create contains concrete elements of a foward-looking nature to cultivate more cooperation within Europe which I think that is a good method.”
The Lyon summit comes after Tuesday’s Keynote speech by President Macron in which he offered a sweeping vision of EU reform.