Posted on 04 May 2017
Pietro Grasso, President of the Italian Senate, addressed listeners at the opening session of the EUI's annual State of the Union Conference on 'Building a People's Europe.'
In his speech, President Grasso discussed the significance of the event this year, given the anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome. He also emphasized the importance of the roles of national parliaments, together with the European Parliament, to work together to increase transparency, participation and democratic efficiency on both state and supra-national levels.
Grasso then dwelt on the issue of immigration and refugees, which he emphasized should no longer be treated as a temporary, emergency phenomenon, but rather a structural issue to be governed. He reminded listeners that accepting the refugees at Europe's borders is not 'an act of benevolence', but rather an obligation.
President Grasso also complimented the EUI for its 40 years of work and its genuine European spirit. Following his speech at the Badia, he proceeded to the Historical Archives of the European Union, where he is presenting the awards to the winning classes who participated in the competition 'Un nuovo Trattato per l’Europa'.