On 5 October, the ALDE Party Individual Members of Italy, with the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and the cooperation of Radicali Italiani and +Europa, hosted a conference in Naples to discuss how to enforce the rule of law in the European Union.
The morning panel was introduced by a welcome video-speech from former ALDE Party President Sir Graham Watson and moderated by Francesco Avolio, Individual Members’ coordinator for Southern Italy.
The panel discussion started from the juridical basis in the European treaties for the enforcement of the rule of law, presented by Fabio Ferraro (Professor of European Union Law at the Federico II University of Naples), who explained also the recent proposals to sanction more effectively any breach of the rule of law in the EU. The Secretary General of the Italian Council of the European Movement, Paolo Ponzano, introduced the European Citizens Initiative promoted by the European Movement to introduce a rule of law mechanism that includes the involvement of juridical experts in order to ensure impartiality. The President of the Italian Federation for Human Rights, Antonio Stango, pointed out that democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights (DRF) should be considered together, stressing the importance of the interaction of the EU institutions with other external institutions such as the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the United Nations. The final speech by Silvja Manzi, Secretary of Radicali Italiani, recalled the most recent events that are putting at risk the respect of the rule law in Italy, in particular as far as the distorted use of the media is concerned. She also highlighted the need to relaunch a federalist initiative to achieve the United States of Europe.
The afternoon panel was moderated by Diana Severati, Individual Members’ coordinator for Central Italy. Emilio De Capitani, former Secretary of the European Parliament LIBE Committee, explained how the fundamental rights got to be enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty and presented the attempts done by the European institutions to sanction the violations of the rule of law in the Member States in the last twenty years, before the activation of the Art. 7 TEU procedure towards Poland and Hungary. The Vice-President of the Polish Civil Development Forum, Marek Tatała, described in detail how in the recent years the government of Poland undermined the independence of the judiciary, while András Radnóti, Partner at Sastre Consulting, introduced the case of Hungary focusing on the negative impacts of the lack of legal certainty on the foreign direct investments, especially in the services sector and for the European small and medium enterprises. The panel was closed by the Secretary of +Europa, Benedetto Della Vedova, who underlined how the EU single market should not be taken for granted and needs to be linked to a political commitment for the respect of the rule of law.