EU Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni speaks at ‘Generali Talks’ in Brussels

On 21st May 2024, European Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni intervened during the second edition of ‘Generali Talks’ in Brussels - a cycle of exclusive conversations on the economic, financial, and geopolitical European scenario organised by Generali with the participation of representatives of EU institutions, industry, and academics.

In his opening remarks, Generali Chairman Andrea Sironi welcomed Commissioner Gentiloni, underlining his unwavering dedication to the European Union's fundamental principles and commitment to stronger cooperation between Member States.

Just out from the pandemic, the Russian aggression of Ukraine and the war in the Middle East have brought Europe's economy and security back at risk, as well as its strategic position in the global theatre,” Chairman Sironi added. “Strengthening European unity has never been so urgent and indispensable, so the hope of all of us is that the new European government will continue on this path in advancing the Single Market, the EU’s greatest asset.”

Interviewed by Brussels-based journalist Maria Tadeo, Commissioner Gentiloni underlined the progress achieved in terms of political unity when facing the challenges emerged in the last few years, from the pandemic to the Ukraine conflict, as well as the mindset shift in dealing with industrial policies and strategic autonomy, among other things.

Progress on the Capital Markets Union, the role of the EU’s financial sector to achieve more competitiveness and growth, and the recommendations of the Letta Report on the Single Market for the next political cycle were also key elements of discussion. Commissioner Gentiloni also highlighted the priority of public funding to complement private investment and the role EU funds, for example in the field of a common European defence.

During the event, Gentiloni also discussed the inflation scenario, pointing to a reassuring drop - that is estimated to lead to a 2% inflation target in 2025 - and subsequent expectations of interest rates cuts in the near future. “We have reason to believe the ECB will cut rates starting from June, regardless of Fed decisions,” he added. “I don't think the trend in the US and the EU should be identical. At the same time, it is difficult to have differences for a long time, but some are justified" since "the level of growth in the US is stronger, as is the resilience of inflation," Gentiloni concluded.

Commenting on prospects for the future, Gentiloni highlighted the priorities on which the next EU Commission will have to focus, including closing NextGenerationEU in 2026, new common fundings for common growth, the implementation of a new Stability and Growth Pact, and the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM).

With the ‘Generali Talks’ initiative, Generali wants to contribute to advancing the public debate in Brussels on macroeconomic and societal topics, also providing a non-partisan convening space for high-level policymakers to present their thinking on these critical issues.