Former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who often clashed with Angela Merkel when he was Italy’s prime minister, on matters ranging from fiscal discipline to migration, in a book expected to be released this week, suggests that the German chancellor should become the EU’s top representative.
In his book, “In Another Way”, which will be released on Thursday, Renzi praises Ms Merkel as the best candidate for president of the European Council, the political body representing EU member states, to replace Donald Tusk, the Polish politician.
The FT reports “The former Italian premier goes further by saying the German leader should also lead the bloc’s diplomacy after successive EU foreign affairs representatives had “not lived up to the expectations and the role that Europe should play.” “I would be desirable if a leading figure such as Angela Merkel . . . could continue to serve Europe in another capacity,” Mr Renzi writes.
“Merkel could certainly be a suitable person to lead foreign policy, but also to be the president of the European Council.” While there has been speculation in Berlin about Ms Merkel’s future after her term as German chancellor comes to an end in 2021, she is expected to retire from politics rather than seek a role in Brussels. Mr Renzi’s endorsement shows the stature she has acquired even in parts of Europe where she has been most criticised.