Paolo Savona, an economist and Italian minister of European Affairs, attacked the EU’s fiscal policy in a 17-page paper titled “A statehood for a different, stronger and fairer Europe”.
In the official document, the minister advocates a reform of the EU’s “institutional setup” and its economic strategy.
Arguing for fewer constraints on the fiscal powers of the member states, Mr Savona finds the roots of the immigration issue in the EU structure rather than in external factors.
The paper said: “Activating an adequate fiscal policy is also necessary to tackle immigration issues.
It is fiscal blindness and not the denial of human dignity that determines the current intra-European conflict on immigration
Paolo Savona’s paper
“If the EU is not willing to do so, loss of consensus will result within the segments of population that feel disadvantaged by the discrepancy between the shared objectives of humanitarian assistance pursued and the insufficient instruments that are actually implemented.
“If no common fiscal policy is activated on immigration, all that remains is to close maritime and terrestrial borders, renouncing the defence of the values of human solidarity Europe has developed at a theoretical level and implemented at a political level over the centuries.
“It is fiscal blindness and not the denial of human dignity that determines the current intra-European conflict on immigration.”
The minister’s paper may be referring to the ongoing tug-of-war on migrants between anti-immigration deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini and Brussels.
Mr Salvini, who pledged during the electoral campaign to slash the number of migrants arrivals to the country to “defend Italian borders”, has been refusing to let dock a number of ships carrying asylum-seekers to Italian harbours in the last months.
This move sparked outrage across the EU27, but successfully curbed the number of people reaching Italy, with many migrants now attempting to reach the more welcoming coasts of Spain.
Mr Savona, who was appointed minister of European Affairs on June 1 by the populist Lega-Five Star Movement coalition government, has already widely criticised the EU’s structure and the eurozone in the past.
Drawing a so-called “Plan B” proposal, the anti-euro economist set up a “practical guide to leave the euro”, which would see Italy effectively returning to its old currency, the lira, in just a weekend.
Mr Savona does not have a political background, but was one of the people Lega leader Mr Salvini wanted on board since the very beginning of coalition talks with his ally, Five Star leader Luigi Di Maio.
But in the turmoiled months preceding the creation of the populist government, President Sergio Mattarella vetoed the appointment of Mr Savona as economy minister, the position Mr Salvini initially chose for him.
Mr Mattarella defended his decision saying the economist would have posed a risk for Italian families and citizens with his anti-eurozone policies.
Mr Savona had previously branded the European currency a “German trap”, adding: “Germany didn’t change his role in Europe after the end of nazism, despite having abandoned the idea of imposing it with military force.
“The euro is a creature that has been badly built by modifying the Constitution.
“Knocking our fists on the table won’t help.
“We need to prepare a Plan B to leave the euro if we were obliged to do so.
“The alternative is to end up like Greece.”