The leaders of the European Union should meet in Rome to relaunch the process of European integration and fight off mounting public opposition to the EU project, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said Saturday, dpa reported.
Monti, speaking after talks with EU President Herman Van Rompuy on the sidelines of an economic forum in Cernobbio, northern Italy, warned about a "dangerous phase" for the EU because "there is a lot of populism that aims to disintegrate rather than integrate."
EU leaders should hold "a special meeting" to discuss a common response to the threat, Monti said, adding that Van Rompuy had "accepted the idea."
No dates were announced for the meeting. Rome, Monti said, should be the venue because that is where the founding treaty of the European Community was signed in 1957.
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano also called for more European integration, in a video-message broadcast earlier in Cernobbio.
"There can be no other possible outcome - through a well thought-out and adequately considered process - than one leading to a fully-fledged political union. The issue is no longer taboo," he said.