Research by Ignazio Cabras, a Professor in Entrepreneurship and Regional Economic Development at Northumbria University, was the focus of a special conference hosted by the Fondazione Marcianum in Venice to address the impact of Brexit on the Italian economy.
The event, titled ‘From the Crocodile Club to Brexit. What future for Europe?’ examined and explored the impact of Brexit on EU and Italian regions, and also touched on themes relevant to the upcoming EU elections.
In his keynote speech, Professor Cabras discussed research on the effects of Brexit in Europe, Italy and Veneto, which was carried out by Northumbria University in collaboration with the EU-Asia Institute at the Essca School of Management and the award-winning academic think tank; The UK in a Changing Europe.
Describing its importance, Professor Cabras said: “We know how significant Brexit is for the UK, given its impact on our everyday life, even now, yet nothing has happened yet.
“However, any outcomes of Brexit will also have a tremendous impact on EU countries and regions, and not only those geographically and economically closer to the UK, such as Ireland or the Netherlands.
“Italy operates a positive balance of trade with the UK worth 11bn euros. Italian exporters are very concerned about the future, as the UK is their top fifth destination in the world. Understanding the various implications of this process is crucial for them in order to plan and to make decisions regarding the future after Brexit.”
Professor Cabras’ presentation was followed by the Scientific Director of the North East Foundation, Carlo Carraro, who delivered a presentation called ‘Why we should belong to Europe’.
This was followed by a panel debate organised and coordinated by former Italian RAI News 24 television correspondent in London, Antonio Caprarica, together with Raffaele Trombetta, the Italian Ambassador to the UK, Tiziana Lippiello, Protector of the Ca Foscari University of Venice and Marco Zatterin, Deputy Director of the newspaper La Stampa. The Patriarch of Venice, Francesco Moraglia also attended.
The president of the Fondazione Marcianum, Roberto Crosta, said: “The event stems from the need to seriously address the issue of the upcoming European elections. Do we need more Europe? Can we do without Europe?
“Our idea is that Europe is necessary, that it can be improved, and that it is fundamental for our territory. Telling this story, also in the light of experience of Brexit, and in the light of the numerous relations with the East, China in particular, will give a glimpse of what it means for us to be European and Europeanist, conscious of the benefits that come from Europe and not just for a generic stance.”