Gramegna expressed his concerns on negations not moving ahead between the UK and the EU.
“I think this is in nobody’s interest,” Gramegna told Bloomberg. “We know that Article 50 is a kind of guillotine. At the end of the two-year period, in 2019, the United Kingdom will be out.
In the interest of both sides, he said, an agreement needs to be made.
“The whole negotiation is being over-dramatised, and the negotiation is happening in the media,” Gramegna said. “It should happen quietly in negotiation rooms.”
Bloomberg’s Guy Johnson responded by saying that that’s the opposite of what the public had been previously told in Brussels.
“We were told this would be a transparent negotiation,” Johnson said. “The British said that we wanted to hold this quietly and they were told firmly ‘no.’”
The European Commission, as EU negotiator, have stated on their website that they “will ensure a maximum level of transparency during the whole negotiating process.” The EU produced a list of papers back in May that it will disclose throughout the negotiation. The policy is contained in a seven-page document entitled “Guiding principles for transparency,” which was obtained by Bloomberg News.
Gramegna said that he believes both sides are “just trying to raise the stakes.”
“The negotiation is so complicated that it would be extremely efficient that proposals are put on the table and discussed before-hand between negotiators instead of being played out in the public,” Gramegna said on 13 July. “I don’t think it’s helping the process, and I don’t think it’s helping the credibility of either side.”
Hopes for France-Germany to drive EU agenda
“Obviously, since the beginning of European Union history, back in the 1950s, it’s been Germany and France that have been the engine of European integration,” Gramegna said. “The Benelux countries have been the oil in the engine.”
The same energy is still felt today, Gramegna said. After acknowledging Greece’s new budget approval, he went on to say that while Germany’s economy is the driving force of Europe, the economy is back in most European countries, if not all.
On the French side, he said, they’ve seen many years of stagnation both economically and politically.
“The first measures that president Macron is announcing are all meant to boost the economy and increase confidence,” Gramegna said. “What we are all expecting from this German-French cooperation is that it will drive both the political agenda and the economic one.”