Ventotene: The European Union is determined to go forward and "write a new chapter in our history" after Britain's dramatic decision to leave the bloc, Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Monday.
"Many people thought that Europe would be finished. But it's not so. We respect the British people's choice but we want to write a new chapter in our history," Renzi told journalists.
He was giving a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and France's President Francois Hollande during a summit held by the three leaders on the tiny island of Ventotene.
"It is the moment to throw old baggage and get ready for new things," Renzi said, quoting Italian anti-fascist Altiero Spinelli, who is considered one of the founding fathers of European federalism.
Earlier, Renzi Merkel and Hollande visited Spinelli's tomb on Ventotene.
The choice of Ventotene for a mini-summit to discuss European Union's future is seen as highly symbolic as Spinelli co-wrote a manifesto for a federation of European states while he was imprisoned on the island during World War II.