Europe

Italy and Spain to seek 'a key role' in revitalizing Europe

  • Italy's Premier Paolo Gentiloni walks ahead of Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as they enter the room to give a joint news conference at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, Friday Jan. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

    Italy's Premier Paolo Gentiloni walks ahead of Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as they enter the room to give a joint news conference at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, Friday Jan. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)  (The Associated Press)

  • Italy's Premier Paolo Gentiloni , left and Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy hold a joint news conference at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, Friday Jan. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

    Italy's Premier Paolo Gentiloni , left and Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy hold a joint news conference at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, Friday Jan. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)  (The Associated Press)

  • Italy's Premier Paolo Gentiloni pauses during a joint news conference with Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, Friday Jan. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

    Italy's Premier Paolo Gentiloni pauses during a joint news conference with Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, Friday Jan. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)  (The Associated Press)

The prime ministers of Italy and Spain are seeking a bigger role in strengthening the embattled European Union during upcoming summits with leaders of other EU countries.

Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni said at a news conference after talks in Madrid with his Spanish counterpart, Mariano Rajoy, on Friday that their nations Spain "can play a key role in the coming months, primarily as protagonists in the European Union revival."

Gentiloni and Rajoy are scheduled to join the leaders of Portugal, France, Greece, Malta and Cyprus for a one-day summit in Lisbon on Saturday.

They also plan to attend a meeting of all the EU's 28 leaders next month in Malta and for a March gathering in Rome to mark 60 years since the establishment of a European economic union.