European leaders can build trust and fight populist threats by touting the economic benefits of closer integration, Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said Thursday.
In a CNBC Facebook Live interview at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund's Spring Meetings 2018 in Washington, Padoan said strengthening euro area reforms would build more trust across the bloc.
"Integration pays off in terms of improving living standards, improving job opportunities, improving welfare," Padoan said. "This must be much strengthened, and also dealing with poverty and those that are left behind in the integration process."
Padoan said countries like Italy are "doing their homework" when it comes to reducing risk in the euro area in areas like non-performing loans and debt reduction. Italy is currently stuck in political gridlock as its parties have been unable to form a government more than one month after national elections.
"Italy has been implementing reforms over the recent past and these are already producing tangible results, but also asking for Europe, which looks at stability, rigor, but also growth and jobs," Padoan said.