European governments share the difficult task of balancing between national public opinion and EU level rules and policies. With general dissatisfaction and EU criticism on the rise among European electorates, many national political leaders have been tempted to go against EU-level rules and norms in their election campaigns. Yet respecting the EU’s common norms and rules remains the cornerstone of the longevity of the EU as a union of trust and solidarity. Recently Italian government’s economic policies have been seen as an example of the difficulties to fulfill national election promises and comply with the reinforced fiscal rules of the EMU. Uncertainties related to respect of common EU rules in one of the largest Eurozone economies has had negative market and political implications. Among other things, finding political support in Northern Europe for EMU reforms which involve risk sharing between the members state economies is likely to become even more difficult than before. The seminar seeks to explore ways of arresting the slide into mutual distrust and incapacity to pursue constructive policies based on the respect for EU’s common norms and rules.