Draghi: We need to listen to those left behind by Europe's pursuit of wealth

Unusually political comments from the ECB president say Europe is playing into the hands of populist movements

Draghi: We need to listen to those left behind by Europe's pursuit of wealth

Michael Probst / AP

Mario Draghi, European Central Bank (ECB) president has warned that the European Union needs to do more to protect those on the verge of being left behind by the 'European project.'

"I do not think there will be significant progress in terms of opening up markets and competition if Europe does not listen to the demands of those left behind by a society built on the pursuit of wealth and power; if Europe, as well as being a catalyst for integration and an arbiter of its rules, does not also moderate its outcomes," he said, speaking in Trento, Italy which is quoted by The Financial Times.

He added that Europe needs to, in his opinion, do more to redistribute wealth throughout the Union to avoid a "backlash" against the EU.

Mr Draghi says that the EU needs to provide "essential protections for the most vulnerable" - not just try to boost countries' GDPs.

His comments come following the UK's decision to leave the EU and as the popularity of anti-EU movements continue to grow in a number of countries, including Germany, Italy, France, Austria, and the Netherlands.

The Italian official also called for greater cooperation in areas of security, migration, and defence.

In order to continue to create an 'ever closer Union' the EU needs to deal "more directly aimed at the people, their needs and their fears" according to Mr Draghi.