Gayblack Canadian Man

Foreign Policy Analysis
“Italian foreign policy and recent developments in the Mediterranean”

“Italian foreign policy and recent developments in the Mediterranean”


I will touch upon two main areas in this brief
presentation. 1. How the information society revolution
brings changes in policy-making and in institutions. 2. How Italy responds to this challenge and
what are some of the main priorities of our action. A changed world and the role of institutions Over the past 20 years we went through many
changes — perhaps the most significant one being the information society revolution.
This is now the era of hyper-connections. The volume of data hitting us every second
is multiplying by the day. On the web or on social platforms a global
debate takes place 24/7, spanning over oceans and over State borders. We went from homo
sapiens to homo relatus – connected. Public opinion is now dynamic, global, living
an online life of its own. To interact with THIS public opinion we have to adapt our means
and our message. I actually believe institutions and policy
making — as a form of democratically organised way to translate consensus into action — are
not only the best but also the only way to provide a DEMOCRATIC answer to the question:
what matters for our community? what is crucial to us all? I stress the word democratic, as in recent
spans of the global debate, the focus seems to be on accessing information, no matter
how and at which costs. In particular Parliaments have found a renewed
prominence as the institutional embodiment of a debate which cannot limit itself to the
blogoshpere. Parliaments are the only truly democratic Twitter Hangouts. Think about how Parliaments have influenced
the policy debate on the line to take on Syria recently. The way Parliaments can be back at the center
of the democratic debate, if they express their democratic role to the fullest, tells
us a lot about the difference between institutional authority and being AUTHORITATIVE. From Foreign Policy to Globaly Policy There is one area of policy that is specifically
equipped for addressing these new challenges, and that can contribute greatly to the new
governance of our changed world, provided it continues adapting. I am talking about Foreign Policy as the way
we address issues that, by definition, go across boundaries, like most of what happens
in the world today. But not just any foreign policy, certainly not a traditional one. I believe that we can only respond effectively
to the new paradigm of global issues that affect us all, with a shift from Foreign to
Global Policy. We are struggling to address today’s most
pressing global issues and changes, from financial instability to transnational terrorism, from
climate and energy to food issues. In response to these challenges, we need to
try and adapt our action. Let’s see some examples of how this is happening. Italy in a globalised world For Italy the turning point was in 1997, with
an assumption of global responsibility, when we promoted the multinational force Alba,
active in Albania. Many other international peacekeeping engagements
followed, form Lebanon, to Kosovo to Afghanistan. We realised we could play a global role in
multilateral framework. Armed Forces set an example for our Public
Administration: an example of modernisation, of meritocracy. This was all due to international
collaboration- they had to meet the global challenges, to innovate, to compete for effectiveness. This was how Italy transitioned from foreign
policy to global policy. Italy’s main priorities Together with regional engagement – mainly
in the Mediterranean and the Balkans, but also in areas like the Horn of Africa, we
are now developing — the three traditional priorities of Italian foreign policy in light
of this transition to global policy. 1) European integration; 2) NATO and transatlantic
bonds and 3) the United Nations and the multilateral system. EU The European Union needs an updated Governance,
not just in names but in ideas. It is time to go back to thinking about the future of
the EU. The Union needs to combine legitimacy and the ability to deliver rapidly, TIMELY. In the second semester of 2014, Italy will
hold the Presidency of the EU. I want this to be a connecting point, a time
during which we conclude the adoption of important measures we launched in 2013: from the single
market to the banking union to TTIP. After the German elections there are no more
alibis: we need to put growth at the center of our action. NATO Italy remains deeply committed to building
a stronger NATO, able to respond to the new realities and challenges. NATO for us particularly means our strategic
partnership with the US. We showed it recently in the Saint Petersburg
G20, where we were among those making an effort to bridge the EU positions with the US one
on Syria, which resulted in the signing of a common declaration by 11 Heads of States
and Governement, followed the day after by the German signature. I had no doubt in my
mind that we had a duty to share responsibility with our Allies. The Alliance is successfully developing unconventional
assets such as cyber-defence and counter piracy, reacting to new and evolving threats. UN Italy supports a more balanced, effective
and accountable system of international governance, grounded in a renewed UN system. We are firmly committed to multilateralism
and to the role of the UN in maintaining international peace and security, and in promoting respect
for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all. We are looking with attention at the new High
Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, where we will work for a new global consensus
on food, which is crucial for our future. This is closely connected to our role as hosts
of Expo Milan 2015 – Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life. Italy has contributed over the years to the
UN efforts to foster peace and stability worldwide, in particular by participating to a high number
of UN peacekeeping operations. We are particularly proud of our contribution
in Lebanon, where an Italian General, Paolo Serra, is commanding the UNIFIL Mission, to
which we provide more than one thousand troops. Mediterranean The Mediterranean is an essential part of
our longstanding global commitments as well as Italy’s geographical, historical and cultural
home. What is known as Arab spring is raising today
difficult questions. When we compare the expectations generated
by the Arab spring among the people living in the region with the current situation,
we must acknowledge that the future will be completely different from what we could have
hoped for . We simply were not able to read this correctly. I now go back to my point about the need for
institutions to play their role, through diplomacy and a truly Global Policy, meeting the new
challenges of an interconnected society. In the Arabic world the opportunities and
the potential for a future of democracy and prosperity still exist. The people of these countries have expressed
their rejection of the oppressive regimes. Italy is deeply involved in all this. We are
in a constant and close dialogue with our partners on the southern shore, and we intend
to provide as much support as possible to ensure a positive outcome from the difficult
political, social and economic crisis. What we see is the legitimate request of Arab
peoples to be the masters of their own destiny. It is a claim for human, political and economic
rights but, primarily, it is claim for dignity. We follow the new government policies in Egypt
for a full Egyptian ownership, while at the same time calling for a balanced approach
vis-à-vis all the actors, including the forces inspired by political Islam. Political attitudes such as restraint, rejection
of violence, and a disposition to reach compromises in the National democratic dialogue, should
be a matter of concern for all parties in Egypt. To this effect, Italy continues to call on
the Parties to develop the necessary confidence-building measures to engage in a negotiated and inclusive
way out of the current crisis. In Libya we are strongly committed to providing
the Authorities in Tripoli with all the assistance needed in their Institution Building efforts.
Italy is the biggest donor there, with a special emphasis
on border control. This is directly connected with our national
interest: the broad framework of stability in the region, with large potential impact
on energy security, migration flows, criminal activity and more. In Syria, Italy has worked for a diplomatic
solution of the chemical weapons crisis, condemning in the most resolute way the chemical attack
of August 21st in Damascus, calling for a central role of the United Nations Security
Council. Italy remains committed to the Geneva 2 process leading to a democratic transition. To show that these are not only words, we
committed to 50 Million dollars in assistance to the Syrian people and to refugees. On all these problematic fronts, I see a common
line. The need for effective, timely, updated global governance. From Italy’s perspective,
this means in particular improved European Governance. This is our firts priority, our first responsibility
and next year , with the Presidency of the EU, we will show that it was not by chance
that the EU
was born in Rome in 1957. Thank you.

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