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Italian foreign policy and the country's role in Europe

The eminent Italian journalist, Sergio Romano, spotlights some noteworthy characteristics of Italy

Italian foreign policy and the country's role in Europe

Claudia Astarita

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While acknowledging the limitations of his country in several domains, Mr. Sergio Romano, a former Ambassador and current columnist for the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, goes on stressing some fundamental features of the Bel Paese in the field of foreign policy.

Firstly, it is located in the centre of the Mediterranean, which has become the most tense and insecure European frontier. It is the main escape way for those fleeing from war areas, such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Even in the mist of this difficult migrants' crisis, Italy (basically on its own) was able to manage the emergency and to show solidarity.

Furthermore, Mr. Romano highlighted that Italy has never diverted its attention from the Libyan crisis and has preserved good relationships with Russia and all the neighbours Mediterranean partners.

Italy has not taken part in the operations in Syria and Mr. Romano seems quite sceptic towards those countries from the "great coalition", i.e. was it really the best path to undertake? The answer is not given yet.

Mr. Romano also points the finger at the European Commission, writing about its "understandable nervous tics". In fact, the institution has to try hard in order to be effective and to seem impartial, but it cannot make it sometimes. The Commission has made some remarkable exceptions with the major partners, such as France and Germany, when they were allowed to violate the Stability Pact.

Furthermore, through Romano's lens, the Commission appears full of contradictions. For instance, it is not competent for monitoring small banks (only the national Central ones) but it intervened in Italy, when the risk arouse that a public rescue might turn into a State help.

Finally, despite the numerous reproaches from the EU towards Italy for its failures, it is worth mentioning all the good performances and goals achieved by the Bel Paese. Most of them usually remain in the shade and this is why Sergio Romano decided to spotlight them in order to praise his country for its achievements in foreign policy.

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