Italy and France heal their rift with a treaty

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ROME – After several years of hurricane ties, Italy and France are putting their differences behind their backs with an alliance that means establishing a new alliance between the two EU rich in industrial and cultural groups.

Demonstrating the importance of this relationship, Italy is taking a very symbolic role to hold Friday’s ceremony – as well as dinner last night – in the President’s Quirinale Palace, under the auspices of the President. cuirassiers helmets. Evidence of a long journey of conflict between the Franco-Italian states, the former papal palace chosen to hold the ceremony was. remake under the leadership of Napoleon who planned to turn the house into his home after French troops occupied Rome, although they did not enter.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi now see it as time to turn the page on the Paris-Rome strong alliance, which became extremely toxic between 2018 and 2019 as the ruling coalition led by the anti-establishment of the 5Star Movement and far . -The right-wing league dominated Italy. Although there has been a dramatic change in relationships since Draghi took office in February, the leaders want to close the system that will now support a permanent partnership in starting areas from 5G and space starters to fairness and migration.

Although it had ambitious goals in recent years – including migration, Libya and industrial activities – Paris and Rome are very close in recent months and reuniting the EU system in the wake of the recession. With both countries in high debt, they are keen to pressure the EU to reduce its spending.

The new agreement should build “greater trust in working together and addressing the challenges of Europe,” said Vincenzo Amendola, Italy’s secretary for European Affairs during a visit to Paris last week to meet with French Foreign Minister Clément Beaune.

“Even in times of conflict, we think the same way on many European issues, we agree on almost every economic, health, and everything we have done at the moment. [pandemic] difficult, we introduced it in the French-Italian way, “said Beaune.

The so-called Quirinale Treaty should be signed as German Chancellor Angela Merkel emerges as a threat to European politics and the pre-French presidential campaign. in 2022. To some extent, its promise of bilateral alliance is similar to the Elysée Agreement between France and Germany, which was designed to end their strained relations after WWII and was renewed in 2019 in Aachen and Macron and Merkel.

But the French are keen to emphasize that the Italian alliance should not be seen as Paris from the Franco-German relationship. “There is a similarity, a similarity of ambitions, but from then on I would not say there is a desire from France to reconsider its alliance,” the Elysée chief said of the two treaties. The French official added that it would be “difficult” to sign the two agreements, but acknowledged that the Franco-Germany agreement was a matter of security and security.

So what are you in the alliance with?

At the end of the new agreement, France and Italy pledged to agree on a list of laundry facilities. Depending on the people familiar with the negotiations, the areas of cooperation include security, security, European events, migration, industry, smart sectors (including 5G, AI and cloud), justice, start-up capital and new businesses, macroeconomics, culture. and adolescence.

The alliance could include the same commitment to create airborne founders Ariane 6 and Vega-C, said a person who was briefed on the talks.

The ministries linked to the sector will be given the responsibility to work together, while the ministries of finance and economic development in the two countries will be committed to working together in the “fields” of industrial and economic development. The whole government should meet at the intergovernmental meeting once a year, depending on who is familiar with the draft.

Under the agreement, Rome and Paris must convene before European Council meetings of leaders or other EU summits to try to agree on a common ground, a process already in place between France and Germany. The agreement includes a commitment to strengthen the defense system in the EU, Macron’s project as an ally to NATO, according to those familiar with the upcoming alliance. Some states mandate a border coordination committee with the Franco-Italian youth organization, according to the Elysée.

High and low

Macron presented the first draft of the agreement in 2017 and negotiations since 2018 with former Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, now the EU Commissioner for Finance. But following the establishment of a government alliance between the anti-establishment 5Star Movement and the League of Nations led by Giuseppe Conte, the relationship plunged into “serious trouble,” says Jean-Pierre Darnis, a Franco-Italian expert. relationship with assistant professor at the Université Côte d’Azur and Luiss University in Rome.

Interior Minister Matteo Salvini argued publicly and Macron on immigrants and Libya. When Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio they met demonstrators at French Yellow Jackets, Paris he recalled his ambassador to Rome. Relations have declined sharply since World War II, as has the French foreign ministry put that on.

Under Conte’s second government in 2020, this time a mid-term agreement on the left, negotiations for a treaty were revived. But it was Draghi’s arrival at Palazzo Chigi that posed a threat, Darnis said. “It is a sign that Italy can be trusted. Draghi is a strong political, technical and economic guarantee.”

A few months after Draghi took power, the French surrendered an olive branch, unleashing a series of 10 so-called guerrillas – political violence of the 1970s – and paving the way for alliances.

“The agreement has been negotiated this year,” the Elysée chief said, noting that the talks began in 2018 but there has been “a slight decrease due to tensions between the two countries.”

“But we believe that the crisis is really behind us and we have re-established the Franco-Italian international brotherhood,” he added.

Industrial integration should be a strong test of whether the new agreement is more than symbolic. The presence of French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire in Rome and Macron seems to point that way.

Corporate policies in Europe are often driven by the Franco-German alliance – which often triggers the EU industrial process by coming up with joint venture plans or encouraging each other to change – while the Franco-Italian industrial relations. it is often difficult, and the desire to seize industrial gems are being rejected by governments on both sides of the Alps.

The failed to take of Chantiers de l’Atlantique of France by Fincantieri of Italy in January this year and conflicts around the possible sale of the Italian defense giant Leonardo to the Franco-German KNDS alliance shows that the Franco-Italian industrial competition still exists.

The merger between automotive manufacturers Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot Group has been successful, among others Italian concerns about the working French government.

The economic ties between the two countries are strong, especially in terms of trade, but in economic terms, they tend to favor France.

France was the first foreign exchange trader to Italy in 2019, while Italian traders ranked 8th in France, According to French finance ministry. Last year, the national security committee even though he warned as opposed to “growing and organizing the availability of French and financial professionals from our economy” that could lead to corporate decisions against national interests.

“We hope the alliance will help resolve this gap,” said Paolo Formentini, a League legislator and vice president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies.

Sandro Gozi, a former undersecretary for European Affairs, who worked on the agreement during Gentiloni’s administration, and later advised Macron, said a stable relationship could help prevent tensions between the two countries “who think they know each other better.” each other.”

Divisions that are often delayed have highlighted the importance of cooperation, he said. “Libya was a lesson. Because of competition and instability [between Paris and Rome] everyone lost, Russians and Turks came in, “he added.

Rest

In Italy, opposition is limited, Draghi is backed by a strong coalition.

Giorgia Meloni, leader of the opposition Italian Brethren, beaten the government excluded parliament from negotiations and accused the left-wing Italian party of being “a spokesman for France in Italy.”

But the Right League, which is part of the federal contract and has a corporate history, is much better.

“The league is always on the international side,” said MP Formentini. “It is in the interest of the country to discuss with each other, especially on the stability of the Mediterranean Sea and migration,” he added, adding that his comments were based on media reports on the agreement.

Even French independence has been cautious. Marine Le Pen, the leader of a far-flung National Rally, cited the agreement as proof that the governments of the countries, not the EU, are involved in international affairs. “To me it seems like another sign of a great international return and the relationship between the two countries,” he said. he tells Corriere della Sera in recent discussions.

The Paris-German Treaty may not be as deep as the Franco-German Treaty, which for example mandates that ministers from the two countries visit each other’s cabinets once a quarter, but it is a step towards that.

“It is not planned to be exactly the same because France and Germany have 60 years of working together, and in Italy, for the first time.

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