The enlarged Mediterranean region is full of sensitive and interconnected challenges, but also of significant opportunities. In parallel with the search for security and stability for the region, Italy has therefore advocated an inclusive approach, combining prevention, containment and resolution of crises and conflicts, with the promotion of a “positive agenda”. Italy is convinced that the Mediterranean can be all the more secure and prosperous the more the coastal countries will know how to protect and manage – in a shared manner – the so-called “Mediterranean common goods” (such as the green transition, the blue economy, research and digital innovation, scientific and cultural diplomacy, health).
Even in a fragmented context such as the Mediterranean, the challenge is to build a multilateralism based on a positive-sum logic, alongside bilateral action. Security – seen in a broad sense that includes political solutions, humanitarian assistance, civil reconstruction, institutional consolidation and economic development – is a cornerstone of Italian diplomacy. Within the UN, EU, NATO and OSCE frameworks, Italy is always looking for Mediterranean mechanisms of collective or cooperative security.
The Central Directorate for Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Countries oversees relations with the 19 countries in the region, covering an area stretching from Morocco to Afghanistan. It monitors both bilateral and multilateral relations and deals with topical issues, which include: the Libyan and Syrian crises; the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process; the developments in Afghanistan and their regional and international repercussions; the transition of the countries in the region to a more complete democracy. The MENA CD follows the complex political-institutional events in Tunisia and the Lebanon; the relations with Iran, including the nuclear issue; the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation formats; migration flows; support for economic-commercial relations and the development of Italian companies in the region.