“Putting public finances back in order and regenerating growth will contribute to strengthening Italy’s position in Europe and, more in general, our foreign policy”. This orientation, taken from a speech by Prime Minister Mario Monti to the Parliament, has underpinned Minister Terzi’s and the Foreign Ministry’s agenda over the past six months and will, in a spirit of continuity and coherence and a focus on strengthening Italy’s international credibility, be the inspiration for the next Conference of Ambassadors of Italy.
Diplomacy at the service of growth
The main theme of the 9th Conference of Ambassadors, working on the basis of an acquis consisting of the updated priorities and strategies that emerged from the preceding one, will be the role of diplomacy in growth, this latter being understood in a context not only economic and with special attention to the European context, our primary point of reference.
The nation’s image and credibility, thanks not least to its status and influence in the European Union, are the fundamental prerequisites for the diplomatic efforts aimed at achieving our objectives. In turn, those efforts must stimulate a systemic organisation that avoids fragmentation and overlaps.
The country’s growth, which the Ambassadors represent in all its aspects, means far more that GDP. It means economic and social progress, wider-spread and better-balanced prosperity, future prospects for young people, research, innovation, culture and more solid public ethics. All dimensions requiring the best European and international standards in global collaboration/competition, and essential also as factors in the formulation of national policies and interests.
An all-inclusive strategy
Diplomacy has an impact on growth conditions and their sustainability over time. It underpins the stability of the geopolitical areas that affect our security, exports and supplies, the defence of businesses and citizens abroad and the internationalisation of the various components of the country system, which includes attracting investments and tourism. For the first time on 22 October, in collaboration with Minister for Economic Development Passera, an all-inclusive plan was launched for foreign promotion activities, prepared on the basis of the goals identified by the Embassies for each country.
Strong point: Italy’s international vocation
Italy has a very decisive strong point – its intense international vocation, free of hegemonic ambition. It therefore has a primary and genuine interest in cooperative international relations based on legality, on strengthening democracy, human rights and freedoms, on the spread of sustainable development and balanced global governance that responds more effectively to global challenges.
The Conference will address two contexts.
In the sessions with members of the government, discussions will revolve around global themes and the horizontal profile of diplomacy. An introductory document prepared by the Directorates General and diplomatic advisors will help to guide the ministers’ debate on matters of greater importance for Italian bilateral, EU and multilateral diplomatic efforts.
Regional work group sessions will focus on the principal opportunities and problems in pursuing our interests, also in the EU, in their respective areas. In this case also, brief introductory documents will be distributed in advance in order to orient discussions.
The Conference agenda also includes a session for discussion between the mission heads and the minister himself, and a round table discussion with business community leaders. These will also be moments useful to improving the overall framework of the foreign ministry and its network’s renewed centrality, investments in which will support the nation’s growth.