“It is with great enthusiasm and a profound sense of responsibility that I assume the office of Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Allow me to address a warm greeting to all the women and men, especially the younger ones, working at the Central Administration of the Ministry, at the Diplomatic Missions and in the Consular Offices, Cultural Institutes, and at the Italian Development Cooperation Agency.
Already in my capacity as Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies, Minister of Economic Development and Deputy Prime Minister, I had several opportunities to have contacts with our diplomatic corps. Precisely in those circumstances, I had the opportunity to appreciate the quality and competence of Italian diplomacy, not only in maintaining and bolstering our international relations, but also in promoting Brand Italy in the world and in internationalising Italy’s economic system.
The Government is aware of the sensitive commitments that await us and the expectations of Italian men and women. We will face up to every challenge that we come across forthright. The priority goal of foreign policy, which will be a key element on this Government’s agenda, will be our national interests in Europe and in the world, in the mutual respect of our partners, with the authority that a great Country like Italy deserves and with its renowned and appreciated traditional balance and openness to dialogue with others. Foreign policy is a unique instrument in the present global context – increasingly complex, ever-changing and competitive – in which the actions of diplomacy contribute to responding to concrete issues and have immediate repercussions on the daily wellbeing of citizens.
It is for this reason that we intend to come to terms with ongoing global transformations while maintaining a frank and open dialogue with our partners, obviously without giving up our common European and Atlantic values that form the milestones in our Country’s history.
Our focus shall primarily concentrate on the most immediate challenges and urgencies, such as the enlarged Mediterranean, Africa and the migration issue, on which we intend to concentrate our efforts to make Europe more aware of its responsibilities and to override the Dublin Regulation. More specifically, Africa can no longer only be seen as a reason for concern but rather as an opportunity to single out new strategic partners through which to boost our Country’s development and growth.
Investing in emerging markets, technological innovation and scientific research is the major driver of the internationalisation of our Country’s whole economic system, fostering a sustainable growth also catering for climate and environmental balances, with a view to triggering virtuous growth and development cycles to the benefit of future generations. This too will be a key point on the agenda that I intend to bring forward with perseverance and determination.
Professionalism, dedication to the State and commitment are essential qualities, as the service that we are called on to perform is a public good – tangible and precious – for citizens, institutions and companies, with whom we have the obligation to maintain a continuous and transparent dialogue.
The ambitious goals that we have set for ourselves require a continuous effort from each one of us.
As I have already had the opportunity to note several times, I am certain that I can count on the full collaboration of all the personnel of the Foreign Ministry and of the overseas network which represents such a unique resource. So, allow me to extend to all of you, and especially to those who provide their services with a great spirit of self-sacrifice in theatres of crisis and of war, my sincerest thanks and I wish you all the best success in your work.
Luigi Di Maio”