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Minister Moavero Milanesi Meets with Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Enzo Moavero Milanesi, and the Dutch Foreign Minister, Stef Blok, met today in Rome. The meeting follows up on the frequent meetings they had last year, namely in the Hague on 17 September and during EU Councils and NATO and OSCE Ministerials.
The meeting culminated in the signing of an ad-hoc and innovative Memorandum of Understanding. For the first time in the history of diplomatic relations between the Italian Republic and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the MOU introduces a complex methodology for joint activities, with scheduled meetings and debates. The MOU provides for an annual meeting between the Foreign Ministers and regular quarterly consultations between the respective administrations.
A special round table will be organized every year, involving politicians, entrepreneurs, scholars, media operators and artists. The conference is dedicated to the great Dutch painter Gaspar van Wittel, a.k.a. Vanvitelli, who was naturalized as an Italian. He worked as an artist between the two countries, bringing together both cultures and sensitivities in a remarkable way.
The meeting also provided the opportunity for an exchange of opinions on several prominent issues in bilateral relations and multilateral and European themes that involve both countries.
The two Ministers noticed the markedly positive trend in trade between Italy and the Netherlands, which in 2017 (ed.: data on will be available towards the end of March 2019) reached almost 33 billion euros, with a growth rate of about 10% compared to the previous year. This shows how relevant Italian-Dutch trade integration is and the excellent cooperation between the two business communities, which are very well integrated.
Regarding international political relations, the two Ministers underlined in particular how the UN Security Council non-permanent seat, which Italy and the Netherlands shared in 2017-2018, was an excellent demonstration of the great friendship and alliance between the two countries.
Regarding European politics, they discussed the necessary reforms for a well-functioning European Union, the financial resources for the EU budget, the security of citizens, migration flows and related repatriations, a more impactful action to promote economic and social growth in migrants’ countries of origin (Africa, in particular), the protection of Europe’s values and founding principles, climate change and international initiatives to protect the environment, and opportunities to improve the effectiveness of EU common foreign policy.

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