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Participation of Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antonio Tajani, in the 19th edition of the Spain-Italy Dialogue Forum

On 30 and 31 March 2023, the 19th edition of the Spain-Italy Dialogue Forum, an event jointly organised by CEOE (Confederación Española de Organizaciones Empresariales), SEEB (Societat Barcelonina d’Estudis Econòmics i Socials de Foment del Treball) and AREL (Agenzia di Ricerche e Legislazione), was held at the Campidoglio. Since 1999, the Forum has brought together, alternating between Italy and Spain, leading figures from the political, academic, business, economic and communication worlds. The initiative, born from an intuition of Nino Andreatta and sponsored by the governments of both countries, aims to contribute to the strengthening of bilateral relations at a political, economic and social level.

The event was attended by high-ranking institutional figures: from Italy, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Antonio Tajani, the Minister of Defence Guido Crosetto, the Minister for European Affairs Raffaele Fitto, and the Minister of the Environment and Energy Security Gilberto Pichetto Fratin; from Spain, the Vice-President of the Government Teresa Ribera Rodriguez, and the Minister of Defence Margarita Robles.

During his speech at the session “l’impegno comune di Italia e Spagna per un’Europa più unita” (the joint commitment of Italy and Spain for a more united Europe), Deputy Prime Minister Tajani underlined how “Spain and Italy have been the driving force behind the shift in European policy, in particular with regard to the Next Generation EU and national recovery plans. The strengthening of these programmes, together with indispensable public-private partnerships, will provide answers to the complexities created by Covid-19”.

Tajani also noted that Italy and Spain – which together account for a fifth of Europe’s GDP and almost a quarter of the EU population – share common interests and positions on almost all European and international issues. “Our relationship is based on elements that have remained constant over time: the unique affinity between the peoples of the two countries; the particularly intense and fruitful economic relations; the sharing of the same system of European and Western values based on the rule of law, respect for human rights and support for a rules-based multilateral order”.

According to Tajani, the Russian aggression has also given new impetus to the EU enlargement process. “This crisis confirms that the process of geo-strategic investment initiated with the EU enlargement to the Balkans remains as crucial for the EU as it is for the countries. In 2023, the challenge will be to continue the region’s path to EU accession at the same pace as last year”.

Tajani also expressed Italy’s support for the Spanish Presidency of the EU Council, which will start on 1 July and will last six months, stating that he is “convinced that we will be able, together, to achieve important goals on many fronts. We agree on many issues – energy, relations with the Southern countries, migration, European competitiveness and economic governance. It is necessary to renew the EU with responsibility and courage. We are ready to work together with Spain to this end”.


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