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Workshop at LUISS “1984-2024: Forty Years of Italian Diplomacy”

1984-2024: quarant’anni di diplomazia italiana”, seminario alla LUISS
1984-2024: quarant’anni di diplomazia italiana”, seminario alla LUISSquarant’anni di diplomazia italiana

Forty years ago, on 5 March 1984, the career path of a group of Italian diplomats began. They carried out their mission serving the Republic in often challenging and complex political, geographical and institutional contexts. In order to celebrate this anniversary, the LUISS ‘School of Government’ hosted a public workshop to collect testimonies, analyses, and proposals resulting from their decades of experience, based on lessons learnt, success stories, and criticalities noted in the course of a long career in diplomacy, for the benefit of the new generations who intend to undertake a profession in the international sphere.

Among them, diplomats Gianni Bardini, Piero Benassi, Antonio Bernardini, Pasquale Ferrara, Luca Giansanti, Vincenzo Grassi, Giorgio Guglielmino, Sergio Mercuri, Pietro Sebastiani, Francesco Maria Talò, Renato Varriale.

“The diplomats of 1984” crossed the fault lines between the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st, in a change of era rather than an era of change. The workshop, designed to provide an opportunity to share ideas, good practices and beliefs corroborated by experience, demonstrated to what extent the glue of different perspectives represents Italy’s connective power. A role of connection required by various international players due to the fact that – despite the clarity of its international positioning, Italy has no hidden agendas or ulterior motives, is trusted by many counterparts and has the ability to present itself – also through its professional diplomacy – as a facilitator and reliable counterpart even in problematic or conflictual contexts.

After 40 years, the reference points of multilateralism, of an orderly and peaceful development of international relations on a global level, of the European integration process, of transatlantic relations and of the Mediterranean projection remain the pillars of Italian foreign policy in an increasingly multipolar and fragmented world. In an international scenario in worrying involution, with two ongoing conflicts having potentially global consequences, the role of diplomacy as a factor for reducing tensions – at least for peaceful coexistence, if not international cooperation and collaboration in common institutions – is more than ever a need of our time.

The event featured, inter alia, speeches by LUISS President Luigi Gubitosi and Professor Giovanni Orsina. Three papers were presented: “Perspective 1984. From the New Cold War to the Illusion of a New International Order” (Antonio Varsori); “Perspective 2004. Transitions and Integration” (Maria Elena Cavallaro); ’Perspective 2024. Italian Diplomacy in the Contemporary International System” (Raffaele Marchetti). Three panels were also held, moderated by Carolina De Stefano, on “Multilateralism and Multipolarism”, “Europe in Global Change” and “Dimensions of Security”.

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