The main objective of “Longtitude” is to skillfully and impartially express the Italian viewpoint on global issues. This Italian foreign affairs monthly—the first ever to be published entirely in English and distributed worldwide—was presented at the foreign ministry by Minister Franco Frattini, who also authored articles in each of the magazine’s first two issues.
“Longitude is not a foreign ministry “house” organ”, Frattini specified, explaining that the periodical was the result of “the intelligent and skillful contribution” of top experts, from whom the foreign ministry expected “stimulating and provocative articles that offer constructive criticism wherever possible”— an Italian contribution to the international debate, the minister added.
The Ministry "views positively any initiative aimed at promoting the internationalisation of our country system", explained Secretary General Giampiero Massolo. Moreover, these “external” contributions will be additional stimulus to Italian diplomacy to “open up”.
“Longitude” is the brainchild of its editor-in-chief Pialuisa Bianco, who is also head of the ministry’s Strategic Forum. The longitude, she explained, is that “fixed grid” that allows us to orient ourselves in this constantly changing global geopolitical environment, especially at the dawning of this new century.
“Our interlocutors”, its editor-in-chief writes in the first issue, “are the institutions, the decision-makers, and the economic community, in our own country and others”. “Each month “Longitude” will demonstrate that Italy is a living laboratory. It will produce occasional structured proposals, complete with feasibility studies, to contribute to the international debate. A strategic analysis without a pragmatic approach runs the risk of dissipating into the void. Opinion-makers, speaking ex cathedra, intelligent and farsighted though they may be, aim to buttress their own theories; they do not influence decisions. With great humility, we will conduct careful and multifaceted surveys of situations at hand and seek to map out the possible options as astutely and realistically as possible”.