“No sea throughout the world has had such a flourishing of civilisations as the Mediterranean - able to sculpt the features of a shared European humanity. A humanity that today faces the challenge of the migration crisis. But, as Italians, we can be proud because we have saved thousands of human lives and defended Europe’s honour," the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Angelino Alfano, told the conference “Italy’s vision and foreign policy. The contribution made by the CeSPI”, today at the Chamber of Deputies.
He went on: “A great many Europeans have driven the illusion of being able to separate their destiny from that of this sea. And Italy has thus found itself alone. But the instability in the Mediterranean is like a warm Sirocco wind that kindles the fire of populists and demagogues: if we want to prevent the populist fire from spreading and burning the cornerstones of our democracy, Europe must no longer pretend it can ignore the crisis of the Mediterranean.” Mr Alfano pointed out that “in a stormy Mediterranean, there are three essential, key points on the compass of Italian and European diplomacy: the stabilisation of Libya and an end to the Syrian conflict; a more southern approach by NATO and a common European Defence Policy; and a stronger economic diplomacy in the Mediterranean and towards Africa, the continent whose Day we celebrated today at the Farnesina, and which will be the subject of a specific outreach session at the Taormina G7.”
He continued: “The new challenges start out from the Mediterranean and even the face of the great art of foreign policy has changed and brings with it lessons learned for us: whilst previously foreign policy was considered the slow genus and its rate was that of maturity, now globalisation and digitalisation have upturned this paradigm and the rate has accelerated tremendously; in the new system, countries count and have a prestige and value not caused by their location but rather by what they do; when there is a gap, something, in the end, fills it. These teachings are learned fully in the Mediterranean”.
He concluded: “Finally, on international terrorism and migrations - Italy is an admirable model of how to conjugate solidarity and security. In a historic context where zero risk simply does not exist, to date we have been a safe country that has guaranteed this security without renouncing solidarity.
"We should be prouder to be this. We made the right choice and the men of the institutions are sometimes called to make the right choices, despite knowing that this will lose them votes. But conscience and respect for key values must prevail. If we had not done this, a veil of shame would have descended, first on Italy and then on the whole of Europe. President Juncker has said that we have returned honour to Europe and now we expect Europe to return to Italy part of the sacrifice it has made.”