The Italian government intends to call for greater European integration in the region, building on the same lines as its soon-to-be-unveiled African foreign policy signature. Investments and intersectoral cooperation are its hinges
A “Mattei Plan” for the Balkans. The Italian government is ready to reveal which will become his signature of African foreign policy, which paves the way for a reinforced cooperation model (encompassing economic development as well as migration, energy and security). And he thinks the same formula could also work for the Balkans.
- This was expressed by Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani on Monday, while in Brussels to meet his EU colleagues, while hosting a meeting of the Friends of the Western Balkans working group .
Integration, integration, integration. Rome’s appeal took the form of a document signed by Italy as well as Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Slovakia and Slovenia. It calls for “increasing the EU’s presence in the region, with regular and coordinated visits, and strengthening dialogue on foreign policy issues.” Among other things, it defines the objective of promoting the progressive integration of the Balkans into the EU’s common foreign and security policy.
- This is vital to the bloc’s expansion drive, reinvigorated by Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. And it is no coincidence that the text also aims to make EU instruments “more effective in confronting external pressures and countering Russian discourse”.
- This also happens at a time of progress in the accession process of Ukraine and Moldova (as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina), which has caused some resentment in the Western Balkan countries stuck in membership limbo for several years.
Italy as a power of dialogue. As Fog As the Rome-backed document noted, it “almost rivals” a similar Franco-German text circulating in and around Brussels. This is a telling sign of Rome’s desire to consolidate its role as a serious and committed partner to the Western Balkan states, an effort that has been intensified through a whole-of-government approach.
- Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is expected to travel to Croatia this Friday, where she will likely meet her local counterpart, Andrej Plenkovic.
- She also recently made an agreement on migration with Albania, led by a left-wing government, demonstrating its ability to work with partners across the political spectrum.
- Se, Minister of Defense Guido Crosetto And FM Tajani I have all contacted partners in these countries and personally worked on the integration over the past few months…
- …and according to Minister Crosetto, Rome is set to take over the leadership of the KFOR peacekeeping mission in Kosovo.
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