1/2021

The first issue of 2021 begins a new era: that of the International Festival of European Geopolitics which will be organized by our magazine in collaboration with numerous other subjects, all of great institutional and cultural depth.

Here, then, is a presentation of the event in its first edition, which although taking place online will have a stable direction at the Antonio Vivaldi theater in Jesolo Lido, on May 6-7-8, 2021.
Space for one of the articles by Pietro Calamia, taken from the book Writings by Pietro Calamia, an ambassador at the service of Italy and Europe, presented at the festival in the presence of the past president of the Circle of Diplomatic Studies, Ambassador Roberto Nigido and his two co-presidents Ambassador Paolo Casardi and Ambassador Maurizio Melani. the presentation was also attended by the Director General of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Social Cooperation, Ambassador Elisabetta Belloni as well as the former President of the Council of Ministers and current Vice President of the Constitutional Court Giuliano Amato.
Unmissable pieces by Eleonora Lorusso and Domenico Letizia.
The fundamental collaboration with the Geopolitics and Maritime Strategy Studies Center also begins in this issue.

 

More rights, fewer principles

Editorial

Editorial

 

More rights, fewer principles

 

The spring issue of this 2021 still saddened by the pandemic portrays Ursula Von der Leyen, president of the European Commission and therefore the first citizen of Europe, on the cover, inaugurating the annual sequence of dedications to the four main world leaders. After Von der Leyen it will be the turn of Joe Biden then of Xi Jinping and finally Vladimir Putin. In short, the big four of the earth.

The first issue of the year coincides with the realization of the first edition of the International Festival of European Geopolitics in Jesolo (Venice) on 6 - 7 - 8 May. A missed appointment last year due to the coronavirus tsunami and postponed several times until relocating to its already logical dates in the calendar of the events season of the Venetian seaside city that tenaciously wanted to host the festival. An appointment that will be traditional and has as its main purpose the study of issues and problems related to world government. An event that will compare different worlds that often do not speak or confront each other while facing the daily efforts of maintaining peace, security, respect for human rights, economic growth, the fight against hunger, respect for the rule of law, the fight against crime and corruption. That is, the world of diplomacy and international relations; the world of economics and finance; the world of defense and security and the world of information and research and the dissemination of knowledge, not only academic. The public without distinction of any kind, because anyone can and indeed must be the recipient of this message, will be that of students, researchers, journalists, entrepreneurs, diplomats in career and retirement and soldiers also in career and retirement. 

However, the magazine does not renounce even in its first issue of the year 2021 to continue to be a means of disseminating and defending liberal-democratic thought even in a time of great general difficulty, in particular with regard to two major general issues: the first, the supposed greater efficiency of an autocratic government compared to a democratic one in the face of major emergencies and the second, the limit to individual freedom set by the need to protect collective health. Themes that we will tackle without hesitation, aware that appearances can be deceiving and winning are the affirmations of principles and rights rather than the guidance of so-called strong men and / or liberticidal ideologies.

On the European diplomacy of Italy

Pietro Calamia, a Great Diplomat

 

By Scritti di Pietro Calamia un Ambasciatore al servizio dell’Italia e dell’Europa

 

On the European diplomacy of Italy

 

To understand a little more what Italian diplomacy has done in the integration process, today we have three excellent volumes - Silvio Fagiolo, The idea of ​​Europe in international relations, Milan, Franco Angeli, 2009; Rocco Cangelosi, The constitutional twenty years of the European Union: testimonies of a diplomat at the service of the European cause, Venice, Marsilio, 2009; Roberto Ducci, The hopes of Europe (scattered papers 1943-1985), edited by Guido Lenzi, Soveria Mannelli, Rubbettino, 2007 - each of which makes a contribution to this analysis, but actually perhaps something more will need a day to try to evaluate from the inside what has been the role of Italian diplomacy in the process of European integration.

In Silvio Fagiolo's book there is an absolutely shared analysis of the roots of European integration, Franco-German reconciliation, and the Russian-American confrontation that took place even before the Franco-German reconciliation. There is some justification for this statement, if we consider (I always quote from Fagiolo's book), that Altiero Spinelli, upon Stalin's death in 1953, wondered if the process of European integration would not have stopped; that is, a federalist of Spinelli's depth also saw between the East-West confrontation and the process of European integration as a link that probably escaped other personalities of that period. In the book by Rocco Cangelosi there is a precise and exhaustive testimony of the role of Italy even if, and I believe this goes to the honor of the diplomat, I found more federalist than diplomatic accents in some of the analyzes. I am not saying this in a critical sense, there is a federalist coating on the diplomatic role of Italy that deserves to be emphasized. In Ducci's book, if I can say it sincerely, I often have the impression that the hand of the writer prevails over that of the historian, and this too is intended as a compliment. I will quote a passage from Ducci's book that seems to me to be the most fundamental even if, and this is not a reason for surprise for those who met Roberto Ducci, there are here and there in the book some fulminating jokes. I cannot resist the pleasure of citing one, taken from a creed of 1964: Kissinger thinks of embarrassing de Gaulle by asking him how he would have prevented Germany from dominating Europe and de Gaulle, without smiling, replied "par la wars ". Let's forget all this, but it is typical of that testimony that Ducci has always been able to provide of his vision and interpretation of the relationships between the great personalities of our time. I therefore return to the role of diplomacy; if at the origin there is the intuition, the vision of many men, often from the frontier, such as Adenauer, Schuman, De Gasperi, what I would like to emphasize is that the process of European integration has so far walked on the legs of diplomacy, of diplomatic negotiation. This is why I confess that sometimes I do not understand some reservations about the diplomatic process. Guido Lenzi spoke of the art of conspiracy, this can feed suspicion; but in reality, in the complex equilibrium of our continent, without careful and discreet diplomatic negotiation, we probably, indeed I can certainly say, would not have reached where we have arrived.

In the preface to the book by Rocco Cangelosi, President Giorgio Napolitano significantly writes about the single act that at its conclusion it was considered to be renouncing, but that the subsequent judgment, as regards the scope of the single act and its political consequences and institutional, has completely overturned that judgment. I am quoting this because, apart from the authority of the president, in my opinion it constitutes a further confirmation of what has been the validity of the diplomatic method. If we had had to listen to the most advanced visions of my federalist friends, for example, we probably would not have even reached the signing of the single deed in 1986. And here the quotation from Roberto Ducci seems justified, writes Ducci:

"Europeanism never became an expression of the conscious will of one or many European governments, in the sense that the abdication of the highest sovereign powers of the state - in defense, foreign policy, fiscal and budget policy - in favor of a European government and federal parliament has never been explicitly part of the program of any government in Europe ”.

I believe there is no need to comment. Let's say that when analyzing the role of diplomacy in the process of European integration, this assessment must be taken into account, which corresponds to reality. This is a writing from '64, but in 2010 the situation did not change.

Very briefly I would like to make some further considerations on the role of Italian diplomacy.

The first: do we want to remember that Roberto Ducci chaired the drafting committee for the treaties of Rome? That is, for the founding act of the European adventure, the Treaties of Rome, it was an Italian diplomat who presided over the proceedings. There is a suggestive page, partly quoted in the volume, but Ducci referred to it in greater detail on another occasion, when at the Castle of Val Duchesse, in Brussels, Spaak turned to him asking if there were other problems. open to discuss the treaties, which were evidently not yet "of Rome", and Ducci with some prudence replied "to my knowledge, no". Spaak then declared the discussion closed and the treaties approved for subsequent signature in Rome.

Second consideration: at the end of the 1960s the European Parliament had no power, not even in budgetary matters; the first battle to give the European Parliament a very limited budgetary power in the framework of the negotiations for the Community's own resources, in '69 -'70, was by Aldo Moro who wanted, insisted and obtained that a minimum budgetary power in the European Parliament was insured for the so-called non-compulsory expenses. It is not important today to know what they are, it is enough to know that they were only 5% of the Community budget and countries wary in this field wanted it to be put on the record of the Council that it was estimated that the non-compulsory expenses (the Harmel list) did not exceed 15% of the Community budget. It was the first, small budgetary power that was recognized in the European Parliament, within the framework of its own resources.

Third consideration: another key moment was that of the decision for the direct election of the European Parliament. The European Council of Rome on 1 and 2 December 1975 at Palazzo Barberini was an interminable meeting in which two absolutely opposing theses clashed. Rocco Cantelosi and Silvio Fagiolo remembered him. For the British there were Wilson and Callaghan who did not accept the idea of ​​the direct election of the European Parliament. Wilson argued with great force by objecting on two levels: the first that in Great Britain the political elections were not imaginable at a fixed date - fixed date - of course, to make an election at the time in the nine member countries - a fixed date was needed - because in Great Britain only the prime minister has the power to choose the date and to call political elections. This was a political objection concerning Great Britain. The second objection, on the other hand, had a general political value: do you want us to hold elections in all member countries of the Community to elect members of a Parliament that does not have budgetary powers, has no legislative codecision powers, has no political powers? But what is the point of electing a parliament that has no powers in any of these fundamental fields, Wilson argued. The vision of Moro, who presided over the European Council, on this point was much more far-sighted than that of the English: Moro with his calm kept repeating that an elected Parliament would be able to conquer the powers. And then with his subtlety he added that it would not even be justified to speak of powers to be attributed to an unelected Parliament. It was one of the high points of the European political debate that took place at Palazzo Barberini and unfortunately little has been known about it outside (and this is the fault of Italian diplomats). But the decision was made and the English and the Danes, who at first abstained, then joined. What happened next proved Aldo Moro's vision most completely right. The Parliament, elected in June '79, rejected the budget in December '79 and left the Community without a budget until June 1980. The far-sightedness and the ability to understand regarding the powers and role of Parliament was above all Italy. Giscard d’Estaing, for example, certainly supported Moro in this circumstance, but France has a presidential regime. The Benelux countries and Germany are more convincing.

It could go on longer, but I will very briefly mention the institution of regional policy. Certainly, claiming Community action in the matter of backward regions favored Italy in particular, at that time, but it was the political idea of ​​what should have been solidarity between the richest and least rich regions also in the medium and long term. The protection of the Italian interest at that time must be seen in a medium-long term perspective: how could a European Union that did not have this kind of solidarity policies work today?

To conclude, I would like to say - perhaps I pulled the cover too far on the side of diplomacy - that of course everyone did their part and also the push of the federalists 6 served for the diplomatic and political action of the Italian government. And the European Union will be able to continue to make progress in this way, even in the future.

 

"Europe is difficult": Giuseppe Vedovato's warning 

 

Giuseppe Vedovato, an international spirit in a national soul.

First of all, I would like to recall - as a student - the Vedovato of the Faculty of Political Sciences Cesare Alfieri in Florence, immediately after the war. The Faculty was reopened at the end of 1947, after enrollments had been accepted "with reserve". The main political and cultural currents of the time were present. There were the great liberals like Pompeo Biondi (Giovanni Sartori was his assistant), the social democrats like Giuseppe Maranini, a lover of the "elitist" political system of Venice (as well as the American one), Catholics like Vedovato.

On the side of the Faculty of Law, on the same floor, also in Via Laura, there were Giorgio La Pira and Piero Calamandrei. At the Faculty of Letters, in Piazza San Marco - there were courses in common with the Faculty of Via Laura - the hieratic figure of Lamanna was imposed: during her lessons, always very crowded, you literally did not hear a fly fly. There were characters like Momigliano and Spini. At the beginning of the 1950s, Gaetano Salvemini also returned from the United States.

I personally remember - we are in the Library that bears his name - the first lesson, in front of the entire academic body and students, of Giovanni Spadolini, called at the age of 26, in 1951, to the chair of Contemporary History, first held by Carlo Morandi, suddenly disappeared.

They weren't professors who all got along well with each other! But what stimuli, what training this diversity represented for the students.

Vedovato was tireless, in those years he took two courses in international law and one in the history of treaties. He directed his beloved "Journal of International Political Studies", he was present at all the debates, especially of international politics, in Florence.

I remember a gloomy afternoon in the fall of 1950, when the afternoon edition of the "Nuovo Corriere" came out with a dramatic nine-column title Communist China entered the war in Korea; and, in the buttonhole, a chilling World War III has already begun. In an evening meeting for the presentation of a book - I think by Giuliano Zincone - the same thesis was evoked. Vedovato, who was in the room, bravely intervened to contradict the thesis, arguing, with the spirit of the internationalist jurist, that they were "Chinese volunteers", that one could not talk about war, much less the Third World War.

If I had to express a synthetic judgment on Giuseppe Vedovato, I would be tempted to take up the words he wrote about a great friend of his, Andrea Cagiati: "an international spirit in a national soul".

The thing that most impressed in Vedovato was his desire to do. He also practiced it with his students. When I asked him to do his dissertation on the right of veto at the United Nations Security Council, which was a very topical issue - the newspapers headlined on the front page, practically every day, on the vetoes of the USSR, in particular for the Korea - replied that he would make me do it, provided that I had proposed the solution to the problem.

It was an optimistic view of the issue, but one can • imagine the stimulus that the goal could represent for a twenty-year-old student. But when, after having read everything that existed on the subject at the time in the library of the London School of Economics (the United Nations had only existed for five years and Italy was not yet a member), I documented that in the United Nations Charter there was no 'was the right of veto but the principle of the agreement between the great powers to adopt a valid decision resigned itself to making me change the title of the thesis (The Voting System in the Security Council) and to abandon the ambition to propose a solution .

He could be reasonable. The passion for doing, which he showed in the distant years of the University of Florence, has accompanied him throughout his life. It is impressive to see how much he still managed to promote (and write) until the last days of his life. He was remembered last week at the Gregorian with the publication of the fourth volume of the permanent seminary that bears his name.

He was a somewhat disappointed supporter of Europe, who found the construction of European unification "slow". He considered the delays in progress in key sectors, such as foreign policy and defense, to be unjustified, doubting that effective political integration could be achieved in such a large circle of countries. He was disappointed, but he continued to make his contribution to the ideal of a united Europe.

Vedovato's analysis remains substantially valid. But it is a constant of the European integration process that the agreements reached are often, if not always, partial with respect to the objectives to be pursued. However, they are subsequently resumed and improved. The latest example concerns the Maastricht Treaty.

It was predictable, not only because Delors and his Committee asked, that the monetary union, without close coordination of the economic policies of the member states ("the economic leg") would be "lame", but the main member countries, to starting from France and Germany, as well as Great Britain, then rejected this hypothesis. The Dutch Presidency, in September 1991, had unsuccessfully presented a more advanced project of economic and political integration.

Following the crisis of recent years, the desire for economic integration has been resumed and, after the previous agreements of December 2011, a new treaty, the Budget Pact, was formulated on 30 January. The signing took place in early March.

From 1991 to 2012 to get to the economic volet of Monetary Union. Something similar happened in 1985, with the Single Act, when an agreement was not found to inscribe the legislative co-decision between the Council and Parliament in the treaty, which also involved great political and institutional progress, such as the extension of the majority vote for a large part of the measures necessary for the completion of the internal market, the increased participation of Parliament in the adoption of the acts of accession and association of new countries, the strengthening of the Commission's implementing powers.

Legislative codecision was essentially achieved only with the Lisbon Treaty, which entered into force in 2009.

I believe that the "imperfect understandings" - which can be criticized and criticized - of 1985 and 1991 served to advance integration. These are the times of the difficult European democratic process, caught between the ambitions of the "visionaries" of an ill-defined political Union and the reservations of the defenders of the - ever more limited - sovereignty of the nation states.

Even today, there are critical voices on the 2012 budget pact, which seeks to fill the gaps in Maastricht. There are in particular those who would like a contextual political-institutional progress of the Union.

In my opinion, the political significance of the Pact is underestimated which, by modifying the nature of the member states' commitments in the field of economic and financial policy, sets the stage for further decisive progress in terms of political integration. Once the public accounts of the member countries have been globally settled, the question of the issue of Eurobonds (i.e. bonds no longer attributable to individual member countries) and of the same management in common - in whole or in part - will arise in concrete terms. public debt.

These are problems of political depth, which require adequate maturation times on the part of the governments and public opinion of the individual countries. The position and contribution of Germany and Chancellor Merkel must be assessed in this context.

There is of course to reconcile the times of politics and those of the markets. And to take into account, in the shortest time, the growing signs of social unrest that are manifesting in our countries.

But it seems to me that there is a growing awareness of the need to address these problems urgently. I find it encouraging the willingness to react to the crisis and to work together shown by all parties: Council, Commission, Parliament, Member States. The initiative taken by Italy - with Great Britain and Holland and supported by nine other member countries - to invite the President of the European Council Van Rompuy and the President of the Barroso Commission to promote actions in the field of liberalization of services, the creation of a single digital market, the creation of an effective internal energy market, for a greater commitment in the field of research and innovation, for a labor market that increases employment opportunities, especially for young people.

Without going into the merits of the issues mentioned, I would like to observe that suggesting actions that can promote economic growth is in everyone's interest. For a policy of growth there is no need to further modify the treaties. We have the institutions, the technical tools to do so, if there is political agreement on the initiatives to be taken as a matter of priority. Whether it concerns infrastructure projects, energy, research and innovation, foreign policy, immigration, political decisions at EU level are enough. And the Monti government, with its authority on a European level, has shown that it knows how to place itself in the best tradition of Italian action for the construction of Europe. Of which Italy - Vedovato also testifies - was, from its origins, one of the most convinced supporters.

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