2/2019

 

The SECOND issue of Atlantis of 2019 (SUMMER), dedicates the Dossier to the Europe and Mediterranean theme of Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata through the prestigious collaboration with the Circle of Diplomatic Studies of Rome,

The appointment continues with the great historical events of the years ending in nine with the Ara Pacis.

In this issue, the column on Mondo and Diseases with Meningitis continues.

The country focus, signed by Domenico Letizia, is dedicated to the Balkans.

The permanent collaboration with the magazine Report Difesa also continues in this issue, directed by colleague Luca Tatarelli. The themes of international relations, foreign trade, human rights and geopolitics will add important topics in international affairs such as defense and security.

 

Editorial: European Union, five decisive years

European Union, five decisive years

Thinking about Europe is difficult, it presupposes an effort that perhaps should also be done reluctantly, yet “for the same reason we have a local and national identity, we should understand that the same is also true for Europe”. A set of values, of events that made us European (without even realizing it?): Humanism, the French Revolution, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution. A set of factors that helped build the European identity we live with and this is the question that no one can ignore or pretend to ignore. Does a Venetian feel more or less European than a Viennese and a more or less Italian Sicilian than a Milanese?

 

However, the journey will not be easy.

 

It was not a European vote, the one just happened, and in that European parliamentary representation there is certainly a little too much black, above all for the shadow that affects France and Italy, (expected but still worrying), it is not comforting , but these five years could serve to change a lot, to grow, to make decisions within the European Union.

 

However, if you still want to be optimistic, everything will depend on the new Parliament, the future leaders who will populate the institutions of the European Union, those who work for you, those who have finally realized that when you enter a Brussels palace, the time has come to own nationality and to reason in European terms. On Sunday, the opposite happened, most of the votes were a sublimation of national battles and several voters voted with their country in mind.

 

This reasoning must have done it in a few everywhere and even in Italy, from the day after, we started talking about national government reshuffle and other topics completely away from the truly European contents.

 

Instead, there are reforms that should be made to make everyone feel a little more European. In fact, five crucial years are waiting for us to build our European identity, a lot will depend on who the future president of the Commission will be, on his political stature and also on the majority that will be formed inside the European Parliament, but all efforts must go in one direction : towards political integration.

 

This will be the central issue of the next five years. The roles of Parliament, Commission and Council must be clearly defined, because even in this way, the interests of Europe as a whole can prevail over national interests. It is in the interests of European democracy that the Commission and Parliament break the power of the Council, where the interests of member countries are represented.

 

It must be clear that the place where decisions are made is the blue room in Strasbourg..

 

It must be, above all, because, in this world “in disorder” as defined by it in a recent conference organized by Atlantis, Ambassador Giorgio Radicati or in “turmoil” as described by Haas in a book of last year (not translated into Italian), the alternative to this awareness and the consequent realization of a new identity (cultural but above all political), a “sick” Europe would turn into a conquest terrain for Beijing and Moscow.

 

Five years are not many but the important thing is to abandon the illusion of being still at the center of the world. 

 

 

Dossier: Europe and the Mediterranean Area

Europe and the Mediterranean Area, for a new foreign policy

 Giulio Terzi of Sant’Agata - Diplomatic Letter 26 February 2018

From the book "Letters on the World", "Global Observatory Series" directed by Domenico Vecchioni, Mazzanti LIBRI, Venice 2019

A foreign and security policy that intends to establish an increased role for the European Union in the Mediterranean and the Middle East and which wants to do so in a business and renouncement of its identity leads straight to the loss of Europe, not to a Union that is strengthened .

It seems absurd that this happens on the shores of the Mediterranean that have given life to the thought, culture and identity of European nations. However, this is the impression given by those who proclaim the need for a decisive qualitative leap in European integration but are careful not to remember the principles on which Europe is founded.

We regularly fly over these principles in reverent respect to the “sensibilities” of regimes that have no semblance of democracy or respect for human rights and the dignity of the person. He is silent even when violent repression of dissent, arbitrary imprisonment and capital executions are taking place. The silence of Europe thus reveals a blatant loss of values. As in other terrible seasons of our history, those who turn from the other side legitimate regimes responsible for the most serious crimes against humanity; constitutes a powerful encouragement to corrupt and bloody autocrats and dictators. Europe, its Member States and the European peoples deserve a different foreign policy.

Neglecting the centrality of the rule of law in relations with other states, Italy and the EU institutions are making Europe lose its true soul: that of the founding principles of the European Treaties, demanding references for all. We should not get tired of remembering him in this election season.

One of the greatest internationalists of recent decades has been Professor Cherif Bassiouni, an essential protagonist of the protection of human rights through United Nations transitional justice mechanisms strongly supported by Italy. Bassiouni left us last September 25th. He generously accepted to chair the Scientific Committee of the “Global Committee for the Rule of Law-Marco Pannella”.

His latest book - The “Chronicle of the Egyptian Revolution” - describes what happened in the Mediterranean since the Egyptian revolution of 2011 until the terrible tragedy of the destruction of Syria and its people. “Chronic of the Egyptian Revolution” ends with the Charles Dickens quote from “A Tale of Two Cities”.

A literary starting point, one might say, but relevant in a debate on the relationship between Europe and the Mediterranean. In the Dickensenian contrast between the city of light and the city of darkness we can now also glimpse the prospects for a different foreign policy of Italy and Europe in the Greater Mediterranean. A new season is desirable. Not only because the marginalization of Europe and the West from the political, diplomatic and military management of crises over the last seven years weighs negatively on Europe’s security, on the cohesion and social stability of our countries, on our direct national interests. European and Italian marginalization - while London and Paris have shown greater capacity for intervention than ours - and the frequent renunciation of affirming national identity and interests give the feeling that in the Mediterranean, by now, Europe is losing its soul. In fact, the EU’s foreign and security policy is tackling the migration issue in an insufficient and partial way. He considers it essentially a humanitarian issue while it regards aspects that are very important for our security both inside and outside Europe. The definition of a common strategy in relations with Russia - after the annexation of Crimea - on the reduction and control of conventional, strategic and sub-strategic armaments on the European continent, in particular the nuclear weapons prohibited by the 1987 INF Treaty, remains ambiguous. The line that the Union, and Italy in particular, intend to follow on Syria, Iraq, Yemen - all pieces of the Iranian puzzle - as well as on Libya and Sahel, remains equally uncertain. In the management of these crises the principles on which the construction of European unity is based, its political and economic integration, and its identity remain in the shadows.

Europe loses its soul in the Mediterranean when High Representative Federica Mogherini systematically avoids putting on the table of negotiations with Iran, respect for the political, economic and social freedoms of the Iranian population. Personalities of our Government and other European countries do the same thing. We are not ashamed to ignore the eight thousand or more protesters arrested in the last days of last year, and those killed by the dozens during demonstrations, eliminated in jail and hanged because they are fighting against corruption and the repression of an entire people, declaring at most that “we continue to follow the development of events”.

There are no questions to ask us? Is there no obligation under the Treaties for each Member State of the European Union and for all the EU institutions to place respect for human rights and the rule of law at the center of the Union’s external relations? Is it not this obligation enshrined in the Treaties and by a myriad of European Council decisions, guidelines and action plans, such as those on freedom of religion and thought (FORB)? And are these obligations not underwritten, overt, promoted by European governments and at the same time completely ignored in practice? The Minister of Economy celebrated in the Ciampi hall of his Dicastery with his Iranian colleague the concession of billion-dollar credit lines, financed directly or indirectly by the tax payer and by the Italian saver, just as blood flowed in the streets of dozens of Iranian cities. These are the credit lines that will be managed by Invitalia, pursuant to the latest Budget Law. The Government’s decision to exclude from Invitalia the references, requested by some parliamentarians, from the provisions and recommendations of the European Union against money laundering for terrorist purposes has raised concerns about the signal the Iranian authorities can draw from it.

Europe has erased human rights, the dignity of the individual, economic and social rights, religious freedom, belief and disbelief, political pluralism from the radar. Syria, Iran, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya are the stages of European indifference and our irrelevance. For seven years the horrors of the Syrian genocide have been the mirror that we continue to ignore of our incapacities.

Why did Bassiouni want to mention Dickens? To explain the individual and collective responsibility principle of each of us:

“It was the best of times,

it was the age of wisdom

it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness”.

Written more than 150 years ago, Bassiouni concluded, Dickens’s words may well represent what happened and is happening in the Mediterranean and in the Arab world from 2011 to today.

The beginning of the year marks the seventh anniversary of a genocide against the Syrian population, perpetrated by the Assad regime with the support - underlined still Bassiouni - of Iran and Russia. The massacre of civilians in the “zone of de-conflict” decided in recent months in Astana on a Russian, Iranian and Turkish initiative continues. It should have ensured that the bombings would cease completely in Idlib and East Gouthai. Instead the systematic elimination of civilians who had been made to take refuge in Idlib from Aleppo, the attacks on hospitals and schools also with chemical weapons continues. Prof. Bassiouni noted that since April 2016, Russia has been conducting a bombing campaign that constituted blatant war crimes and crimes against humanity.

“The use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime continued, Bassiouni noted, always supported in such criminal activities by Iran and Russia.” The “responsibility for these crimes, the eminent jurist declared, extends to the Russian and Iranian participants who provided technical support for military operations, and to their superiors on the basis of command responsibility ... Russia provides the Syrian military with practically all materials, spare parts, ammunition, and technicians for repairs and maintenance. Now that these technicians and their superiors are directly involved in military operations and bomb opposition targets with Russian aircraft, they must respond to their criminal responsibilities for their actions. “

“A foreign policy that” finds “Europe in its Mediterranean principles and interests must give Italy authority and credibility in the difficult process of stabilizing Libya and the Sahel, now that we are also engaged militarily. It is necessary that the aims of the Our presence must be clear and agreed with France, Great Britain and the United States, and we must also look at the Eastern Mediterranean as a geopolitical area that for some years has become increasingly complex and vital for the national interests of Italy and Europe. The Syrian crisis, the destabilization created by Iranian expansionism, the security of Israel, cannot remain “optional” declarators for our country, they must return to the center of all the diplomatic efforts we can express, both bilaterally towards the countries of the region that in multilateral forums: the new centrality to be given back to Italy’s foreign policy in the Mediterranean it affects great opportunities that Italy must be able to grasp.

Recent discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean can catalyze important regional cooperation. For Europe the proximity of these gas fields provides a unique opportunity to ease the dependence of Russian supplies, although Moscow has already positioned itself with strategic participations in some of these projects. The integration of these energy resources with the European energy market can also give Europeans considerable leverage. The Levant basin - Levantine Deep Marine Basin - extends between the waters of Israel, Lebanon, Turkey and Cyprus. Some discoveries have also been made off Gaza. Egypt is in pole position with the Zohr field and Eni has already started production. BP started production in the Western area of ​​the Delta. The Egyptian gas market is developed and will absorb the initial production. These resources can have a transformative effect, bringing Egypt to energy self-sufficiency with a positive impact on an energy-intensive industrial structure. There are infrastructures already available for export, with two LNG plants.

The development of fields between Israel, Lebanon and Cyprus is more complex: first of all because the prospects essentially concern export markets in a global context close to saturation. There is a need to create a pipeline network and access to Egyptian LNG facilities. The possibility of a gas pipeline through Turkey, or an alternative route of two thousand kilometers at a depth of three thousand meters that connects the Eastern Mediterranean to Italy is also being evaluated in the medium term. Gas can be an important catalyst in encouraging further progress in the status of Cyprus, even if these were interrupted last year. It is necessary to support a negotiation whose perspectives influence the possibilities of exploitation in a disputed area, as shown by the last difficulties that emerged between Rome and Ankara.

The centrality of Italy in the Greater Mediterranean appears essential to a foreign policy inspired by that wise dose of “realism” that Hans Morgentahu and his school have always hoped for: short-term conveniences must never obscure the principles and values ​​of identity which constitute the essence of the national interest. 

 

 

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