Defense Online meets the Hon. Gianluca Rizzo, the new president of the Defense Committee of the Chamber

(To Andrea Cucco)
11/07/18

Mr Gianluca Rizzo has just been president of the House Defense Committee. We are talking about a fundamental body also for the simple information of citizens. An example? Transparency DUE through the media which in the previous regime was denied: what for a journalist was a "data not available" (v.articolo), it became on the initiative of some parliamentarian ...

Mrs Rizzo, from the previous member of the committee how did you live the appointment?

For me it was a great emotion. I thought about when I first came here five years ago, to the work done with my colleagues, to the difficulties we encountered. In my brief installation speech, I asked for everyone's collaboration and I assured that I will perform my duties with the institutional impartiality that the office requires. I will be a guarantee president for everyone.

Can you explain to readers what the commission's tasks are?

The Defense Commission is the IV Permanent Commission of the Chamber of Deputies. Participates in the formation of the legislative process both in an advisory and referent. In some exceptional cases, when the unanimity of the groups requires it, it can act with the powers of the Assembly itself (legislative seat). Conducts auditions and fact-finding investigations. It is the place of confrontation with the government both in the examination of the drawings and the decree-laws, and in the discussion of opinions or resolutions. Here the deputies can interrogate the Minister of Defense and ask for facts and political choices of his competence.

The country has experienced a distinct discontinuity in the executive. Will something like this happen under your presidency?

Personally I have had two presidents in the last legislature the honorable Elio Vito and Francesco Saverio Garofani. Two different fingerprints in the method, but still allowed to do a good job in the Commission. With them we have had the opportunity to discuss, of course, but this discussion has never transcended the correct political dialectic. The Presidency of the Commission has as its main characteristic the role of guarantee to all the components and I will try to carry out this task to the fullest. Of course I would like to make access to the material and documents submitted for opinion more accessible to the outside. Often these are weapon systems and in many cases it was preferred not to publish the complete texts on the Internet, in my opinion, an excessive desire for confidentiality. As far as possible I would like to open up to civil society. Only with transparency can we bring citizens closer to politics and participation.

What are your priorities in the Defense field? The rights of the staff?

For two years I was a member of the Commission of Inquiry on depleted uranium and I carry with me this scar: for me the right to health of citizens in uniform is a decisive point. The rights of personnel will also be addressed in light of the recent ruling by the Constitutional Court that has canceled the ban on military members to join a union. Let us not forget the decisive role that the defense holds for security and for peace. Italy is involved in many international missions and our soldiers are honored in different contexts, but it is necessary to make sense and actualize this commitment in the light of new threats and crisis situations.

He has met many men and women in uniform in these years. What opinion do they have of them?

I am proud of our Armed Forces, men and women in uniform are a great resource for the country. In the first five years of my first term I have, with my colleagues, shot far and wide for barracks, ports, airports and military polygons trying to get to know their work and their needs as much as possible. The human factor is decisive for redeeming Italy from the current situation of decline. In addition to men and women in uniform, I would also like to mention the more than thirty thousand workers and civilian workers of the Defense: they are also an important resource and a professionalism not to be lost.

And of the summits, direct legacy of the previous government?

The military summits, which I am meeting in these days, have all confirmed to me the will to collaborate with Parliament. I see a constructive atmosphere that is a fundamental precondition for working well in the interests of the country.

In recent years there has been a methodical censorship of what had been an imminent opening of the military world for decades. Can we hope to be able to freely tell the fellow citizens the truth in the future?

The possibility of organizing in unions and associations overcoming the hierarchical approach of the old Military Representation will also help solve some excessive problem of censorship of the thinking of military personnel. We are in a new phase and this too is part of the modernization of the Armed Forces. We would also like to encourage journalists' work in telling the Armed Forces and, more generally, to urge greater attention from the mass media, also critical attention, to the world of Defense in the broadest sense. We would like these great themes to be the heritage of public opinion and not the exclusive preserve of a few specialists. The Defense must be perceived as a common good in full harmony with the letter and the spirit of the art. 52 of the Constitution.

She belongs to the 5 Stars movement. Will it make "discounts" to the government?

It is not about making discounts to the government but rather about sharing the best ideas and proposals to help him in this business to change the country. It will not be easy, but we are confident and we have a duty to try.

(Photo: Online Defense)