Interview with Hon. Maria Tripodi: "Italy passed from being a protagonist ... to a weak and isolated link"

(To Federico Castiglioni)

Maria Tripodi is the leader of Forza Italia in the Defense Commission of the Chamber of Deputies. In the last few days he announced that he would like to present a parliamentary question on the EII, European Intervention Initiative, multilateral initiative of several European countries supported by France, which aims to create a first nucleus of rapid crisis intervention in operational areas. This project should be connected to the set of Defense initiatives proposed at European level in recent months1. So far, Great Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, Denmark, Estonia and the Netherlands have joined the project, while the Italian government has not yet expressed itself.

Mr Tripodi recently announced to ANSA that he would like to present a parliamentary question on the Italian absence of the European Intervention Initiative, a rapid intervention initiative that would ensure the deployment of European soldiers in crisis areas abroad or in the event of natural disasters. within the Union. Can you tell us more about this project?

Certainly, it seems to me a more than dutiful act to request clarification from the Government and I will do so as the group leader already for two reasons: the first because Italy is one of the founding countries of the EU, which has always been the protagonist of the International Missions and instead, she is currently a spectator and marginalized in a historical period studded with various security risks. The second is because it is necessary to understand why, from the initial interest shown by the Italian Government, for an agreement that is in fact the first step towards the common European military defense, we have passed to silence.

The Italian absence is quite surprising. In fact, all Western European countries join, except us. What do you think is the reason?

I think it is appropriate, net of the hypotheses, to become aware of the fact that the role of our country has gone from being the protagonist of the international chessboard with the spirit of Pratica di Mare (where Silvio Berlusconi was the promoter of the Bush-Putin Agreement that allowed enlargement of the NATO Council to the Russian Federation), weak and isolated, which suffers and accepts decisions of others, a condition that has too often occurred in recent years.

Recently Defense Online interviewed the undersecretary Angelo Tofalo (v.articolo), who assured that Italy will continue to contribute to the development of a strengthened European defense cooperation. Do you think that this government will be consistent with the program signed between the League and Five Stars or that the failure to ratify this initiative is a sign of a progressive disengagement from the European projects that are being realized?

Surely the failure to ratify the EII is an alarm bell, considering how I explained previously the role of Italy. However, regardless of the diversity of political thought and color, I sincerely hope that the Government does not disregard the commitments that the country must honor, it would be a huge damage in terms of credibility, reliability and prestige.

The proposals for Common Defense, as well as those for the reform of economic governance, come mainly from Berlin and Paris, while Madrid tries to take the place at the table previously occupied by Italy. What kind of European policy is Forza Italia hoping for in this situation?

To get out of a complex situation like the one described, we need to focus on that Europeanism dear to the Founding Fathers, very different from today's, too often characterized by strict bureaucratic constraints. Forza Italia believes in the EU, has always been part of the EPP, the largest family of democracy and freedom in Europe and has the honor of being represented in the maximum Assise by the very high profile of Antonio Tajani. We can only hope that the full political realization of a Europe that is strong and united by the Atlantic to the Urals and not subjected to the supremacy or power relations of individual States will be hoped for. Naturally, Italy must recover its lost centrality, be credible and play a leading role and not as a weak link in the system.

1 At present, the possibility of making the EII a stronger European cooperation without sacrificing the British presence in the case of Brexit is being studied.