Beyond the ‘catering diplomacy’

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Series Details February 2013
Publication Date 21/02/2013
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Foreign policy, unsurprisingly, has not occupied a central role in the campaign for the general elections of 24-25 February 2013. Relations with the European Union, including key Member States, have been discussed against Italy’s problems with fiscal austerity and economic development. One interesting exception is the debate over the vote in favour of granting Palestine observer status in the United Nations that the Monti government gave in December 2012, without a discussion in Parliament. In that context, the Popolo della Libertà denounced a substantial shift in Italy’s approach to the Middle East, which risked jeopardising its long-standing relations with Israel.

By contrast, the secretary of the Democratic Party Pierluigi Bersani said that he, broadly in line with the tradition of the centre-left, was in favor of the Palestinian bid- whereas the other contender in the primaries Matteo Renzi declared that he would follow suit with the UK (which abstained) or the US (which voted against). While this episode may offer an indication of what foreign policy could look like after February 2013, to better appreciate Italy’s posture on the world stage three important issues must be taken into account.

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ISPI: Commentary: Beyond the ‘catering diplomacy’ [PDF]

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