Rome’s moment: Draghi, multilateralism, and Italy’s new strategy

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Publication Date May 2021
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Italy is set to play a defining role in the use of the EU recovery fund, whose success or failure will likely shape European integration for years to come. Under Prime Minister Mario Draghi, the country is focused on dealing with the pandemic while promoting Italian and European interests as president of the G20 and co-chair of COP26. The Draghi government is shifting the priorities of Italian foreign policy towards the European Union, the transatlantic relationship, and multilateralism more broadly.

This marks a break with the approaches of the previous two governments, which were intent on partnership with China and Russia. Draghi’s Italy will work primarily alongside other EU member states – particularly on health security, climate, and economic and infrastructure development – but could also act as a bridge between competing great powers. In doing so, Italy has an opportunity to position itself closer to the Franco-German engine and to help construct a multilateral system in which the EU and the US are equal partners.

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