The Innovations of the Italian White Paper: Defence Policy Reform

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Series Title
Series Details No.34, December 2017
Publication Date December 2017
ISBN 978-88-9368-063-9
ISSN 2280-4331
Content Type

Since the British referendum to exit the EU, the question of a common European defence has regained vigour.

Italy, which will be the third largest defence spender in the EU after Brexit, has an important role to play in this debate. In fact, well before the referendum and the re-launch of the European defence agenda, the Italian Ministry of Defence had conducted an in-depth exercise in strategic thinking and planning, culminated in the 2015 White Paper on Defence.

The document codifies the Italian strategy for the use and the development of armed forces, in the European, transatlantic and Mediterranean frameworks. It also addresses important challenges for the national defence apparatus, ranging from personnel reorganisation to changes to internal governance.

The reform agenda had moved ahead slowly, however, with Italy lagging behind its White Paper’s transformative ambitions.

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