20 gennaio 2018 - 4:10
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Italy, Spain and EMA: why the Med Axis has never taken off properly.

In Brussels politics, to associate Spain and Italy has always been a bitter mistake. While the two countries enjoy shared interests, they are not always aligned.

What am I referring to?

In 2008, the idea of a Med Axis between France, Italy and Spain emerged. However, the initiative never took off; it constituted only an informal agreement between Sarkozy, Berlusconi and Zapatero in order to form a common line within the European Council—gathering for the sake of the Mediterranean Region shared interests.

What later became the Union for the Med was initially only a ‘motto’ of the three countries, a declaration of intents to enhance further cooperation within what they defined to be the “Med Axis”.

Little by little, the three leaders acknowledged that the UfM would have been a EU-MENA initiative. Finally, their common line crashed in the fog of a decidedly propagandistic message – without effects.

The Union for the Med, founded in 2008, is an intergovernmental organization gathering the 26 European Member States and 15 countries from the Southern and Eastern shores of the Mediterranean Area (MENA region).

On November 20th 2017, the General Affairs Council voted to relocate the site of the European Medicines Agency: the Council chose Amsterdam as the location for EMA. However, beyond this vote, Italy has lost an important, not to say determinant, political battle.

There are several reasons why being resentful is not even a choice:  it is not just the acceptance of a political defeat (to be honest, only a matter of time). The problem here is rather how to perform capably in the game of Brussels politics which, on Rome’s side, has been certainly forgotten.

However, this is a consequence of a false (constructed) image about a shared interest which seems to be rather an odi et amo between Madrid and Rome.

Rajoy’s Government is not to blame for having voted Amsterdam at the expenses of Milan since it was purely a political decision: just imagine the German Banks as the braces of the (massive) Spanish public debt (which is continuously rising).

Italy’s position is even worse: Gentiloni’s Government inability to raise the voice for such a business-attractive Agency is a symptom of a tremendous indisposition to make the difference in European politics.

Is Italy playing the game? Or is it just resignation? Everyone looks the same with their knickers down but this time Italy has made a clumsy mistake.

A cura di Manfredi Morello

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