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					                        Lecture by the
               Italian Deputy-Prime Minister
              and Minister of Foreign Affairs,
                   H.E. Massimo D’Alema

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“ Italy, Europe and India: making the multilateral system

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             Indian Council for World Affairs

                New Delhi, 10 October 2007
Thank you for inviting me to the Indian Council for World Affairs: It is for
me a great pleasure and honour to share some thoughts with you on Italy’s
foreign policy and the future of India-Europe relations.
I would like to touch upon the two subjects in this order, first trying to lay out
the basic tenets of Italy’s foreign policy and then explaining why I believe it
essential to further develop relations between India and Europe.
At times, I almost get the impression that, from the Indian viewpoint, Europe
is just an economic actor. This is not actually so, and I shall offer my
thoughts on how forging closer links between India and Europe is in fact a
key precondition to an effective multilateral governance.

Italy’s approach to the world is obviously a function of our values, history
and geography.

  1. Our values are those enshrined in Italy’s 1947 Constitution: peace and
     democracy      as   objectives   to   which     our   country    contributes
     internationally through its participation in multilateral institutions and
     in alliances. Such an approach is based on the idea that national
     sovereignty has certain limitations: a principle that, I believe, has been
     one of the founding elements of the process of European integration and
     has become very fitting in today’s world. It is well known that there are
     countries with a more sovereignty-centric vision – and I understand
     your country shares this strong attachment to national sovereignty. In

my view, however, a functioning mechanism of international
governance requires - together with common rules - that nation States
be ready to accept self-imposed restraints to their national sovereignty.
It is in fact becoming evident that the only way to exercise sovereignty
in an effective manner is to share it as a part of a common endeavour.
Let us take the example of a post-Kyoto agreement on climate change.
We all know that the commitment that the European Union has recently
undertaken is insufficient as long as it does not stimulate a global
agreement to which the United States, China, Brazil and India must all
be parties. But this means that everybody will have to accept limitations
– though voluntary limitations – to carbon-oxide emission levels, in
exchange for a regime that benefits all.
Again speaking of values, democracy means, in Italy’s foreign policy, a
special attention to human rights, beyond strictly national interests. The
diplomatic initiative that Italy and the European Union are promoting at
the UN for a moratorium on the execution of death penalty is an
example of an ethical battle, on which we hope to involve the largest
possible number of countries. Similarly, for this very reason, we do not
remain indifferent to systematic and violent repression of fundamental
human rights as if they were only a matter of domestic politics. The
weight of the values we cherish naturally brings us close to our fellow
democracies: thus, it should also bring together Italy and the largest
democracy in Asia.

2. Our history is the story of a country which has firmly believed, since
  1945, in the priority of both European integration and Transatlantic
  Partnership. These two pillars of our foreign policy are normally
  compatible, and, all along the last 50 years they have reinforced each
  other. But this has not been the case, for instance, in 2003, when the
  American Administration decided for military intervention in Iraq;
  Europe split thus losing influence; and both transatlantic relations and
  European Union underwent a period of tensions and stress.
  We are now in a clearly improved context. The American
  Administration, under pressure by its public opinion, is giving more
  credit to multilateral institutions; Europe is ready to contribute to the
  management of international crises, with an attitude that I would
  describe as “Euro-Atlantic”.
  And in the West, there is a growing awareness that global governance
  can only be effective if other emerging actors are also involved in its
  Yet, the management of global governance has many aspects. And in
  this respect, it is not a mystery that for instance, on the question of the
  reform of the UN Security Council our views are different. But there
  are other significant areas of convergence.
  Let me take the example of the G8. We need to adapt the G8 formula to
  a new and clearly emerging reality. I see the G8 as a very important
  framework where issues and opportunities can be discussed and decided
  effectively at the highest level.

  Bridging differences, facing global challenges, contributing to
  economic and social development, helping in the solution of regional
  crisis, all these are the “core missions” of the G8. To do so, we believe
  that the “outreach”, initiated by an Italian Presidency, has reasonably
  succeeded over the last few years. Now it is time to be more creative.
  An expansion of the G8 itself should be seriously considered, in order
  to improve the cross regional effectiveness of the G8 “core missions”.
  And in my opinion new important members from Asia, like India, from
  Africa and the Arab world, from North and South America, should be
  considered. With this platform in mind, we are preparing for the 2009
  G8 Presidency.
  Clearly,   participation   in    these   fora   also    implies   increased
  responsibilities. It was the greatest of all Indian leaders, the Mahatma
  Gandhi, who reminded us that “the Gange of rights flows from the
  Himalaya of duties”: in other words, in this complex and interdependent
  world, opportunities and responsibilities are tightly linked to each other.

3. Lastly, Italy’s geography is that of a country that straddles Central
  Europe and the Mediterranean Sea, with a long Adriatic coast to the
  East, projected toward the Balkan region. It is a geographically exposed
  position, as evidenced by migratory flows. And it is also the reason for
  the special attention Italy pays to Mediterranean issues including the
  Middle East as a whole, which we see as a single “arc of crisis”. The
  main feature of Italy’s policies toward this arc of crisis is the belief that

     the EU’s power of attraction can be a great factor of pacification. We
     are thus in favour of enlargement of the EU to Turkey, and of
     enlargement of both the EU and NATO to the Balkans once the Kosovo
     crisis is solved. We also support a serious strengthening of the Euro-
     Mediterranean dialogue following a decade in which the centre of
     gravity of Europe has been shifting Eastward. Italy has taken on,
     coherently, an array of direct responsibilities: particularly in Lebanon
     with the deployment of UNIFIL II. It is important that in this mission
     India and Italy – but I would rather say India and Europe - are working
     together, side by side. We are both convinced that the future of the
     Middle East is decisive not only for regional security but also for the
     stability of the international system as a whole.

This, in a nutshell, is how values, history and geography shape Italy’s foreign
policy. But the reality is that, in this post-2001 world – dominated by truly
global challenges – no country can view history or geography as a refuge. A
regional focus is always important – to make foreign policies effective. But it
does not prevent the need to develop a global projection. Here is why, then,
the still incomplete relation between Europe and India (despite the strategic
partnership agreed in 2004) becomes decisive.


Let me now discuss five points to turn a developing relation into a strong
one, or a potential partnership into a real partnership.

Let’s take first the management of international crises; and in this respect I
would draw your attention on the case of Afghanistan. We certainly cannot
afford to lose Afghanistan, because this would mean a defeat for the Afghan
people. The great efforts made since 2001 in fighting terrorism, would be
dramatically undercut. But to succeed, there are in my view two fundamental
requirements: an attempt at national reconciliation and a deeper engagement
of neighbouring countries. I know very well how India is already doing its
share, including the deployment of more than three thousand troops on the
ground. And yet we would need a regional process - able to turn all the
neighbouring countries into cooperative actors. Italy intends to stay
committed as long as it is necessary to make sure that the rebuilding of this
long-suffering country fully succeeds.
Let me add how important we esteem cooperation with India in the fight
against terrorism: this is a field where, since 2001, our bilateral relationship
has been making real progress.

The second point to upgrade the Europe-India relationship is the management
of global economic governance. As I mentioned earlier, I see the
progressive enlargement of the G8 as necessary. It is equally necessary to
achieve a trade agreement by turning the Doha Round into a success, finally
overcoming well-know difficulties. I believe that – notwithstanding the short-

term divergence in interests – in the long term we both have only to gain
from an open trade system, allowing fair competition. The alternative would
be a protectionism backlash, both in the US and in Europe.

Third point of a Europe-India agenda ought to be energy security and
climate change. On energy, we are both highly dependent on imports. This
dependency might trigger an intense rivalry; or, on the contrary, it could
stimulate an intensified cooperation in our mutual interest. A closer
multilateral cooperation among consumers, could in fact help reduce our
dependency and at the same time intensify research and development of
alternative sources. We need it for energy security reasons and to tackle the
challenge of climate change. We clearly need the post-Kyoto agreement I
was referring to before.
Climate change will also likely induce a nuclear energy revival, as the
agreement between your country and the United States clearly shows – I will
return to this in a moment.

Let me allude before to the fourth point, concerning nuclear proliferation. We
need to establish a fully functioning non-proliferation regime. The Iranian
case shows all too well that we are coping with a true loophole: the concern
that the development of civilian nuclear energy might lead to the acquisition
of military nuclear power. And when a government – like the one in Teheran
– because of lack of transparency fails to reassure its neighbours and the
international community about its objectives and its intentions, a crisis

becomes inevitable. It will be crucial, in order to manage this crisis, to
preserve the cohesion among the members of the Security Council. Italy will
also do it best to keep Europe united.
In the Iranian case, as in all others concerning proliferation of nuclear
weapons, the role of the IAEA is of paramount importance. While this role
should, in our view, be strengthened as soon as possible trough the universal
adoption of additional protocols, clear indication should also be given by the
next sessions of the Board of Governors.
In a broader perspective, it is necessary to think how to improve and make
more reliable the rules on non proliferation, adjusting them to a complex and
quickly changing reality. The multilateral system of safeguards should be
reinforced; its effective implementation can be greatly helped by an Indian
full participation in initiatives and commitments related to this regime.
We are convinced that there is a wide sense of injustice, felt by wide sectors
of the international community, as to the balance between nuclear
disarmament and non-proliferation: that is to say as to the real conditions for
access to nuclear energy. Therefore, the non-proliferation regime’s credibility
vis-à-vis the various “threshold countries” must be strengthened through the
commitment of the existing nuclear powers to disarmament, as required by
Article 6 of the NPT.
To sum up my reasoning: there will be growing need for civilian nuclear
power also for environmental reasons. If this the case, we have two major
tasks: we must increase the level of safety of nuclear plants, introducing new

technologies; and we must avoid that a possible “revival” of nuclear energy
generates a cascade of security problems as a consequence.

Point number five – but not least in importance – in developing closer ties
between Europe and India, is the search for a shared approach to global
political governance. In theory, as democracies, we tend to share the same
values. In practice, however, our responses may differ at times. Let us look at
the particularly acute and delicate case of Myanmar. What we see is that the
European reaction is more focused on the respect for human rights – we
pressed for new sanctions - but is likely to be less effective, regardless of
how tough our sanction might be. While the Indian reaction is perhaps more
focused also on realpolitk considerations but – given India’s material and
moral influence in the region - may be more effective.
I would draw a conclusion from this: we ought to integrate our respective
relative advantages and approaches, while respecting different sensibilities
and priorities. In more precise terms: Italy is convinced that the goal of a
more democratic, more humane world will be attained only if we prove
capable of combining these two approaches, idealism and realism. What we
should striving for is “ethical realism” – to borrow a term of the current
debate on foreign affairs.


A truly global and effective cooperation requires a partner like India, a model
of secular democracy and of a pluralist, open and multi-confessional society:
the perfect testimony that values like democracy, freedom and the rule of law
are not an exclusive of the Western world.
We need partners like India, whose spectacular economic growth
demonstrates (to advanced societies as well) that the existence of an open
international system is extremely beneficial to those who join it.
We should all be thankful to India – and you should be proud – for
disproving a sort of “conventional wisdom” prevailing for too long,
according to which democracy was a sort of luxury attainable only by highly
developed western countries, while authoritarian governments were the only
path to modernization and quick economic development. India proves the
contrary. For this reason, among others, India’s role in Asia and in Asian
regional cooperation is crucially important – not only in economic terms.


As I hinted above, managing today’s international system demands a respect
for diversity but also serious common efforts and common rules. Stronger
Europe-India ties would make a great contribution to all these goals.
After years of deadlock (which we politely called “pause for reflection”),
Europe is again on the move. As we reform it internally, the real challenge is
to turn Europe into a more effective global actor – not only an economic
player - something Europe already is but also a political player, something

Europe is becoming. I would like to be straight on this point: there is no
doubt, in my view, that Europe is turning into a true global actor.
Yes, the European Union is not evolving as a classical Federation. But this is
not the real point. The point is that European nation States are in any case
joining forces in foreign policy and defense. We still have national
differences and national inclinations: they will not disappear. But we are
moving in the direction of a collective will. Independently from the final
institutional set up, a global Europe is thus in the making. And here, Europe -
with Italy for its part – is meeting India. With Italy for its part and with Italy
as a leading driver in this direction – as witnessed by the Joint Declaration
signed by the two Prime Ministers Prodi and Singh last February.

This is only the beginning of a stronger partnership we certainly need. I am
confident that Italy’s commitment is fully reciprocated.


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