The Italian and Greek PM meet in Brussels. Giorgia Meloni and Kyriakos Mitsotakis discussed bilateral ties on the sidelines of Thursday’s European Council, touching upon all the shared dossiers – the crisis in Ukraine, the Balkans and the wider Mediterranean situation, as well as energy.
- PM Meloni called the exchange “cordial and fruitful” and noted the two countries’ “close cooperation on issues at the heart of the European and international agenda, with particular attention to the Mediterranean.”
- PM Mitsotakis emphasised the shared will to strengthen relations, including business ties, and expand cooperation in areas of mutual interest, including regional and international issues.
- The two countries are weaving deeper industrial relations, as evidenced by the presence of major Italian players – such as Trenitalia, Snam and Italgas – in pivotal Greek sectors like infrastructure and energy.
Turkey and the Balkans. PM Mitsotakis briefed his Italian counterpart on the latest developments in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean, stressing that “the aggressive rhetoric of the Turkish political leadership, which directly threatens Greece, endangers security and stability in the region.”
- The complex and highly articulated Balkan stability issue, a key concern for both countries, remains in the background. Both countries keep a sharp focus on the area.
Navigating complex waters. The Italian PM is aware of Italy’s position. On the one hand, the country is geographically and politically entwined with all major issues. On the other, it’s tough to balance everyone’s national interests.
- The Mediterranean game is one played through political affinities as well as individual alliances; for instance, Poland, Greece, Turkey, and Libya – major players in the area – have individual nuances to take into account, both in one-to-one relations and in the overall strategies of individual areas.
- This complexity may be an opportunity for Rome, which has a rich tradition as mediating power and is highly enmeshed in Mediterranean dynamics. PM Meloni’s government may end up playing a meaningful political function – that is, if it manages to survive Italy’s fabled political instability.
Image: PM Giorgia Meloni’s Twitter profile