Giorgia Meloni at the Summit for Democracy. On Wednesday, the Italian Prime Minister took part in the second edition of the international forum, willed and directed by Joe Biden to foster communication and cooperation between matured and maturing democratic States and consolidate their front in the face of cooperating autocracies, such as Russia and China.
- 120 international leaders have been invited, with Washington drawing a line in the sand at that stage. Turkey and Hungary, for instance, are not on the list due to their degrading democratic systems.
- The United States President opened the summit by pledging to devolve $690 million into bolstering democracy programs around the world.
On Ukraine. Speaking via video link, PM Meloni noted the summit represents “a great opportunity for our democracies” to “work together against the unprecedented challenges and new threats that the pandemic and Russia’s brutal aggression against Ukraine have placed before us. We all believe in democratic values,” she said.
On the democratic institutions. The Italian PM stressed that institutions must be “stable, fast and efficient” to “be more reliable internationally” and effective on “strategic and long-term goals.” That’s the direction she’s giving her government, she said, noting that a Presidential reform of the Italian State – a shared goal in the centre-right majority – can strengthen democracy and foster economic growth.
On the role of the economy. On the one hand, “democracy brings economic growth and spreads prosperity;” on the other hand, “economic growth and prosperity strengthen democracy.” That’s why democracy and economic growth are interdependent, said PM Meloni, highlighting that “only a democratic system” can guarantee “growth, justice, equality, [and] legality.”
On the Mattei Plan. In her speech, the Italian leader also touched upon her government’s foreign policy-cum-investments and cooperation plan for African countries. Again, it’s about the virtuous cycle of democracy and the economy.
- “The more intense the growth, and the more adequate the social and economic development achieved, the more the populations will choose democracy,” she said.
- Hence the existence of the Mattei Plan, “a non-predatory model of cooperation to create value chains and help African nations live better with the resources they have at their disposal.”