Giorgia Meloni’s round-the-world trip. The Italian Prime Minister reached Iceland on Tuesday evening to take part in the Council of Europe summit along with other heads of government and State – the first since 2005. She then headed towards Hiroshima, Japan, for the G-7 summit in Hiroshima starting on Friday.
- French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, UK PM Rishi Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen were also in attendance for both events…
- … and along with over 40 more leaders – including Ukrainian PM Denys Shmyhal and Vatican State Secretary Pietro Parolin – all took part in a slew of roundtable events.
Focus on: Ukraine. Shortly after landing, the Italian PM set the tone of her – and the other participants’ – line on the Kyiv-centred meeting, stressing Europe’s unity in defending shared values and noting it would “not accept the right of the strongest” at a press point.
- “The Ukrainian people are not only defending their homeland but the founding values of European identity: freedom, democracy, justice, equality between people,” she remarked in her opening speech at the summit.
- Along with the other leaders, she then advocated for setting up a Register of Damage caused by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, which she called “an important signal from the Council of Europe.”
Focus on: migration (and Macron). The Italian PM – whose government holds migration high on the priority list and who is working to convince the other EU member States to aid its efforts to counter the phenomenon – then took part in a roundtable focussing on tackling emerging human rights challenges.
- There was a tensions flare-up in early May between Italy and France, with Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani cancelling a trip to Paris over French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin stating that PM Meloni was “incapable” of solving the migratory issue.
- Nevertheless, the spat – and the ensuing talk of a Paris/Rome rift – were scaled down by reports of “great cordiality” between President Macron and PM Meloni, with the former stating to the press that he would work with the latter on the matter.
“Italy cannot be left alone in the face of this migratory pressure,” said the French leader. To be able to welcome those who flee wars and to tackle human traffickers, he added, “we need European solidarity and effective common borders” – which is what the Meloni government has been calling for.
Focus on: tech. In her speech, the Italian PM also highlighted the speed of science and tech development – nodding at genetic engineering and artificial intelligence – and warned of the risk of considering these domains “free zones, without rules.”
- Progress must be aimed at strengthening and expanding human capabilities, not replacing them “in a world increasingly dominated by inequality, by the concentration of power and wealth in the hands of the few. A world dominated by inequality is not a democratic world, therefore not a European world,” she said.