Giorgia Meloni speaks to the Parliament. On Wednesday, the Italian Prime Minister addressed the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate (and also paid a visit to President Sergio Mattarella) to communicate Rome’s position on the most pressing global issues as she readies to attend the European Council meeting Thursday through Friday. Here’s an issue-by-issue rundown.
Focus on: Africa. PM Meloni anticipated the Council would express the EU’s support for reinforcing the African Union’s presence in international forums, especially the G20. On her side, she vowed to reiterate the AU’s inclusion in that forum as a necessary measure to “add an authoritative voice in the discussion on global challenges.”
Focus on: migration. The EU Council comes on the heels of a new EU-wide agreement on revamping the bloc’s migratory framework, which has taken more than a leaf from the Italian government’s approach – predicated on investing in origin and departure countries. PM Meloni noted the issue would be front and centre at the Council meeting, as it also intersects the security and defence dossiers.
- “If the defence of the EU’s external borders is not tackled upstream, it is impossible to achieve a fair and effective migration and asylum policy. There is nothing humane about mass irregular immigration,” said the Italian PM, stressing the need of EU funds to “fight [it], not manage it.”
- She then emphasised the Italian government’s “commitment in every forum to crush the tragic traffic of lives” that generates tragedies, such as the recent tragedy off the Greek coast.
Focus on: Ukraine. The ongoing Russian war – and Yevgeny Prigozhin’s attempted coup – took up much of PM Meloni’s speech. “Italy has been following developments in the internal crisis in the Russian Federation with great attention,” she stressed, highlighting that “this episode has contributed to bringing out the difficulties of [President] Putin’s system of power and dismantling the Russian narrative that everything is going according to plan in Ukraine.”
- The EU, she continued, will “confirm its convinced support for the Ukrainian people;” Italy’s “clear position” of support “is recognised and appreciated by our partners and strengthens the weight of our nation. Defending Ukraine means defending Italy’s national interest.”