The shared interests, challenges and opportunities of Italy and Germany in strengthening the EU’s profile on the international stage were the topics of this joint expert seminar in Rome. The expert seminar was part of a tradition of seminars organised by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in Rome and the Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP) in Berlin. The meetings serve as a forum for dialogue between practitioners and academics as well as a trigger for discussion and a platform for new ideas to support the development of the EU towards a strong foreign policy actor.
As recognized by the participants, this seminar took place in a challenging context for EU foreign policy. They identified a gap between the expectations related to the legal words of the Lisbon treaty, and the real world implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). While the European External Action Service (EEAS) has improved its game over the recent months, the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) did not progress in the same speed as it did in the last decade. All these developments took place against the backdrop of the economic and fiscal crisis that dominates the agenda of the decision-makers and sudden, far-ranging developments in Europe’s neighbourhood.
Hence, it was even more important to ask what common contributions Italy and Germany can make to strengthen the EU’s foreign policy profile. Together with which actors can the two countries provide leadership in the development of a stronger foreign policy? What role can the common institutions play and how can they be reformed to work more effectively? Why did the development of CSDP fall behind its expectations and where are the drivers and obstacles for this policy located in the 27 capitals and in Brussels? How can the double-hatted High Representative (HR/VP) contribute to a new momentum in EU foreign policy? These questions provided a foundation for a rich discussion between the participants, which is covered in this report.
See seminar’s Report for more information.