“Italians and Defence at the Time of the Ukraine War: Winds of Change”, Alessandro Marrone (IAI, Italy) 

In 2022, Italians have become more concerned about tensions between Russia and the West – but not more pro-American. They rather largely trust the European Union as a security actor, or lean towards an autonomous national defence policy – quite a change for the Italian public opinion. Italians are mostly supportive of military operations abroad and do not rule out the use of force, especially when national security is directly at stake, thus confirming the post-Cold War evolution of Italy’s strategic culture. Notably, in the year of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the majority in favour of defending a NATO ally under attack has risen by 9 per cent, showing an unprecedented awareness of the importance of Euro-Atlantic collective defence. These are the main novelties in Italians’ views of defence issues at a time marked by a full-fledged war in Europe and its multiple consequences for national interests, as highlighted by the 2022 edition of the periodic IAI-LAPS survey on Italy’s foreign and defence policy.

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