“Re-Discovering Italy’s Mediterranean Vocation”, Alessandro Berti (IAI, Italy)

Despite its history and geographical location, Italy at times seems to perceive itself as “sea-less”, positioning its strategic barycentre on the European continent. In other words, Italy has turned its back on the sea to look north. Italy’s geopolitical orientation has for many decades now been centred on Europe, a vocation that originates from Italy’s northern regions – the central economic motor of the country – as Rome’s key role in promoting European integration. No doubt positive for Italian interests, this has also translated into a weakening of Italy’s maritime dimension, which has gradually been overshadowed by Italy’s Atlanticist and European orientations. In this, the country has rather proudly embraced a “mitteleuropean” identity, distancing itself from the Mediterranean and aspiring to be part of the allegedly superior economic and cultural models of Central Europe.

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