The recently concluded Treaty on Enhanced Cooperation between France and Italy has created some interest in Europe. Dubbed the “Quirinale Treaty” after the sumptuous residential palace of the Italian president of the Republic where the signing ceremony was held, the agreement is indeed a significant development. It could preside over an expansion and deepening of the bilateral relationship, lead to a degree of rebalancing in Europe’s power relations and usher in a new era of greater coordination between Paris and Rome in EU negotiating formats. These three elements – the bilateral dimension, Europe’s balance of power and EU policymaking processes – make up the rationale of the treaty and are consequently worth analysing separately.
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