The Role of Italy in the Berlin Process: Challenges and Opportunities

Author
Angela Aiello
Content Type
Special Report
Institution
The Centre for Security Studies
Abstract
The launch by the European Commission in 2018 of an EU enlargement strategy for the Western Balkans illustrates a renewed activism of the Union toward its immediate neighbourhood. This activism builds on five years of Berlin Process, which did contribute to keep the Western Balkans Six afloat in the European agenda. Simultaneously, a decline of America’s interest in the region, coupled with a return of Russia’s influence – especially through the energy instrument – compel the European Union, and Italy in particular, to step up their engagement in the Balkans. Even more importantly for Rome would be the elaboration of a long-term strategy for the region, having clear obstacles and interests at stake, while creating the necessary conditions to concretely influence the process of decision-making at the European level. This is imperative for Rome to advance its own national interests and to contribute to the successful implementation of the EU enlargement strategy toward an area that represents a strategic priority of Italian foreign policy, and whose developments have an immediate impact both on Italy’s internal security and on its external relations.
Topic
International Affairs
Political Geography
Global Focus