European Defence: Minister Pinotti Meets her French Counterpart Parly
(Source: Italian Ministry of Defence; issued July 24, 2017)
ROME --- The meeting between Defence Ministers Roberta Pinotti and Florence Parly has taken place today in Rome.

Common views on European Defence

A positive and tangible sign of how Italy and France can tackle problems together, upholding common interests, in a good spirit of cooperation.

The meeting between Minister Roberta Pinotti and her French counterpart Florence Parly, marks a new step on the path to a stronger European Defence.

Over the years Italy and France have developed a deeply structured cooperation. The two countries have common views on defence and security threats - terrorism in the first place: they need a synergic, unified response.

Such synergy is part of a broader common defence dimension at the European level: there can be no real security for our continent without it.

This common drive must be expressed with a single voice, the voice of the European Union: Italy, France, Germany and Spain, but of course also other European countries, can and must become the "engines" of an actual reinforcement of European defence and security. We must lead by example, so that all other European countries will follow on this path with conviction.

The theme was already illustrated by Minister Pinotti on the occasion of the quadrilateral defence meeting between Italy, France, Germany and Spain that took place in Paris on 13 July,

In brief, thinking, building and working together is as crucial as ever for Europe. That’s why the establishment of a team made up of one representative for each of the 4 countries was proposed. The team will support processes, including industrial ones, developed within the framework of sectors of common action, to actually strengthen European Defence.

Talks also focused on NATO’s role, including on the southern flank. The establishment of a Hub for the South in Naples must be supported and funded with significant economic resources. The Hub should function as a sort of "Erasmus" programme for Defence.

"Italy is facing a very hard situation in the Mediterranean, because it is on the front line of the migration crisis with its terrible humanitarian dimension, including its security implications, i.e. human trafficking and its exploitation by transnational criminal organizations", the Minister said, underscoring the requirement to counter the economic migration issue through a "double track", finalizing development policy agreements with countries of origin and transit while countering traffickers’ networks.

In the afternoon Minister Pinotti was awarded the Officer of the Legion d’Honneur medal at the French Embassy in Rome by her counterpart, Florence Parly.

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