Linkage between European citizens and EU institutions has to be restored

1. How does the future of the EU look like after the Irish ‘No’?

 

The Conclusions of December 2008 European Council on the fate of the Lisbon Treaty

In Italy, the reac­tions to the Euro­pean Coun­cil of Decem­ber 2008 have been quite pos­i­tive at the polit­i­cal lev­el. The Ital­ian Prime Min­is­ter, Sil­vio Berlus­coni, affirmed that it was a suc­cess for the Euro­pean Coun­cil to reject the Irish request for a new rat­i­fi­ca­tion process from all EU mem­ber states. In his opin­ion, the Brus­sels Sum­mit proved very use­ful for find­ing a com­pro­mise on this dif­fi­cult issue since it “worked hard to give Ire­land the pos­si­bil­i­ty to hold a new ref­er­en­dum on the treaty”[1]. For this pur­pose, he said the EU had to “accept some con­di­tions” such as main­tain­ing a 27-mem­ber Com­mis­sion, allow­ing the non par­tic­i­pa­tion of Ire­land in the EU mil­i­tary mis­sions and giv­ing it some assur­ances on eth­i­cal mat­ters and fam­i­ly law.[2]

How­ev­er, the reac­tion of the Ital­ian press to the Euro­pean Council’s deci­sion was less enthu­si­as­tic, because it showed the ‘weak­ness’ of the EU on such an impor­tant mat­ter. As an Ital­ian ana­lyst wrote, quot­ing a pop­u­lar phrase by opera singer Maria Callas, “once you start mak­ing too many con­ces­sions, you’ll nev­er be able to stop, since peo­ple will expect you to do so automatically”[3]. Some com­men­ta­tors felt that the Decem­ber Euro­pean Council’s con­clu­sions are some­how con­tra­dic­to­ry. In fact, by keep­ing the num­ber of Com­mis­sion­ers at 27, the Coun­cil indi­rect­ly put a lim­it on the Treaty of Lis­bon, which called for a small­er Com­mis­sion in order for it to work properly.[4] More­over, some Ital­ian jour­nal­ists were not con­vinced that the Irish peo­ple will vote ‘Yes’ next time round, as hap­pened with the sec­ond ref­er­en­dum on the Treaty of Nice in 2002.[5] At present, the sit­u­a­tion in Ire­land is total­ly dif­fer­ent from six years ago. First of all, the eco­nom­ic sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try is now much worse with Ire­land expe­ri­enc­ing a reces­sion, while its econ­o­my was grow­ing rapid­ly in 2002. Sec­ond­ly, the EU’s pop­u­lar­i­ty among the Irish pop­u­la­tion is much low­er than before. Final­ly, the ‘No’ front in Ire­land is very well orga­nized and deeply-rooted.[6]

In con­clu­sion, there seems to be a sort of dis­crep­an­cy between the gov­ern­ment and the pub­lic opin­ion in the way they per­ceived the Decem­ber 2008 Euro­pean Council’s con­clu­sions. This gap will prob­a­bly nar­row in the next months when the Irish vote again.

The upcoming European Parliament elections in June 2009

There has been a lot of debate in Italy about the upcom­ing Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tions both at the polit­i­cal and aca­d­e­m­ic lev­el. Last sum­mer, some pro­pos­als were made on how to change the cur­rent elec­toral sys­tem to guar­an­tee fair rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Euro­pean cit­i­zens.

The Min­is­ter for Nor­ma­tive Sim­pli­fi­ca­tion, Rober­to Calderoli, sug­gest­ed a new elec­toral sys­tem with a 4 per­cent thresh­old, only one pref­er­ence instead of the pre­vi­ous three and ten con­stituen­cies (at present they are five).[7] In Sep­tem­ber 2008, the gov­ern­ment par­ty, Popo­lo del­la Lib­ertà (PdL), pro­posed intro­duc­ing a 5 per­cent thresh­old and an elec­toral sys­tem with closed par­ty lists,[8] as well as abol­ish­ing pref­er­en­tial votes. The rea­sons for this choice were sev­er­al. The pro­pos­al to intro­duce a high­er thresh­old was meant to avoid par­ty frag­men­ta­tion inside the par­lia­ment. More­over, as Ital­ian Prime Min­is­ter Berlus­coni declared, “the fixed par­ty list would make it pos­si­ble to have pro­fes­sion­als who can best rep­re­sent the coun­try inside the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment committees”[9]. How­ev­er, this posi­tion was not shared by oth­er par­ties and by many rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Ital­ian press. The oppo­si­tion par­ty, Par­ti­to Demo­c­ra­ti­co (PD), was in favour of a 3 per­cent thresh­old and main­tain­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ty for vot­ers to express their pref­er­ences for indi­vid­ual can­di­dates. The cen­trist par­ty, Unione dei Demo­c­ra­ti­ci Cris­tiani e Demo­c­ra­ti­ci di Cen­tro (UDC), was in favour of pref­er­ences and the low­er thresh­old as well. In fact, had the PdL pro­pos­al been approved in par­lia­ment, it would have been dif­fi­cult for the UDC to send any rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment.

When these pro­pos­als were launched, many Ital­ian jour­nal­ists and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the research com­mu­ni­ty were against the abo­li­tion of pref­er­ences. Michele Comel­li and Jean-Pierre Dar­nis, from the “Inter­na­tion­al Affairs Insti­tute”, wrote that the abo­li­tion of the pref­er­ence sys­tem would “make it impos­si­ble for the vot­ers to choose their rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment directly”[10]. More­over, some jour­nal­ists argued that, while in oth­er EU mem­ber states, such as Ger­many, demo­c­ra­t­ic pro­ce­dures have been estab­lished inside the par­ties to choose their can­di­dates; in Italy how­ev­er, “the fixed par­ty list mech­a­nism of the nation­al elec­toral law has boost­ed […] the use of co-opta­tion from above, with­out the intro­duc­tion of any demo­c­ra­t­ic pro­ce­dure either inside or out­side the parties”[11].

On the oth­er hand, some com­men­ta­tors were in favour of abol­ish­ing pref­er­ences. For exam­ple, Anto­nio Mis­siroli, direc­tor of stud­ies of the “Euro­pean Pol­i­cy Cen­tre”, affirmed that “the pref­er­ence vote has an influ­ence on both the elec­toral cam­paign – dri­ving the par­ties to put more pop­u­lar can­di­dates on the lists […] in order to attract a high­er num­ber of votes – and the con­se­quent behav­iour of the elect­ed can­di­dates, who have to keep vis­i­bil­i­ty in their coun­try in order to gain a sec­ond mandate”[12].

Some jour­nal­ists also argued that the pref­er­ence sys­tem has the neg­a­tive effect of forc­ing the poten­tial can­di­dates to fight against one anoth­er in order to gain votes through the use of adver­tise­ments, and polit­i­cal din­ners and cock­tails. Thus, the con­se­quence is that only the wealth­i­est can­di­dates are elected.[13]

The text pro­posed by the PdL was dis­cussed in the Ital­ian par­lia­ment on the 27 Octo­ber 2008. On that occa­sion, the Pres­i­dent of Ital­ian Repub­lic, Gior­gio Napoli­tano, asked for “a large con­sen­sus in par­lia­ment”, which in his opin­ion, is a fun­da­men­tal con­di­tion when “it comes to mod­i­fy­ing some of the most impor­tant rules of the demo­c­ra­t­ic competition”[14]. Since there was not enough con­sen­sus among the dif­fer­ent par­ties, Sil­vio Berlus­coni declared that for the time being it was bet­ter to main­tain the cur­rent elec­toral law.[15] At present, Elio Vito, Min­is­ter for Rela­tions with Par­lia­ment, and Dario Frances­chi­ni, deputy-sec­re­tary of PD, are work­ing on a com­pro­mise on the reform.[16]

Above and beyond the nation­al elec­toral law, some observers raised pro­pos­als about the Euro­pean elec­toral sys­tem. Michele Comel­li and Jean-Pierre Dar­nis, of the “Inter­na­tion­al Affairs Insti­tute”, wrote about the neces­si­ty to estab­lish com­mon elec­toral pro­ce­dures all over Europe, in order to “make the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tions more ‘Euro­pean’, whilst they have become just anoth­er nation­al event, in which Europe tends to be only an acces­so­ry element”[17].

In con­cerns to Ital­ian cit­i­zens, the results of the last Euro­barom­e­ter sur­vey showed that at present, they are more aware of the impor­tance of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tions than the aver­age Euro­pean (41 per­cent of Ital­ians are ‘some­what inter­est­ed’ in the elec­tions as com­pared to the 38 per­cent aver­age for oth­er Euro­pean citizens).[18] The issues that seem to influ­ence Ital­ian vot­ers the most are eco­nom­ic ones such as: eco­nom­ic growth (47 per­cent), unem­ploy­ment (42 per­cent), infla­tion and pur­chas­ing pow­er (40 percent).[19]

The formation of the new Commission in autumn 2009

In Italy, the debate on the for­ma­tion of the new Euro­pean Com­mis­sion has been focused par­tic­u­lar­ly on the appoint­ment of its pres­i­dent. For Ital­ian observers, it is not only a mat­ter of who will be the next per­son to hold this posi­tion, but also of how this choice will be made.

As for pos­si­ble nom­i­nees, Ital­ian Prime Min­is­ter Berlus­coni announced that he is in favour of a sec­ond man­date for the cur­rent Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, José Manuel Bar­roso. He affirmed that “it would be absurd to throw away his intel­li­gence and experience”[20].

More gen­er­al­ly, form­ing a new Euro­pean Com­mis­sion is con­sid­ered an oppor­tu­ni­ty to restore the link­age between Euro­pean cit­i­zens and the EU insti­tu­tions. For this rea­son, some Ital­ian ana­lysts and politi­cians are in favour of a sort of direct elec­tion of the Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion. This idea, which was already pro­posed in 1999 by Tom­ma­so Padoa-Schiop­pa of “Notre Europe”,[21] has been cen­tral in the debate con­cern­ing the next Euro­pean Com­mis­sion. Accord­ing to Gian­ni Bon­vici­ni, vice-pres­i­dent of the “Inter­na­tion­al Affairs Insti­tute”, there is wide­spread con­sent on the neces­si­ty to make the Euro­pean elec­tions more ‘politicised’.[22] He sug­gests that, before the elec­tions, each Euro­pean par­ty should choose a can­di­date to run for the posi­tion of the Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion. The par­ty that gains the major­i­ty in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment could then indi­cate the per­son they sup­port­ed to the Euro­pean Council.[23] This approach has already been used by the Euro­pean People’s Par­ty, which pro­posed Bar­roso again as its can­di­date for this role. In Bonvicini’s opin­ion, this mech­a­nism would make it pos­si­ble for Euro­pean par­ties to have their elec­toral pro­grammes car­ried out by a per­son with strong legit­i­ma­cy deriv­ing from the Euro­pean cit­i­zens. This idea is shared by Anto­nio Mis­siroli, direc­tor of stud­ies of the “Euro­pean Pol­i­cy Cen­tre”, who wrote an arti­cle in which he ana­lyzes the advan­tages and dis­ad­van­tages of such a proposal.[24] Among the short­com­ings of the direct elec­tion of the next Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, is the fact that this solu­tion would prob­a­bly politi­cise the Com­mis­sion too much, which would be strong­ly influ­enced by the win­ning par­ty. This could have neg­a­tive con­se­quences on the ‘reg­u­la­to­ry’ role of the Com­mis­sion, which is often in charge of ‘tech­ni­cal’ deci­sions that should be not affect­ed by par­ty politics.[25] Notwith­stand­ing this pos­si­ble draw­back, Mis­siroli believes that the direct elec­tion of the Euro­pean Commission’s Pres­i­dent would have more pos­i­tive than neg­a­tive effects. By vot­ing for the can­di­date to this office, Euro­pean cit­i­zens would be giv­en the oppor­tu­ni­ty to express them­selves in a ‘pan-Euro­pean elec­toral cam­paign’, con­duct­ed at the Euro­pean rather than at the nation­al level.[26]

Oth­er observers also think that it would be very impor­tant for the Euro­pean elec­torate to choose direct­ly the Euro­pean Commission’s Pres­i­dent, whom is con­sid­ered “the key fig­ure of the EU”[27]. This solu­tion is in fact con­sid­ered to be both “use­ful” and “feasible”:[28] use­ful, because it would help to reduce the gap between the cit­i­zens and the Euro­pean insti­tu­tions and at the same time would stim­u­late an open debate on the pos­si­ble can­di­dates, improv­ing the trans­paren­cy with­in the EU; fea­si­ble, because it would not require a change of the treaties since it would be pos­si­ble under the present rules.[29]

The idea of the direct elec­tion of the Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion is strong­ly sus­tained by the “Euro­pean Fed­er­al­ist Move­ment”. In fact, they con­duct­ed an online cam­paign called “Who is your can­di­date?”, which aimed at col­lect­ing sig­na­tures and ask­ing the mem­bers of the polit­i­cal par­ties to choose their can­di­date before the elec­tions, since they believe that this would improve the account­abil­i­ty and trans­paren­cy of Euro­pean institutions.[30] They col­lect­ed 1.285 sig­na­tures of peo­ple from all EU mem­ber states, includ­ing a few Ital­ians.

From this overview, it may be not­ed that if there has been a debate in Italy con­cern­ing the new Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, it has been focused most­ly on the pos­si­bil­i­ty of direct elec­tion of its Pres­i­dent. Accord­ing to some authors, this mech­a­nism would stim­u­late people’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the 2009 elec­tions, which is very low at present. In fact, as the last Euro­barom­e­ter shows, Ital­ian pub­lic opinion’s trust in the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion is quite high (48 percent)[31] and a change like the one pro­posed by some Ital­ian ana­lysts would prob­a­bly increase it.

The appointment of the High Representative

In Italy, after the Irish ‘No’ to the Lis­bon Treaty, the debate on a pos­si­ble new High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive was quite scarce. This is due to the fact that in such a dif­fi­cult moment for Europe, it is com­mon thought that it would be very use­ful to keep the exper­tise of the per­son who already held this posi­tion.

There­fore, for many rea­sons, there is a wide­spread per­cep­tion that Javier Solana should be appoint­ed as “Mr. CFSP”[32] again. First, he is now an “expert” and “able to medi­ate”, and sec­ond­ly, he is a social­ist; this last ele­ment would make him the per­fect can­di­date to coun­ter­bal­ance the like­ly reap­point­ment of Bar­roso as Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Commission.[33]

2. Transatlantic relations renewed after President Bush: top priorities

 

Beginning of a new era in international relations

At present, both the Ital­ian pub­lic opin­ion and the polit­i­cal elite seem to be think­ing that the elec­tion of Barack Oba­ma as Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States will lead to a change in the EU-US rela­tion­ship. In any case, many com­men­ta­tors share the opin­ion that, in order to have a real turn­ing point in transat­lantic rela­tions it will be nec­es­sary for both the US and the EU to address some pri­or­i­ties which, once dealt with, will open the way to a revi­talised part­ner­ship. This will not be an easy task, since, as an Ital­ian jour­nal­ist not­ed, “the new US Pres­i­dent will deal with a Europe which is dif­fer­ent from that of eight years ago, when George W. Bush was elect­ed: it is a Europe that is clos­er to the US as a polit­i­cal and insti­tu­tion­al sub­ject, but that has moved far­ther away at the lev­el of pub­lic opinion”[34].

First of all, the first impor­tant issue in such a process will be the abil­i­ty of the Euro­pean Union to act as an effec­tive glob­al play­er. As Ital­ian For­eign Min­is­ter Fran­co Frat­ti­ni stat­ed, “the new US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s mul­ti­lat­er­al approach will lead Europe to take its own respon­si­bil­i­ties in fields such as the fight against ter­ror­ism and in glob­al defence policy”[35]. In the opin­ion of some jour­nal­ists, this demand from the new US Pres­i­den­cy may lead to a cleav­age among EU mem­ber states: some of them will sup­port a more active Europe in the cri­sis man­age­ment field, while oth­ers will not.[36] Gen­er­al­ly, the Ital­ian posi­tion on this mat­ter is that there is the pos­si­bil­i­ty of a change in EU-US rela­tions, but to make it hap­pen, Europe has to be more cohe­sive and to speak with one voice. In par­tic­u­lar, the Euro­pean Union will be asked to devolve more resources to the mis­sion in Afghanistan and to be pre­pared to inter­vene in sit­u­a­tions that may be dan­ger­ous for inter­na­tion­al sta­bil­i­ty. In this sense, an impor­tant step was already tak­en in Jan­u­ary with the EU diplo­mat­ic mis­sion in the Mid­dle East, which has been praised by the new Amer­i­can President.[37] How­ev­er, the Euro­peans will have to do more than show their will to be con­sid­ered an effec­tive strate­gic part­ner by the new Unit­ed States’ admin­is­tra­tion. As an Ital­ian ana­lyst not­ed: “Europe’s room for manoeu­vre on the world stage is more like­ly to expand through strong part­ner­ship with the Unit­ed States than by drift­ing apart from Washington”[38].

The sec­ond issue, that in the opin­ion of the Ital­ians will deter­mine the future of the EU-US rela­tion­ship, is the build­ing of a new glob­al gov­er­nance, which the finan­cial cri­sis of the last months has made even more essen­tial. As an Ital­ian jour­nal­ist wrote in an arti­cle in “Cor­riere del­la Sera”, “strong transat­lantic coop­er­a­tion is more nec­es­sary than ever, since the finan­cial cri­sis has opened our eyes to the urgency of pro­vid­ing the glob­alised mar­kets with sol­id pub­lic governance”[39]. In order to build a new glob­al gov­er­nance of eco­nom­ic process­es, both the Unit­ed States and the Euro­pean Union are con­sid­ered fun­da­men­tal. On the one hand, only the US can stim­u­late a new pol­i­cy, based on mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism and coop­er­a­tion with part­ners. On the oth­er hand, Europe has two impor­tant con­tri­bu­tions to offer in this process: first, “the knowhow which enabled the EU insti­tu­tions to suc­cess­ful­ly gov­ern the ‘glob­al­i­sa­tion’ at the con­ti­nen­tal scale for fifty years”[40]; sec­ond­ly, “a cred­i­bil­i­ty that in the eyes of the oth­er actors involved, such as Chi­na, is prob­a­bly high­er right now than that of the Unit­ed States”[41].

Reform of the inter­na­tion­al insti­tu­tions goes in the same direc­tion. Of them, Ital­ian For­eign Min­is­ter, Fran­co Frat­ti­ni, con­sid­ers of the high­est impor­tance the reor­gan­i­sa­tion of the G8 struc­ture, which will be con­sid­ered under the new Ital­ian Pres­i­den­cy in 2009.[42] The reform of oth­er inter­na­tion­al insti­tu­tions, such as the Unit­ed Nations and the WTO, is also seen as one of the main points in the new EU-US agenda.[43] Briefly, from the Ital­ian point of view, it is impor­tant for the Unit­ed States and the Euro­pean Union to work togeth­er in order to “re-estab­lish the rules of eco­nom­ic governance”[44].

The rela­tion­ship with Rus­sia is the oth­er impor­tant theme that will influ­ence the future rela­tion­ship between the EU and the US. A recent sur­vey showed that both Amer­i­cans and Euro­peans con­sid­er Rus­sia a risky ele­ment in inter­na­tion­al rela­tions, not only because of the ener­gy issue, but also because of its behav­iour towards neigh­bour­hood countries.[45] In an arti­cle pub­lished in “Affari Inter­nazion­ali”, the Ital­ian diplo­mat, Mau­r­izio Mas­sari, wrote that for Europe, it is of the high­est impor­tance to have a renewed rela­tion between Moscow and Wash­ing­ton since “Rus­sia has become one of the main fac­tors of divi­sion inside the Euro­pean Union and of mis­un­der­stand­ing in the transat­lantic framework”[46]. From his point of view, the Euro­pean Union could play an impor­tant role in soft­en­ing ten­sions between Rus­sia and the West­ern coun­tries by pro­mot­ing the ‘coop­er­a­tive’ man­age­ment of the ‘for­mer Sovi­et neigh­bour­hood’, which is one of the most impor­tant sources of dis­agree­ment today.[47] This issue is par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant in Italy since Prime Min­is­ter Berlus­coni has always been a pro­mot­er of good rela­tions with Rus­sia. Giv­en this ‘spe­cial rela­tion­ship’, in the opin­ion of some com­men­ta­tors, Italy could play an impor­tant role in facil­i­tat­ing Rus­sia-US com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Gian­ni De Miche­lis, MEP for the Par­ti­to Social­ista and for­mer Ital­ian For­eign Min­is­ter, affirmed that, for the new US Pres­i­dent, “Italy will be very use­ful for the dia­logue with Putin”[48]. This opin­ion is shared by the Ital­ian Prime Min­is­ter, who, in an inter­view giv­en a few days after Obama’s elec­tion, said: “I sug­gest that Oba­ma should not go on with the esca­la­tion of neg­a­tive rela­tions with Russia”[49].

To con­clude, it may be not­ed that both the Ital­ian pub­lic opin­ion and politi­cians con­sid­er the elec­tion of Oba­ma as Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States as the first step of an impor­tant change in inter­na­tion­al rela­tions. This idea is gen­er­al­ly shared by the whole polit­i­cal elite. Wal­ter Vel­troni, leader of the oppo­si­tion par­ty PD, affirmed that “this is the begin­ning of a new era that will change history”[50]. The Ital­ian For­eign Min­is­ter declared that there will be a re-launch of the part­ner­ship between the US and Europe and that Italy will play an impor­tant role in it.[51] Piero Fassi­no, the Ital­ian shad­ow min­is­ter for for­eign affairs, affirmed that with Obama’s elec­tion “there will be a def­i­nite change in rela­tions between the Unit­ed States and the Euro­pean Union”[52]. How­ev­er, to make it hap­pen, it is com­mon opin­ion that Europe will have to show that it is ready to act beside the new US-pres­i­den­cy and that it is strong enough to take on its own respon­si­bil­i­ties. There­fore, whether Oba­ma will bring a change in the US-EU rela­tion­ship or not does not only depend on him alone, but depends most­ly on the way the Euro­peans will be ready to inter­act with the new Amer­i­can admin­is­tra­tion.

3. Financial Crisis and challenges of global governance: EU response

 

A year of uncertainties brings the need to connect with the new dynamic areas of the world

In the last months, many opin­ions have been expressed in Italy on the way the Euro­pean Union inter­vened in reac­tion to the finan­cial cri­sis. In this con­text, the expec­ta­tions towards the EU are quite high, since it is com­mon opin­ion that nowa­days “the glob­alised mar­ket is too com­plex to be man­aged at a domes­tic and nation­al level”[53] and there­fore there is great con­fi­dence in the role that Europe can play in the hard times we are going through. In this regard, it has been not­ed that, after the ini­tia­tives under­tak­en by the Euro­pean insti­tu­tions to face the finan­cial cri­sis, “the pub­lic opin­ion may have a dif­fer­ent per­cep­tion, a more pos­i­tive one, of the role that the Union can play”[54].

The con­fi­dence in the Euro­pean Union is due to the fact that the EU has some advan­tages that can be use­ful­ly exploit­ed in this sit­u­a­tion. Tom­ma­so Padoa-Schiop­pa, for­mer Ital­ian Min­is­ter for the Econ­o­my, said that Europe is strong for dif­fer­ent rea­sons: its bal­ance of pay­ments is in equi­lib­ri­um and there is mon­e­tary sta­bil­i­ty; the idea that the mar­ket is always effi­cient is less deep-root­ed than in the Unit­ed States; the wel­fare state in Europe is more devel­oped than in oth­er parts of the world and it makes it eas­i­er to face this kind of crisis.[55] The Ital­ian shad­ow for­eign min­is­ter Piero Fassi­no said that there is a con­tra­dic­tion in the econ­o­my nowa­days: while the pro­duc­tion sys­tems and con­sumer demand are glob­alised, these process­es are still man­aged by many small nation­al gov­ern­ments and by weak inter­na­tion­al organ­i­sa­tions. In his opin­ion, the only pos­si­ble answer to this dis­crep­an­cy is to increase the pow­er of region­al organ­i­sa­tions, of which the Euro­pean Union is sure­ly the most developed.[56]

Coor­di­na­tion of the inter­ven­tions pro­mot­ed in Europe after the Ecofin meet­ing in Octo­ber 2008 has been judged pos­i­tive­ly by both Ital­ian experts and politi­cians. How­ev­er, in the opin­ion of some of them, there is still a lot of work to be done, because the Euro­pean answer to the finan­cial cri­sis has sev­er­al inher­ent ‘costs’: the sus­pen­sion of some fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples of the com­mon mar­ket, such as the pro­hi­bi­tion of state aid; the soft­en­ing of some fis­cal and bud­getary rules; the tem­po­rary renun­ci­a­tion of a high­er lev­el of finan­cial inte­gra­tion in Europe; the mar­gin­al­i­sa­tion of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion in favour of the inter­gov­ern­men­tal approach.[57] In par­tic­u­lar, some jour­nal­ists high­light­ed that, dur­ing the finan­cial cri­sis, the inter­gov­ern­men­tal approach has come out again as a result of the will of dif­fer­ent EU mem­ber states to pur­sue their own domes­tic inter­ests and to safe­guard nation­al actors as much as possible.[58] This is why these ana­lysts fear that the cri­sis “will act as a det­o­na­tor […] and put the acquis com­mu­ni­taire under dis­cus­sion again”[59], affirm­ing that Europe will have to beware of not los­ing the progress achieved in the field of eco­nom­ic inte­gra­tion and productivity.[60] How­ev­er, not all Ital­ian com­men­ta­tors con­sid­er the use of the inter­gov­ern­men­tal approach neg­a­tive. Some of them believe that in this sit­u­a­tion the Euro­pean Union has suc­cess­ful­ly used the ‘van­guard approach’, already applied in oth­er cir­cum­stances in the past: the need for a quick answer to the inter­na­tion­al eco­nom­ic cri­sis has led the major EU mem­ber states to work togeth­er to pre­pare a plan to face the challenge.[61] More­over, for once Europe has been a mod­el for the Unit­ed States and not vice versa.[62]

Some Ital­ian ana­lysts also believe that the present sit­u­a­tion could be an oppor­tu­ni­ty for Europe to show its great poten­tial. Maria Tere­sa Salvem­i­ni sug­gest­ed three pos­si­ble ‘Euro­pean’ solu­tions to the cur­rent cri­sis. First of all, it would be use­ful to make the lim­its imposed by the Sta­bil­i­ty and Growth Pact less strict, allow­ing tem­po­rary bud­get deficits in sit­u­a­tions of eco­nom­ic cri­sis. Sec­ond­ly, she pro­posed estab­lish­ing a ‘Euro­pean plan’ that would make use of Euro­pean finan­cial resources, gained by issu­ing EU bonds (‘Eurobonds’). Final­ly, she pro­posed an agree­ment with­in the Eurogroup aimed at har­mo­niz­ing the bud­getary poli­cies by using the same instru­ments and rules. Accord­ing to Salvem­i­ni, these pro­pos­als would be even more effi­cient if they were all under­tak­en together.[63] As she wrote in her arti­cle, “the time for Europe in this field has come: now it has to make the best pos­si­ble use of it”[64].

To con­clude, the Ital­ian pub­lic opin­ion has per­ceived the per­for­mance of the EU in the finan­cial cri­sis pos­i­tive­ly, even if some ques­tions still remain unsolved and some aspects of the Euro­pean approach may need to be revised. Any­way, as the Ital­ian jour­nal­ist and his­to­ri­an Ser­gio Romano not­ed, even if the Euro­pean answer to the cri­sis was not as coor­di­nat­ed as expect­ed, at least Sarkozy’s ini­tia­tives and the anti-cri­sis plan have made Europe “more vis­i­ble and more effi­cient”. There­fore, in a cer­tain sense, it may be affirmed that the cri­sis has not had only neg­a­tive effects on the Euro­pean Union.[65]

Expected shifts in the international power constellation

The year 2009 is expect­ed to be a year of change in the inter­na­tion­al envi­ron­ment as the result of many fac­tors that will sure­ly influ­ence the present pow­er con­stel­la­tion.

The first fac­tor that will inevitably affect the future bal­ance of pow­er is the elec­tion of Barack Oba­ma as Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States. The new US administration’s mul­ti­lat­er­al approach to for­eign pol­i­cy implies that it will look for reli­able part­ners to inter­vene wher­ev­er it is nec­es­sary in the world. For this rea­son, many Ital­ian com­men­ta­tors con­sid­er 2009 the year in which the Euro­pean Union will have the pos­si­bil­i­ty to play a key role on the inter­na­tion­al scene. For the Unit­ed States, the Euro­peans are “the only allies who can seri­ous­ly con­tribute to the sta­bil­i­sa­tion of cri­sis areas where Amer­i­can sol­diers are engaged”[66]. Of course this is the case of Afghanistan and the trib­al provinces of Pak­istan, but there are also oth­er areas of the world in which the EU can use its diplo­mat­ic, eco­nom­ic and even mil­i­tary pow­er to act as a sta­bil­is­ing fac­tor.

The first area of inter­ven­tion should of course be the Mid­dle East. The Euro­pean Union is expect­ed to play an impor­tant medi­at­ing role in the Gaza con­flict; here the EU mem­ber states could have “a high­er lev­el of engage­ment”, pro­por­tion­ate to the finan­cial sup­port that in the last years they have spent on sta­bil­is­ing the region, which is of the high­est inter­est for them.[67]

Sec­ond­ly, the EU will be a fun­da­men­tal part­ner for the Unit­ed States in the def­i­n­i­tion of a new rela­tion­ship with Rus­sia. It is com­mon opin­ion that Rus­sia is one of the piv­otal ele­ments of the future inter­na­tion­al pow­er con­stel­la­tion. Espe­cial­ly after the cri­sis in Geor­gia, there are many rea­sons to re-estab­lish com­mu­ni­ca­tions with Pres­i­dent Medvedev and his entourage. First of all, in the last months Rus­sia has been a fac­tor of divi­sion both inside the Euro­pean Union and in the transat­lantic framework.[68] Sec­ond­ly, it will be impos­si­ble for the Euro­pean Union to re-sta­bilise the Cau­ca­sus region and to imple­ment its Neigh­bour­hood Pol­i­cy with­out a coop­er­a­tive approach towards Russia.[69] Third­ly, it is desir­able to have bet­ter rela­tions with a coun­try that is one of the most impor­tant ener­gy providers for the West. For all these rea­sons, it would be impor­tant for the EU to start an open dia­logue with Rus­sia in order to soft­en the ten­sions between this pow­er and west­ern countries.[70]

The oth­er uncer­tain issue is the role that the so-called ‘ris­ing pow­ers’ will play. In par­tic­u­lar, espe­cial­ly after the prob­lems brought on by the finan­cial cri­sis, it will be fun­da­men­tal both for the US and the EU to pro­mote an open and sta­ble rela­tion­ship with Chi­na. In the last months, there has been great con­cern in Italy for the future of EU-Chi­na rela­tions. The defer­ment of the EU-Chi­na Sum­mit planned for the begin­ning of Decem­ber 2008 has been con­sid­ered by Ital­ian com­men­ta­tors as just “the tip of the ice­berg of the dete­ri­o­ra­tion of Sino-Euro­pean rela­tions that has occurred in the last years”[71]. Con­sid­er­ing that Chi­na is one of the most pow­er­ful emerg­ing economies and that its mar­ket is strong­ly linked to that of Europe – the EU is China’s first trade part­ner and Chi­na is the EU’s sec­ond trade part­ner after the Unit­ed States – Ital­ian ana­lysts affirm that it is nec­es­sary for both Chi­na and the EU to coop­er­ate to estab­lish a good rela­tion­ship again.[72] In their opin­ion, “it is fun­da­men­tal for both Italy and Europe to get con­nect­ed with the most dynam­ic areas of the world”, among which, China.[73] At present, the vis­it of Chi­nese Prime Min­is­ter, Wen Jiabao, to Europe seems to be the first step towards a renewed part­ner­ship. This is even more impor­tant when con­sid­er­ing that this trip, planned sev­er­al months ago, will take place before any offi­cial Chi­nese vis­it to the new Amer­i­can Pres­i­dent Obama.[74] In this sense, the Euro­pean Union could be the first to build the foun­da­tion for stronger links between Chi­na and west­ern coun­tries, the Unit­ed States includ­ed.

The year 2009 will sure­ly be char­ac­terised by uncer­tain­ty: many dif­fer­ent changes are expect­ed to occur and it is not easy to fore­cast how they will inter­act with each oth­er. How­ev­er, for the same rea­son, 2009 will also be a year of oppor­tu­ni­ties: the present finan­cial cri­sis will prob­a­bly pro­vide the stim­u­lus for a gen­er­al reform of the glob­al gov­er­nance and of inter­na­tion­al insti­tu­tions; the con­flicts that occurred in the last months (Tibet, Geor­gia, Gaza) are like­ly to bring about deep­er engage­ment of the main inter­na­tion­al actors and deep­er coop­er­a­tion among them; the mul­ti­lat­er­al approach of the new US Pres­i­dent will prob­a­bly be the plat­form for a more equal and bal­anced transat­lantic part­ner­ship. Many ana­lysts believe that the time has come for Europe to seize these oppor­tu­ni­ties. How­ev­er, to make it hap­pen, the EU will have to be more cohe­sive and ready to inter­vene in those areas where it can make a dif­fer­ence; it will have to show the oth­er glob­al pow­ers, espe­cial­ly the new US admin­is­tra­tion, that it has the will to get involved in defin­ing a new inter­na­tion­al bal­ance.

 

 

 

[1] See: UE/Vertice: Berlus­coni, buon risul­ta­to non tornare su Lis­bona, ASCA, 12 Decem­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://it.notizie.yahoo.com/19/20081212/tpl-ue-vertice-berlusconi-buon-risultato-1204c2b.html (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[2] Ibid.
[3] C. Zagari: Il caso irlan­dese e il ris­chio del “Trat­ta­to zero”, Il Tem­po, 16 Decem­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://iltempo.ilsole24ore.com/2008/12/16/965268-caso_irlandese_rischio_trattato_zero.shtml (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[4] Ibid.
[5] Il Sole 24 Ore: L’Irlanda tornerà a votare in otto­bre sul Trat­ta­to UE, 12 Decem­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://www.ilsole24ore.com/art/SoleOnLine4/Economia e Lavoro/2008/12/irlanda-trattato-ue.shtml?uuid=ddbeb94c-c824-11dd-baf9-fbc7a4fc4e23&DocRulesView=Libero (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[6] Ibid.
[7] L. Fuc­caro: Soglia al 4% e una pref­eren­za – Europee, il testo del gov­er­no, Cor­riere del­la Sera, 31 July 2008.
[8] With a sys­tem of closed par­ty lists, which does not allow the vot­ers to express their pref­er­ences for sin­gle can­di­dates, the can­di­dates at the top of the win­ning elec­toral list get elect­ed.
[9] See: Antifas­cis­mo e pref­eren­ze, Il Riformista, 18 Sep­tem­ber 2008.
[10] M. Comelli/J. Dar­nis: Europa e legit­tim­ità demo­c­ra­t­i­ca: due pro­poste, Affari Inter­nazion­ali, 8 August 2008, avail­able at: http://www.affarinternazionali.it/articolo.asp?ID=915 (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[11] R. Gualtieri: La pref­eren­za per evitare le oli­garchie, Il Mat­ti­no, 18 Sep­tem­ber 2008.
[12] A. Mis­siroli: Anche in Europa si può ridare lo scettro al principe, Affari Inter­nazion­ali, 20 August 2008, avail­able at: http://www.affarinternazionali.it/articolo.asp?ID=922 (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[13] L. Caputo: Ma solo così si riducono spese e clien­tele, Il Gior­nale, 15 Sep­tem­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://www.ilgiornale.it/a.pic1?ID=290549&START=1&2col=&page=2 (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[14] See: Ver­so le Europee, appel­lo di Napoli­tano: ampio con­sen­so sul­la legge, Panora­ma, 28 Octo­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://blog.panorama.it/italia/2008/10/28/verso-le-europee-lappello-di-napolitano-ampio-consenso-sulla-legge/ (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[15] P. De Mar­ti­no: PD e PDL ci riprovano, legge mod­el­lo svedese-bel­ga, 9 Jan­u­ary 2008, avail­able at: http://www.asca.it/news-EUROPEE__PD_E_PDL_CI_RIPROVANO__LEGGE_MODELLO_SVEDESE-BELGA_(IL_PUNTO)-801021-ORA-.html (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[16] Ibid.
[17] M. Comelli/J. Dar­nis: Europa e legit­tim­ità demo­c­ra­t­i­ca: due pro­poste, Affari Inter­nazion­ali, 8 August 2008, avail­able at: http://www.affarinternazionali.it/articolo.asp?ID=915 (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[18] Spe­cial Euro­barom­e­ter 299: The 2009 Euro­pean Elec­tions. Results for Italy, Sep­tem­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_299_it_en.pdf (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[19] Ibid.
[20] See: Il Cav­a­liere “rican­di­da” il por­togh­ese, Cor­riere del­la Sera, 16 July 2008, avail­able at: http://rassegna.camera.it/chiosco_new/pagweb/immagineFrame.asp?comeFrom=search&currentArticle=IPMPB (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[21] T. Padoa Schiop­pa: From the sin­gle cur­ren­cy to the sin­gle bal­lot-box, Paris 1999, avail­able at: http://www.notre-europe.eu/en/ (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[22] G. Bon­vici­ni: Elezione “diret­ta” del Pres­i­dente del­la Com­mis­sione euro­pea?, Affari Inter­nazion­ali, 8 August 2008, avail­able at: http://www.affarinternazionali.it/articolo.asp?ID=914 (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[23] Ibid.
[24] A. Mis­siroli: Anche in Europa si può ridare lo scettro al principe, Affari Inter­nazion­ali, 20 August 2008, avail­able at: http://www.affarinternazionali.it/articolo.asp?ID=922 (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[25] Ibid.
[26] Ibid.
[27] M. Ruta: Come scegli­er il Prossi­mo Pres­i­dente del­la Com­mis­sione UE?, 7 Sep­tem­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://www.imille.org/2008/09/come_scegliere_il_prossimo_pre.html (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[28] Ibid.
[29] Ibid.
[30] See: http://who-is-your-candidate.eu/index.php?lang=it (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[31] Stan­dard Euro­barom­e­ter 69, Spring 2008, avail­able at: http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/eb/eb69/eb69_it_exe.pdf (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[32] See: Unione euro­pea: il valz­er delle poltrone scate­na le diplo­mazie europee, Panora­ma, 8 May 2008, avail­able at: http://blog.panorama.it/mondo/2008/05/08/ue-chi-dopo-barroso-il-valzer-di-poltrone-scatena-le-diplomazie-europee/ (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[33] C. Tosi: Cam­biare tut­to per non cam­biare niente, Limes, 4 Jan­u­ary 2008, avail­able at: http://limes.espresso.repubblica.it/2008/01/04/cambiare-tutto-per-noncambiare-niente/?p=425 (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[34] M. Mon­ti: L’Europa adul­ta e l’America, Cor­riere del­la Sera, 2 Novem­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2008/novembre/02/EUROPA_ADULTA_AMERICA_co_9_081102005.shtml (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[35] See: USA-UE: Frat­ti­ni, Oba­ma chiederà più sol­dati, serve polit­i­ca dife­sa comune, Libero, 10 Jan­u­ary 2009, avail­able at: http://www.libero-news.it/adnkronos/view/32276 (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[36] L. Carac­ci­o­lo: E l’Europa si spac­cherà, L’Espresso, 13 Novem­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://espresso.repubblica.it/dettaglio/E‑lEuropa-si-spacchera/2048229/18 (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[37] See: Gaza/Da Oba­ma apprez­za­men­to a pre­mier ceco per mis­sione Ue, 8 Jan­u­ary 2009, avail­able at: http://www.notizia.it/notizie/esteri/2009/01_gennaio/08/gaza_da_obama_apprezzamento_a_premier_ceco_per_missione_ue,17482931.html (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[38] R. Alcaro: Where to (Re)start? Pro­pos­als for Re-launch­ing the Transat­lantic Part­ner­ship in View of the US Pres­i­den­tial Elec­tions, in: R. Alcaro (ed.): Re-Launch­ing the Transat­lantic Secu­ri­ty Part­ner­ship, Quaderni IAI Eng­lish series, 12/2008, pp. 101–116, p.114.
[39] M. Mon­ti: L’Europa adul­ta e l’America, Cor­riere del­la Sera, 2 Novem­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2008/novembre/02/EUROPA_ADULTA_AMERICA_co_9_081102005.shtml (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[40] Ibid.
[41] Ibid.
[42] M. Rigac­ci: McCain o Oba­ma? UE, chi­ave è mul­ti­lat­er­al­is­mo, 3 Novem­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://www.ansa.it/opencms/export/site/notizie/rubriche/approfondimenti/visualizza_new.html_814211148.html (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[43] Ibid.
[44] USA-UE: Frat­ti­ni, Oba­ma chiederà più sol­dati, serve polit­i­ca dife­sa comune, Libero, 10 Jan­u­ary 2009, avail­able at: http://www.libero-news.it/adnkronos/view/32276 (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[45] Fil­ip­po Vec­chio: Europei Ottimisti Sulle Relazioni Transat­lantiche Se Vince Oba­ma, Meno Con McCain Pres­i­dente, Transat­lantic trends, Sep­tem­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://www.affarinternazionali.it/Documenti/Comunicato-stampa_TT08_ita.pdf (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[46] M. Mas­sari: Oba­ma di fronte alla sfi­da rus­sa, Affari inter­nazion­ali, 5t Novem­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://www.affarinternazionali.it/articolo.asp?ID=980 (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[47] Ibid.
[48] Inter­view to Gian­ni De Miche­lis, Il Riformista, 5 Novem­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://www.magna-carta.it/files/Rassegna stam­pa Elezioni Usa 5 novembre.pdf (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[49] See: Berlus­coni a Oba­ma: pri­or­ità legame con Rus­sia, Il Gior­nale, 11 Novem­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://www.ilgiornale.it/a.pic1?ID=305349 (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[50] See: http://www.adnkronos.com/IGN/Politica/?id=3.0.2930261222 (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[51] See: Applaudono tut­ti. Napoli­tano: giorno di grande sper­an­za, La Gazzetta del Mez­zo­giorno, 6 Novem­ber 2008.
[52] See: Usa 2008: Fassi­no, con Oba­ma miglior­eran­no rap­por­ti con Ue, 5 Novem­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://www.repubblica.it/ultimora/politica/USA-2008FASSINO-CON-OBAMA-MIGLIORERANNO-RAPPORTI-CON-UE/news-dettaglio/3393896 (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[53] M. De Andreis/M. Marè: La crisi finanziaria e l’Unione Euro­pea: quali inseg­na­men­ti per la gov­er­nance euro­pea?, 28 Octo­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://www.astrid-online.it/rassegna/28–10-2008/MARE-_DE-ANDREIS_governance-ue_23_10_08.pdf (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[54] M. T. Salvem­i­ni: Tre opzioni per una rispos­ta euro­pea alla crisi finanziaria, Affari Inter­nazion­ali, 8tNovembre 2008, avail­able at: http://www.affariinternazionali.it/ (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[55] Inter­view to Tom­ma­so Padoa Schiop­pa, in: Il Reg­no 18/2008, avail­able at: http://www.ilregno.it/it/rivista_articolo.php?RID=0&CODICE=49211 (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[56] See: L’Unione Euro­pea e ques­ta lun­ga crisi, Extrait du Euros du Vil­lage, avail­able at: http://www.glieuros.eu/IMG/article_PDF/L‑Unione-Europea-e-questa-lunga,2052.pdf (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[57] M. De Andreis/M. Marè: La crisi finanziaria e l’Unione Euro­pea: quali inseg­na­men­ti per la gov­er­nance euro­pea?, 28 Octo­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://www.astrid-online.it/rassegna/28–10-2008/MARE-_DE-ANDREIS_governance-ue_23_10_08.pdf (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[58] M. Marchi: L’Europa di fronte alla crisi finanziaria pro­va a sal­vare la fac­cia, L’Occidentale, 3 Octo­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://www.loccidentale.it/ (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[59] M. De Andreis/M. Marè: La crisi finanziaria e l’Unione Euro­pea: quali inseg­na­men­ti per la gov­er­nance euro­pea?, 28 Octo­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://www.astrid-online.it/rassegna/28–10-2008/MARE-_DE-ANDREIS_governance-ue_23_10_08.pdf (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[60] C. Altomonte/M. Nava: Brux­elles sal­va Wall Street? La gov­er­nance dell’economia euro­pea e la crisi finanziaria, ISPI Pol­i­cy Brief No. 99, Octo­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://www.ispionline.it/it/documents/PB_99_2008.pdf (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[61] See: La crisi finanziaria e i nuovi equi­lib­ri mon­di­ali, in: ISPI – Relazioni inter­nazion­ali 30/2008, avail­able at: http://www.ispionline.it/it/pubblicazioni.php (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[62] Ibid.
[63] M. T. Salvem­i­ni: Tre opzioni per una rispos­ta euro­pea alla crisi finanziaria, Affari Inter­nazion­ali, 8tNovembre 2008, avail­able at: http://www.affariinternazionali.it/ (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[64] Ibid.
[65] S. Romano: L’Europa nel­la crisi. Un pas­so ver­so l’unione, Cor­riere del­la Sera, 3 Novem­ber 2008.
[66] L. Carac­ci­o­lo: Il nuo­vo ruo­lo dell’Europa, Limes online 22 Jan­u­ary 2009, avail­able at: http://temi.repubblica.it/limes/il-nuovo-ruolo-delleuropa/ (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[67] Ibid.
[68] M. Mas­sari: Oba­ma di fronte alla sfi­da rus­sa, Affari inter­nazion­ali, 5 Novem­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://www.affarinternazionali.it/articolo.asp?ID=980 (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[69] E. Gre­co: Il rap­por­to tra la Rus­sia e l’Unione Euro­pea: come rilan­cia­re la coop­er­azione in vista del rin­no­vo dell’accordo di parte­nar­i­a­to, Dis­cor­so tenu­to in occa­sione del­la IX riu­nione del­la grande com­mis­sione Italia-Rus­sia, in: cam­era dei Dep­u­tati, Doc­u­men­ti IAI 0830, Roma, 24/25 Novem­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://www.iai.it/pdf/DocIAI/iai0830.pdf (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[70] M. Mas­sari: Oba­ma di fronte alla sfi­da rus­sa, Affari inter­nazion­ali, 5 Novem­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://www.affarinternazionali.it/articolo.asp?ID=980 (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[71] N. Canari­ni: Un New Deal tra Europa e Cina, Affari Inter­nazion­ali, 10 Decem­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://www.affarinternazionali.it/articolo.asp?ID=1022 (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[72] Ibid.
[73] S. Fagi­o­lo: La pau­ra del­la Cina, in: Aspe­nia, 41/2008, p. 233.
[74] See: Usa-Ue-Cina, tri­an­go­lo ad alta ten­sione, la Repub­bli­ca, 26 Jan­u­ary 2009, avail­able at: http://www.repubblica.it/2008/06/rubriche/piazza-asiatica/cina-usa-ostili/cina-usa-ostili.html?rss (last access: 25 Jan­u­ary 2009).