We are writing, at the very least, to move away from the rampant reverence to the new Prime Minister—which seems to recall a certain skit by Petrolini and Nerone—and which certainly does not help him in the slightest. And to talk about “Draghi’s foreign policy,” the eight bullet points recited before Parliament: It does not seem innovative, but rather in substantial continuity with the previous foreign policy, and is, above all, silent on many issues.
Let’s talk about the obvious choices: “Europeanist,” “Atlanticist” and “multilateralist,” all called “indispensable.” They are important, but all exclusively ceremonial, and the second one in particular should not be surprising.
What did we expect Draghi to do, sing the International? All of them show a real lack of perspective and good sense, in light of the serious changes that have affected the European Union, the Atlantic Alliance and the world in recent years, during which the Prime Minister was not living under a rock. To say, then, that the core of the pro-European initiative of the new government is the strengthening of European integration through the consolidation of the partnership with France and Germany risks limiting ourselves to the current state of affairs in Europe, where both the partnership between the two countries and the reality of the two leadership roles remain mired in deep crisis internally and in a crisis of credibility abroad.
In Germany, Angela Merkel, the glue holding together the German and European crisis and of its divergent political animuses, will leave the political scene this year—in a country where the extreme right wing of the AfD is looking to exploit the dire numbers of the social crisis to grow again and challenge the CDU-CSU team. In France, Macron has only partially regained credibility, but remains besieged by social protests derived only partly from the pandemic crisis. He is always willing to try to bring back military “grandeur” to the world, currently expending itself in some late-colonial wars.
But the two governments are divided on energy policy with regard to the relationship with Russia (and China), starting with the North Stream 2, favored by Berlin and opposed by Paris.
Most surprising is the way Draghi reduces the discourse on Europe to standing side by side with the two hegemonic countries in a Union solely characterized by a privileged relationship between the two strongest nations: in short, we are not at the stage of a real political and supranational integration, but at an often-hostile balance between nations. Draghi is right to declare that “there is no sovereignty in loneliness,” but the EU was, and still is, grappling with the sovereignist choice of Brexit, for a country that was central to European integration. What happened there? Then, there is silence on Eastern Europe, where sovereignist nationalism is taking root and is distancing itself from the rule of law, justice, women’s rights and human rights, developing a xenophobic and racist policy and practice towards the drama of migrants.
At their behest, the EU “exclusive fortress” has decided to outsource its borders to Libya, the Sahel countries, Turkey and the Balkans—is this what Draghi’s reference to the Mediterranean was all about?— mercantilizing the management of a humanity fleeing from wars, conflicts and misery, often caused by us, in concentration camps—a world that says a lot about the real culture of the European governments, who like to talk about others’ violations of human rights.
Just like the hint given in Draghi’s speech, this is the same as putting “asylum” and “repatriation” in the same sentence. An oxymoron that defies intelligence. Not to mention Draghi’s silence—as recalled by Alberto Negri in il manifesto—about Egypt, run by the oil tycoon Al-Sisi, and Giulio Regeni, a tragic fact of some importance, since this issue has been downplayed by the four previous governments as well.
While we are not surprised at the call to Atlanticism with the arrival of Biden to the U.S. presidency— which, unfortunately, will not immediately (or ever) abandon some “results” of Trump’s America First approach, such as tariffs and the Abrahamic Pact—we are, however, surprised by what was left unspoken.
NATO has been responsible for at least two wars involving Europe in the last 20 years. Let’s stop with the fable that it has “guaranteed peace”: it has exported war, in Libya, in the Balkans, in the Middle East, trafficking and selling the weapons that have been condemned with such indignation by Pope Francis in his much cited Laudato Si, together with those “democrats” who claim to want peace but make war.
In addition to placing Italy and the Old Continent under servitude and dotting them with military bases, including atomic bombs—does the ecological transition also apply to them?—NATO has pursued the risky strategy of enlargement to the East, which is beginning to bear bitter fruit, deploying troops and deadly weapons systems in all the countries of the former Warsaw Pact, all of which have become “Atlantic,” right next to the Russian borders.
It’s all in a desperate search for another ’89, and an enemy that should preferably behave like the USSR in order to justify the enormous military budgets of NATO and their allies. The USSR, however, no longer exists. And Putin, with his Caesarism, is grateful. The fact is that NATO is subsuming the non-existent foreign policy of the EU to such an extent that it does not even have a foreign minister, covered up by the PESC formula, with a clumsy Josep Borrel who is given short shrift both in Moscow and in the European Parliament by aggressive sovereignism. And with NATO, the choice for a common European defense only means a doubling of the already huge military budgets.
And now comes the final point. Why, Mr. Prime Minister, have you not set up a Ministry for European Affairs among your team? Maybe because you consider this pointless, since your mandate is only to deal with Brussels on the Recovery fund, talking only with Gentiloni on the economy and with Sassoli on the relationship with the European Parliament (which barely exists anyway)? Is it a case of the usual Italian “mum’s the word,” elevated to the heights of your public profile?
Draghi’s record is a mixed bag, after all: from extreme rigorism (they have stories to tell about that in Athens), which led to the adoption of the fiscal compact at the European level, pushing, although it was not mandatory, for the introduction of a balanced budget in our Constitution; all the way to quantitative easing in order not to have a precipice of many “Greeces” that would have represented the end of the EU; or the “good and bad debt”; all the way to the unrestrained approach to “make debt public,” for which we have to “thank” only the devastating pandemic in whose grip we remain. These are the only truths that he is willing to reiterate: the “irreversibility of the choice of the euro” and the prospect of a “common budget.”
This is, after all, the fully realized European Union: a currency. Nothing else. Altiero Spinelli would have had something to say about that. And Draghi’s mentor, Federico Caffè, would recall that “efficiency without ideals makes economics into a ‘cruel science.’”