Italy and the European Union Essay

Italy and the European Union Essay

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The idea of a united Europe was present in Italy even before the end of the Second World War. As a matter of fact, in June 1941, E. Rossi and A. Spinelli, exiled on the island of Ventotene, published the so-called 'Ventotene Manifesto', which promoted a federation of states of Europe that, in their view, could prevent war, binding European countries closer together. The Manifesto encouraged the settlement of single European currency, army and foreign policy. Hence, it first became the programme of the 'Movimento Federalista Europeo', and then it began to be considered the European Union founding text. From that point on, even if the Italian relationship with and approach to the European Union (EU) have changed overtime, Italy has always been one of the major supporters of the European integration process.

Right from the beginning, Italy perceived European political and economic integration as a way toward economic development, democratic strengthening and modernisation, a framework within which the Italian state could enhance its own legitimacy in the domestic arena (Daniels, 1998). Thus, the most influential politicians and the major parties, together with the public opinion, all supported the European project, and this attitude based Italian foreign policy all the way until the mid-1990s. Primarily, joining Europe meant for the country to place itself on the US' side of the Cold War conflict. Italy's idea of Europe pushed towards a more super-national, institutionalized and less inter-governmental model, that had to be realized through a further political integration. Thus, it called for the strengthening of European institutions and the tightening of the policy cooperation system. Indeed, in every treaty negotiation, it has ...

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Quaglia L. & Radelli M. (2007), Italian Politics and the European Union: A Tale of Two Research Designs,,
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Villafranca A. (2013), Italia-Europa: quando la politica "estera" non basta,, (visited on 6 November 2013)

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