Treaty between Italy and France for an enhanced bilateral cooperation

Contribution by Laura Andreani.

On November 26, 2021, following a long and complex negotiation, Italy and France signed a treaty, as known as the Quirinale Treaty, aiming to strengthen the relationship between Rome and Paris throughout a periodic dialogue between the two Governments and a common agenda in order to share main issues and priorities.

The treaty provides for a greater cooperation on various issues, but also the fact that parties shall previously share all the choices to be made within the international scenario: United Nations, EU, NATO.

The treaty consists of a preamble and twelve articles.

The preamble recalls fundamental values such as peace and security, respect for human dignity, human rights and freedoms, democracy, equality and rule of law. The willing to fight climate change and preserve biodiversity is also emphasized, guided by a common goal to a democratic, united and sovereign Europe capable to face global challenges. Parties also point out the importance of preserving the single market and the four fundamental freedoms as milestones and inexhaustible engines on the way to European integration.

The twelve articles concern many strategic issues, and in particular: Foreign Affairs; Security and Defense; European affairs; Migration policies, justice and internal affairs; Economic, industrial and digital cooperation; Social, sustainable and inclusive development; Space; Education and training, research and innovation; Culture, youth and civil society; Cross-border cooperation and organization.

Inter alia, the Treaty provides for (i) an Italian Minister to participate to a French Council of Ministers at least once every three months, and vice versa, (ii) a stable mechanisms of enhanced consultations to be established, both in case of any crisis or on the eve of important deadlines, (iii) bi-annual meetings on research and innovation to be set, providing the participation of the ministries who are responsible for universities and research matters, (iv) both an European migration and asylum policy and integration policies to be pursued, based on the principles of responsibility and solidarity between Member States, and (v) a joint civil service to be established.

In addition, in order to ensure the implementation of the Treaty, parties shall organize an intergovernmental summit on an annual basis, with the purpose to examine each priority issue of mutual interest.