At the beginning of the 1990s, Italy went through two tectonic changes. Externally, the end of the Cold War called for a redefinition of the roles of NATO and the EU, the pillars on which Italy had built its foreign and security policy for forty years. Internally, Italy's old ruling elites vanished under the huge mani pulite corruption scandal. The new political parties that rose in their place have remained committed to NATO and the EU, but have often met with obstacles in reconciling the national, European and Atlantic components of Italy's security. While this hinges mostly on structural factors - like the rising costs of participation in NATO or EU operations abroad, including in terms of public support - the tendency of the new elites to emphasize their differences and neglect their more fundamental commonalities have multiplied the "grey zones" in Italian security policy.