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Critical technologies and industrial capabilities: National definition and policy implications. The Italian case


This paper analyses the way Italy addresses dependencies on critical technologies within the aerospace, defence and security industry. The Italian governments’ documents do not explicitly list critical technologies and industrial capabilities. The only formalized measure to protect them concerns the control of the Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). De facto, those industrial capabilities able to produce cutting-edge products within bi/multinational/EU cooperative programmes are deemed critical, and the Ministry of Defence evaluates dependencies on an ad hoc basis. A certain degree of dependency from like-minded countries – particularly Europeans – is accepted and leveraged to move towards interdependency. Italy would rather support an EU-wide monitoring of extra-EU dependencies on critical technologies and industrial capabilities. The Russian war against Ukraine has further reinforced Italy’s support for European defence cooperation and integration in synergy with NATO.