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European Security and the Role of Italy


Twenty years after the end of the Cold War, Italy’s security continues to be anchored to NATO and, increasingly, to the European Union. NATO provides Italy with key advantages in terms of protection of territorial integrity and standardisation of armed forces (a fundamental prerequisite for upholding the competitiveness of Italian defence products on allied markets). It is also crucial in keeping a country of enormous importance like Turkey anchored to Europe and providing leverage in dialoguing and cooperating with Russia, one of Italy’s key partners. The EU represents a further chain of protection for Italy. Cooperation at the EU level is essential for checking the risks emanating from both the Mediterranean basin/Middle East and the Balkans, notably illegal activities spanning drug and human trafficking, to which Italy is particularly permeable because of the deep-rooted presence of criminal organisations in its territory.