This article reviews the Treaty on Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation between Italy and Libya, signed in August 2008 by Berlusconi and Qaddafi in Benghazi. Putting an end to the disputes related to colonialism – with costs that are not negligible for Italy – the Treaty has contributed to creating a favourable climate for a major improvement in bilateral relations. In addition, the Treaty provides a new frame of reference for cooperation in many sectors. The economic sector is particularly promising since trade relations have always been important and Libyan investments in Italy have increased constantly in recent years. No less important is the part of the Treaty on the fight against illegal immigration, which calls for Libyan coastline patrol by mixed crews and land border satellite surveillance.
Paper presented at the second seminar of the Mediterranean Strategy Group "Is Regional Cooperation in the Maghreb Possible? Implications for the Region and External Actors", organised by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in cooperation with German Marshall Fund of the United States, Genoa, 11-12 May 2009. Published also in Bulletin of Italian Politics, Vol. 1, No. 1 (Summer 2009), p. 125-133.
1. Past record
2. Opportunities and challenges of the new Italian-Libyan framework of cooperation
3. The partnership and the immigration chapter
4. The Partnership in practice between economic interests and domestic dynamics
Appendix. Bilateral Treaties and other Instruments Between Italy and Libya