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Italy in the European Union, between Prodi and Berlusconi


Since it came back into power in May 2008, the Berlusconi government has undertaken a number of important initiatives in foreign policy, especially in relation to the European Union. Three cases concern the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, the war in Georgia and the climate change/energy package. Rather than following a pro- or anti-Europe line, it is argued that the link between all these initiatives is the development of a pragmatic foreign policy, in which the ultimate aim is to promote Italy's economic interests. This means that in some cases the Berlusconi government is supportive of the European integration process, especially when no specific Italian interest is at stake, whereas it does not hesitate to undermine it should it clash with Italy's economic interests.