Between ambition and ambivalence: Italy and the European Union’s Mediterranean policy

Carbone, M. (2008) Between ambition and ambivalence: Italy and the European Union’s Mediterranean policy. Modern Italy, 13(2), pp. 155-168. (doi: 10.1080/13532940801962041)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


This article reviews Italy's role in the various phases of the European Union's policy towards the Mediterranean: the ad hoc policy of the 1950s and 1960s, the Global Mediterranean Policy developed in the 1970s, the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership agreed in Barcelona in 1995, the European Neighbourhood Policy signed in 2003, the proposal launched by French president Nicolas Sarkozy in 2006 for a Mediterranean Union. The overall argument is that the various Italian governments have carried out an ambivalent and often reactive policy: on the one hand, they have consistently tried to promote a Mediterranean dimension in the European Union, though without upsetting the United States; on the other hand, they have limited the extension of trade privileges to exports from North Africa. While the end of the Cold War provided a new opportunity for Italy to play a more assertive role in the international arena, the two coalitions that have alternated in power have substantially failed to move the Mediterranean to the centre of Italy's and the European Union's external policy. A partial change of attitude–yet a reactive policy–emerged under the second Prodi Government, when Italy and Spain became close allies in an attempt to counter-balance the new activist policy of Sarkozy.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Carbone, Professor Maurizio
Authors: Carbone, M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Modern Italy
Publisher:Routledge (Taylor & Francis)
ISSN (Online):1469-9877
Published Online:21 September 2010

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record