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Italy between European Integration and Atlantic Alliance - Changes and Continuity of the Berlusconi Government's Foreign Policy -

SONPHIL LEE 1

1한국외국어대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study is to revaluate the foreign policy of Silvio Berlusconi who is being criticized for having deteriorated the traditional Italian foreign policy. For this purpose, I try to reexamine his european and atlantic policies and assess what differences have his europeanism and atlanticism from those of 'the first Republic' and the Center-left. As seen in his attitudes with regard to the EMU, Airbus A400M, and EAW, the Berlusconi's criticism against european integration was personal and a means to protect Italy's national interest. And his europeanism and atlanticism had continuity with the traditional ones in that he tried to protect national interest during the process of european integration but did not oppose to the already created institutions. He decided to send Italian troops to Afghanistan and Iraq despite of the opposition from the public opinion. This policy was criticized from the opposition for being been against european approach and having delegated Italian foreign policy to the USA. He, thus, received a stern rebuke from the europeans as being anti-european and pro-atlantic. It is true that he favoured the USA to the European Union. But this has nothing to do with the anti-europeanism, but on the contrary is similar to the traditional Italian foreign policy. In spite of the continuity that we have seen, though, his europeanism was different from the traditional one. His europeanism was more realistic, while that of 'the first Republic' and the Center-left was a mixture of idealism and realism. Also his atlanticism was different from that of the past and the Center-left, because he played an active atlanticism, contrary to their passive atlanticism. I think that the evaluation about his foreign policy need to be conducted separately from the negative assessment of a brutal and corrupt businessman.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.