Italy and Mediterranean security

25 June 2019 - 17:30 - 19:00
Paul Taylor, Jamie Shea

The new report by Friends of Europe to be released on June 25 highlights growing security challenges in the Mediterranean region and Italy’s central role in influencing Europe’s response. The study by Friends of Europe senior fellow Paul Taylor, a columnist for POLITICO and veteran former foreign correspondent for Reuters, examines the broad array of present and future threats, driven by long terms trends of climate change, demography and state fragility, and fueled by great power rivalry, resource conflicts, radicalization and Jihadist terrorism, and smuggling of people, arms and drugs. It will offer recommendations for how to optimise Italy’s defence policy to best assure its own long-term security interests and those of Europe. 

The study complements four similar studies on France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Poland’s roles in European security and defence.

IMAGE CREDIT: CC/Flickr - Pennsylvania National Guard

Image (media)
Friends of Europe’s series of studies on European defence cooperation focus on views from the capitals and bring together influential voices that contribute to the series through interviews.

Welcome and Registration


Molto Agitato – Italy and Mediterranean security


Italy is a central player in security in the Mediterranean both because of its geostrategic location and role as a hub for NATO, US forces and the United Nations, and its contributions to military operations, peacekeeping, training and capacity building in the Med, North Africa, the Western Balkans and the Middle East all the way to Afghanistan. To achieve its security objectives, Rome needs the cooperation of the Euro-Atlantic institutions and the UN, yet despite its substantial contributions it has never won a permanent place in the inner circle of any of those organisations, and it has had to agitate for influence. Exclusion from the inner councils of Western power may be one reason why Rome has pursued a mercantilist foreign policy, sometimes criticized as opportunist, that tends to prioritise commercial interests, notably with Russia, China and Iran, over collective strategic considerations. 

  • What are the main guidelines of Italy’s defence policy? Which role plays its defence industry?
  • How does Italy address the various security challenges in the Mediterranean? 
  • To what extent does Italy’s approach on migration affect areas like European defence cooperation and integration?

Report presented by
Paul Taylor
, Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe and Contributing Editor for Politico

Moderated by
Jamie Shea
, Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe and former Deputy Assistant Secretary General at NATO  


End of Debate

Paul Taylor
Senior Fellow
Paul Taylor is a Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe and the author of Friends of Europe’s European Defence Cooperation report series. A Paris-based journalist, he also writes the "Europe at Large" column for Politico. He previously spent four decades working for Reuters as a foreign correspondent in Paris, Tehran, Bonn and Brussels, as bureau chief in Israel/Palestine, Berlin and Brussels, as chief correspondent in France, as diplomatic editor in London, and finally as European affairs editor. His assignments have included covering the Iranian revolution, the Cold War Euromissile crisis, the 1991 Gulf War, German reunification, the Maastricht summit, France in the 1990s, EU enlargement, the Eurozone crisis and the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt.
Jamie Shea
Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe and Former Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges at NATO (2010-2018)
Retiring from NATO in September 2018 after 38 years at the organisation, Jamie Shea has occupied a number of senior positions at NATO across a wide range of areas, including external relations, press and media, and policy planning. As NATO’s spokesperson, he was the face of the Alliance during the Bosnia and Kosovo conflicts. He later worked as the Director of Policy Planning in the private office of former Secretary General Rasmussen during the preparation of NATO’s 2010 Strategic Concept. Shea is also a regular lecturer and conference speaker on NATO and European security affairs.
Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI)  



This event is exclusive for Friends of Europe members or by invitation only.

Patrick Vandewalle, Programme Executive
Tel.: +32 893 98 20

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