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Franco-Italian relations at their best: a look back on the relationship between the two nations

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By Euronews
France 2022
France 2022   -   Copyright  euronews

With the appointment of Mario Draghi as Italy’s Prime Minister a new partnership between Italy and France has emerged. Ahead of France’s presidential election we looked back at how bilateral relations between the two countries have changed.

Impact of the Quirinale Treaty

In the eyes of France's Ambassador to Italy, Christian Masset, the signature of the Quirinale Treaty marked a key moment in the relationship between Paris and Rome.

We needed to frame this relationship. the Quirinale Treaty is in place since last November. It’s a friendship agreement that entails very ambitious exchange programs as a way for both countries to get to know each other. It also includes project ideas to build a stronger bilateral partnership that has given us the chance to build a stronger Europe”
Christian Masset
France’s ambassador to Italy

The new deal has helped overcome disagreements at bilateral and European levels, following a recent diplomatic dispute between the two.

A wide-ranging cooperation agreement in several strategic sectors from defense to politics.

If you look back at the past few years – today the relationship between the two countries is at its best. The time when France recalled its ambassador back in 2019 seems to be far away. That happened when the five star movement backed the yellow vest protest. The relationship is now optimal, and the Quirinale treaty has strengthened it. That has also happened thanks to shared interests between the two.
Antonio Villafranca
ISPI Director of Studies

The treaty was signed at a crucial time for Europe. Former German chancellor Angela Merkel’s era was coming to an end and the appointment of Prime Minister Draghi had brought a wind of change to Italian and European politics.

Stronger Together

The French and Italian leaders seem to agree on many issues, including on economic matters. As high-debt countries, they both share the same view on the reform of the EU’s fiscal rules. Both nations asked that the reform give a little leeway for investments which could help the bloc become greener and more self sufficient.

The Rome Paris axis is also helping to achieve the goals of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

According to Christian Masset, the relationship between Italy and France is crucial in building a stronger Europe. Stressingthe impact of Brexit, he highlightedthe similaritiesbetween the two countriesand the shared goals and ambitions the leaders have for a more sovereign Europe.

Mario Draghi said there cannot be sovereignty in solitude. Strategic autonomy is a goal we have in common, along with the environmental and the digital transition.
Christian Masset
France's Ambassador to Italy

Now as the French Presidential Election is but a few days away, it is impossible to say if Emmanuel Macron will remain president or if someone else will enter the Elysee Palace. A question remains, how will Franco-Italian relations be affected, should there be a new president in France?