A conversation with Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President of the Atlantic Council, who explains the parallels between the tasks awaiting Biden and Draghi and the opportunity to relaunch the relationship between the United States and Italy
Damon Wilson He answers the phone from Washington. A few days ago, the Atlantic Council, one of the most important think tanks in the United States and whose executive vice president is executive vice president, hosted the Secretary of State. Luigi Di Maio On the occasion of a recent visit to the American capital to celebrate the 160th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
“It was an opportunity to highlight the opportunity we have to re-launch the relationship between Italy and the United States,” Wilson explains. Formiche.net He emphasized the “positive exchanges” between the Italian diplomatic chief and his American counterpart Anthony BlinkFirst, in Brussels, then in Washington.
On the occasion of the event hosted by Minister Di Maio and organized jointly by the Atlantic Council with Espi and the Italian embassy in Washington, Frederic KimbeThe president and CEO of the think tank, stressed the excellent relationship between the US president Joe Biden And the prime minister Mario Draghi Quoting from an episode from 2015: The then-governor of the European Central Bank was awarded a Global Citizen Award by the Atlantic Council and a deputy Barack Obama He congratulated him for the “really hard work” he did. He also recently spoke of “harmony” between Rome and Washington Thomas SmithhamActing Chargé d’Affairs at the United States Embassy in Italy, led by Armando Varicio.
A similar ruling came from Wilson: “Italy is ready to be an important global player”. The momentum comes from President Draghi, who explains that his agenda “coincides with Biden’s: to relaunch his country’s economy to return stronger abroad, and able to compete with other democracies with China.”
The expert emphasizes two elements: “Draghi can re-launch Italy and with it Italy can be more present in the European Union and in NATO thanks to its international relations and reputation. Moreover, this year Italy leads the G20, which is an unmissable opportunity to consolidate its position on the international level.”
Wilson knows Europe and its moves very well. It was over a year ago, from late 2007 to early 2009, Senior Doctor For European affairs at the National Security Council when he was in the White House George W. Bush. Today he comments on what in Washington is often called a “wrong move”: Two years ago, Italy became the first European country and the first in the G7 to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on the Silk Road with China. “The Silk Road caused great concern,” says Wilson. But the truth is, it’s a systemic challenge, a common problem. For this, a common transatlantic strategy is needed to deal with China, both from an industrial point of view (think value chain security and technology, up to 5G) and from a value defense point of view. [occidentali]. In this sense, Draghi could be the right person for this joint strategy, ”Wilson explains, stressing that there are countries in Europe,“ such as the United Kingdom and Germany, ”that have much stronger relations with China than Italy.
Speaking of Western values, what comes to our minds in recent days by Ambassador Smithham, who stated that the US administration “is organizing a summit between democracies in December or January.” Wilson comments, “President Biden is committed to this summit.” “It will be an important time to respond to today’s challenge: to prove that open societies are compatible with economic growth. That’s why we need what I’m calling “The fourth democratic wave” extending to Africa, Asia and South America, “Wilson adds, adding that Italy” could be an important partner, especially in Africa. ” Just think of Libya. “
The final issue that we have with Wilson concerns a very active debate across the Atlantic about the relationship between the United States in Biden and its allies. The expert has no doubt: “It is much easier to be friends with the United States with Biden than to be friends Donald Trump. We cannot hide the existence of disagreements on some issues but there is a will to work together. Of course, the commitment required of allies is now serious, it’s hard work. That is why it may seem more difficult. “
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