In September 2017 the Parliament of Catalonia, a region enjoying autonomous status within Spain, passed legislation to enable the holding of a binding referendum on self-determination. Claiming a breach of the indissoluble unity of the Nation as guaranteed by Article 2 of the Constitution, the Spanish Government brought the law before the Spanish Constitutional Court and threatened to suspend the regional autonomy of Catalonia should the referendum be effectively held. The Court pre-emptively suspended the law, and later declared it unconstitutional and void due to both the lack of competence of the Government of Catalonia in calling a referendum on a matter of Spanish sovereign authority and the fact that its approval by the Parliament of Catalonia did not comply with voting procedures. In the weeks preceding the referendum, Spanish law enforcement authorities started to seize ballot boxes and occupy Catalan ministries to search for evidence of the breach of Spanish law. Some of the key figures of the Catalan pro-independence movement were arrested and put under accusation for sedition. Tension between the parties rose, and people started to take the streets both in Madrid and Barcelona.
On 29 September 2017, during an urgent question time taking place at the Chamber of Deputies (861st Meeting, XVII Legislature), the Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Vincenzo Amendola, was asked about the Italian Government’s position on the promotion of the referendum on self-determination by the Catalan authorities.
CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES, XVII LEGISLATURE, 699th MEETING, 26 OCTOBER 2016.
On 26th October 2016, during a question time taking place at the Chamber of Deputies, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Paolo Gentiloni Silveri, clarified the Italian position on arms export to Saudi Arabia. He stated:
Throughout 2016, the Italian Government was called upon on several occasions to express its position on the negotiation and approval of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the EU (CETA). In May 2016, the Government – in contrast with the wide majority of the other EU Member States – announced its willingness to consider CETA as a “EU only agreement”, falling within the sole competence of the EU as part of its commercial policy. On the contrary, in July 2016 the EU Commission decided to qualify CETA as a “mixed agreement”, subject to the approval of each of the national parliaments of the EU Member States. The Government’s view on the matter was expressed in particular on the following occasions:
CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES, XVII LEGISLATURE, 530th MEETING, 26 NOVEMBER 2015.
On 26 November 2015, during a question time taking place at the Chamber of Deputies, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Paolo Gentiloni Silveri, took position on the possible involvement of the Russian Federation in the international coalition against ISIL/Daesh. He stated:
CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES, XVII LEGISLATURE, 522th MEETING, 16 NOVEMBER 2015.
On 16November 2015, during an urgent report to the Chamber of Deputies, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Paolo Gentiloni Silveri, made an urgent report on the terrorist attacks against the city of Paris in the night between 13 and 14 November 2015. On that occasion he described the role of Italy in the international coalition against ISIL/Daesh and stated:
CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES, XVII LEGISLATURE, 478th MEETING, 9 SEPTEMBER 2015.
On 9 September 2015, during a question time taking place at the Chamber of Deputies, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Paolo Gentiloni Silveri, took position on the need for a political transition in Syria. He stated the following: