At the beginning of 2016, the Italian national Giulio Regeni was murdered in Cairo in unclear circumstances. This soon became a major issue in the foreign policy of Italy and a cause of tension in its relations with Egypt. The event is here illustrated through the accounts given by the members of the Italian Government themselves, on the occasion of official reports to the Parliament. At the same time, some important political and legal aspects are also briefly addressed.
NEW YORK, 71st GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING ON THE REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE, 27 OCTOBER 2016
On 27 October 2016, at the 71st General Assembly Meeting on the Report of the International Court of Justice, Minister Plenipotentiary Andrea Tiriticco, Director for International Legal Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reaffirmed Italy’s abidance by the international rule prohibiting the use of force in inter-State relations. In his words:
In the last quarter of 2015 the Government reported twice before the Chamber of Deputies on its arms sales policy to certain Middle East countries allegedly involved in illicit arms trafficking with ISIL/Daesh. The Government also explained which measures and actions Italy has undertaken in the fight against ISIL and foreign terrorist fighters. The most salient points from the two speeches follow:
SENATE OF THE REPUBLIC, 4th PERMANENT COMMISSION (DEFENCE), XVII LEGISLATURE, 141st MEETING, 22 JULY 2015.
On 22 July 2015, the Undersecretary of State for Defence, Mr Gioacchino Alfano, answered a parliamentary question relating to the constitution and the deployment of an elite unit of the Armed Forces within the Task Force 45 (TF45) of the NATO-covered ISAF in Afghanistan. Being TF45 provided with biometric data capture equipment for their role of support to the Afghan security forces, Mr Gioacchino Alfano dwelled on the legal basis for the collection of such data. He stated:
On 12 December 2014, the Italian Minister of Defence, Ms Roberta Pinotti, was interviewed by Mr Paolo Valentino, a journalist with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. Before replying to – and denying – a rumour according to which she could become the next President of the Republic of Italy, she answered a number of questions concerning her Country’s foreign policy. She expressed Italy’s willingness to be protagonist in the Libyan crisis and to “provide its soldiers to a United Nations peacekeeping force”, but only upon certain conditions. In this respect, according to the Minister:
CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES, XVII LEGISLATURE, 339th MEETING, 26 NOVEMBER 2014.
On 26 November 2014, during a question time at the Chamber of Deputies, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Paolo Gentiloni Silveri, answered a parliamentary question by MP Gianluca Pini on Italy’s abstention during the voting of the UN General Assembly Resolution on the inadmissibility of certain practices related to the Glorification of Nazism. The MP highlighted that in the case of the resolution – which was voted on 21 November 2014 – 115 were the favourable votes, 55 the abstentions (including Italy as well as all the EU member States) and 3 the contrary votes (Canada, the United States and Ukraine). He expressed astonishment at the decision of Italy to abstain, underlining that his country was not obliged to conform to the decisions of the other European countries.
SENATE OF THE REPUBLIC, XVII LEGISLATURE, 336th MEETING, 22 OCTOBER 2014.
On 22 October 2014, the President of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Matteo Renzi, outlined before the Senate the position of Italy on the topics to be discussed at the European Council of 23-24 October 2014, i.e. the new climate and energy policy framework, the economic situation in the EU and other external relation issues in the light of the developments on the international scene.