Leading up to the first German-Italian intergovernmental consultations since 2016, the final conference of this year's "German-Italian Young Leaders Dialogue - Spinelli Forum" took place on 20 and 21 November 2023 at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. 30 German and 30 Italian participants from the fields of politics, economy, media, society, and culture got together to discuss current European challenges, particularly in the context of German-Italian cooperation.
Dr Anna Lührmann, Minister of State for Europa and Climate at the German Federal Foreign Office, and Maria Tripodi, Italian Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, opened the conference and engaged with the audience on how Germany and Italy can jointly contribute to strengthening the EU amidst significant global challenges. It became evident how crucial close German-Italian cooperation is at both bilateral and EU level. Owing to their population size and economic performance, both countries wield considerable political influence within the EU. As founding members of the EU, they have been closely linked for decades in various policy areas, such as economic matters or security and defense policy.
In the context of growing geopolitical tensions, promoting diplomacy and dialogue is becoming even more important. This principle also guided the subsequent discussions among the conference’s participants. In four working groups, they explored diverse aspects of European foreign and security policy, migration policy, European entrepreneurship, and energy and climate policy. Building upon these discussions, they formulated concrete recommendations, which they presented to Dr Anna Lührmann and Italian Ambassador Armando Varricchio on the eve of the German-Italian government consultations.
The Spinelli Forum was launched in 2019 at the initiative of the German Federal Foreign Office and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and is hosted by the IEP and the Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale (ISPI).