Africa’s Inclusion: Meloni’s Post-EU NATO Agenda

While a “summit on migration” is being held in Rome, the President of the Italian Council is trying to convince her allies to strengthen the Atlantic Alliance on the continent, in an attempt to stem illegal departures to Europe.

Italy, in Europe, has only one face left: that of the President of the Council Giorgia Meloni who, less than a year after taking office, is showing her cards. Determined to restore the international image of a peninsula exhausted by years of political crises, the leader of the far-right Fratelli d’Italia party thinks big and goes fast. Linchpin of the memorandum of understanding on a comprehensive global partnership concluded on July 16 between the European Union (EU) and Tunisia, it scores points, determined to be the one that will redraw European relations with the southern shore of the Mediterranean.

Its recipe is simple: reproduce, by adjusting it if necessary, the approach started with Tunisia or more specifically with President Kaïs Saïed. Now in its line of sight, according to an MEP, Morocco and Egypt. Logical since, contrary to popular belief, the most numerous irregular migrants in Italy are Egyptians, and Cairo refuses the forced return of its nationals. Moroccans are also in a good position to the point that for Italians, migrants with North African features are called, without distinction, “marocchini”.


Return on investment

Or Giorgia Meloni is perhaps going too fast. At the NATO summit, on July 11 and 12 in Vilnius (Lithuania), she could not have been more direct in hammering that it was necessary “now to strengthen NATO in Africa and the Middle East”. The one who distinguished herself by unconditionally approving the expansion of the Atlantic Pact and military support for Ukraine is now waiting for a return on investment. She wants to act through NATO as she did with the European Union for the memorandum.

Its argument is simple: it asks its allies in the Western military alliance not to focus only on events unfolding in the east, but also to take an interest in the south. Mainly to Africa, where she believes that the Russians and Chinese have taken over from Europe. She also accuses the continent of being the point of departure for Italy for a majority of irregular migrants, but recognizes that it is also a supplier of raw materials and energy resources essential for growth.

Favorable European context

Four days after the NATO summit, she attends the signing of the memorandum in Carthage. Then, on the 18th, she was in Brussels and discussed with the Secretary General of the military alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, “NATO’s response to all-out challenges, including terrorism and instability on the southern front”. For Meloni, the important thing is that he recognizes Italy’s important role in defending the alliance’s borders. The President of the Council advances her pawns in a European context which is favorable to her. It takes advantage of the difficulties of Emmanuel Macron’s France, the resignation of the Dutch head of government, Mark Rutte, the Spanish elections of July 23, those to come in Poland in the fall…

One might think then that in his eyes, the Tunisian question is closed. This is obviously not the case: its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antonio Tajani, who has directed Forza Italia since the death of Silvio Berlusconi, warned on July 20 of the risks of a withdrawal from Tunisia which would lead to regional destabilization, a migration explosion with an increased Russian and Chinese presence in the region. Curious speech but which certainly hits the mark with European populists and part of the business world.

“Boomerang Effect”

Full of her ambition to establish herself as an essential leader in Europe, in particular on questions concerning the Union’s relations with the South and Africa, Georgia Meloni is continuing her forced march, convening this July 23 in Rome a “summit on migration” which, even before it was held, was already making some human rights organizations scream. The Italian leader must also come to terms with the determination of Hungary and Poland, which oppose the principle of relocation of migrants provided for in the migration and asylum pact whose adoption they blocked at the European Council at the end of June.

“She won’t stop the migration and will be boomeranged from all the commotion. It is divisive by dint of doubting anything and makes Italy take a position of colonizer which disadvantages it in the neighborhood. Meloni will have to assume this responsibility, especially since his conquest of Africa is not certain and will require a lot of money, ”comments a former European diplomat.

Others denounce a headlong rush and deplore the blindness of some European leaders in the face, in particular, of climate change which is causing mass movements.

Nothing to trouble the Italian authorities, apparently. On July 20, the diplomat Pietro Benassi, former permanent representative of Italy to the EU repeated in turn in the media: “Our expansion in the Mediterranean is essential, and not only with regard to the migratory emergency. »

This article is originally published on

Previous post Europe’s Far-Right Abyss: Gordon Brown on Spain’s Elections
Next post Mediterranean Immigration: Giorgia Meloni’s Rome Invitation