Professor, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
Marco Brunazzo, PhD
Associate Professor of Political Science, Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento, Trento, Italy
Series: European Political, Economic, and Security Issues
At the end of the Second World War in 1945, which brought on a new Italian State, Italy’s Foreign policy was first and foremost that of re-joining the new order of western alliances and playing a role in the re-building of a new Europe different from that which had brought war and conflict.
The book “Italy and the European Union: A Rollercoaster Journey” seeks to bring to English language readers the manner in which Italy directed, approached and implemented its vision toward the new Europe. New visions and proposals emerged through champions such as Altiero Spinelli, Alcide De Gasperi, Robert Schuman and Jean Monnet. It was meant to be a new European journey, which would seek to put war and conflict behind it.
Being an original member of the Coal and Steel Authority established in the early 1950s, Italy sought to become a player in the direction of European integration. However, it did so with significant distractions and hurdles–at times as a bystander and at other times as a prominent player. The presence of Franco-German leadership was in the first instance a vision but for Italy at times contentious. Equally, Italy was afflicted by its internal distractions and priorities, which were at times a threat to its stability and to its political institutions. At times Italy made significant contributions to the direction of the European journey much of which under the constant eye of ideological tensions in country. It was the country with the largest Communist Party in Western Europe within a bi-polar Cold War arrangement, which remained a constant source of suspicion and concern.
From being a Europhile member state in the 1990s to one where Euroscepticism appears regularly, Italy remains ambivalent about its relationship with the European Union depending on the political party in government.
This book seeks to provide the story on how and why these changing perceptions of the European Union occurred and what possible avenues awaits this country on its rollercoaster journey with the European Union.