The New Transatlantic Relations 2009
Also this year the Magna Carta Foundation comes on time for its usual meeting with the New Transatlantic Relations. Such an initiative stands now on firmer grounds as it acquires more and more meaning, in the light of its central position within the Italian debate on international issues concerning Europe and the US. A clear sign of such interest is the attention it received on behalf of the Strategic Forum at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with whom Magna Carta has had the opportunity to organise the 2009 edition of this event, as well as of Minister Franco Frattini, who will introduce the inaugural session.
Last year, the proximity to US elections persuaded us to move the meeting to Washington, within the frame of our consolidated partnership with the American Enterprise Institute; this edition – the sixth in the history of the Foundation – appears new, both in contents and in format. At the round table, located at the Conference Room of the Farnesina, will sit experts from the think tanks which today inspire the projects of the new Obama administration; as well as those who, on the contrary, criticize its views and politics. These thinkers, together with the main Italian experts on international relations and authoritative representatives from our institutions, will engage in a lively debate in order to foster our mutual understanding, and pave the way for a much needed transatlantic convergence on the issues of the day.
In such a framework, the strenuous pursuit of a stronger role for Magna Carta at international level springs from our awareness of the necessity to constantly feed the indivisible relation between Europe and the United States. In fact, the advancing of democracy, of freedom and of human rights is closely interrelated with the ability of the West to operate with unity of action, and not only of intent, on the international scene. This is the real raison d’etre of the New International Relations, a prestigious event more and more closely intertwined with the historical events we all are witnessing.
Honorary President of the Magna Carta Foundation
The Strategic Forum at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was born out of the awareness that the ability to produce culture is the real soft power of our times. It is an open laboratory for our foreign policy, aimed at walking side by side with diplomatic wisdom forged in the past years, producing analysis, hints, suggestions coming from different areas of society. A think tank including some among the greatest scholars and institutional representatives, from the West and beyond, selected upon an interdisciplinary and bipartisan principle, who all for the first time report systematically to the Farnesina. Enhancing its authority.
When the ancient Romans crafted for us Auctoritas, they spelled out its meaning by choosing a word by which they meant the capacity to grow (as a matter of fact, the term auctoritas comes from the Latin augmentare, to augment), the ambition to raise the foundations of something which has already been built. With no other ambition than this, an ambition requiring great humility and readiness to recognize intelligence wherever it may be found, our Forum holds ongoing relations with individuals and working groups, study centres, scientific institutions and so on, listing the bodies which produce independent research, offering a space for discussion and becoming itself a novel instrument of moral suasion for the new frontiers imposed by daily events.
With such disposition we are happy to start, together with the Magna Carta Foundation, the sixth of a series of annual meetings dedicated to the fostering of transatlantic relations, in itself another work in progress just as any other chapter of foreign policy, a road which is laid down by walking on it, even when – as it is the case this time – we share the same horizon.
Head of the Strategic Forum at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs