EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý was in Italy this week (20-21 July) for high-level talks with Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini, Chief of Defence General Enzo Vecciarelli as well as several high officials from the Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs. He also met with senior representatives of the Italian defence industry. The trip to Rome was part of Mr Šedivý’s ‘tour des capitales’ that will see him visiting all EDA Member States (last week he was in Greece).
Discussions with Minister Guerini on Tuesday (20 July) particularly focused on Italy’s strong involvement in EDA’s current and future activities (the country participates in more than 50 Agency projects and programmes), the follow-up on the conclusions and recommendations of the first Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD) presented last November, the state of play in the PESCO implementation and the preparation of the next round of new project proposals (Italy currently participates in 24 PESCO projects of which it leads nine, two in the maritime domain including the European Patrol Corvette one) as well as the set-up and functioning of the new European Defence Fund (EDF).
“I am particularly grateful for Italy’s very active involvement in the Agency’s work and for its strong commitment to EU defence cooperation in general, as it is also reflected in the high number of PESCO projects in which it participates or even coordinates. I can only encourage the Italian authorities to pursue with their leading role and further contribute to making use of the many cooperation opportunities that were identified in last year’s first Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), especially in the maritime focus area where Italy has proven leadership expertise”, Mr Šedivý commented.
Mr Šedivý had also talks with the Military advisor to Prime Minister Mario Draghi, General Luigi de Leverano, Defence Policy and Capability Director General Giovanni M. Iannucci, Secretary General of Defence and National Armaments Director Nicolò Falsaperna, Deputy Secretary General of Defence Admiral Dario Giacomin, R&T Director Luisa Riccardi, EDA Central PoC and Director for industrial policy and international relations General Fortunato Di Marzio, Director General for Political and Security Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Pasquale Ferrara, and the Director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali, Dr. Nathalie Tocci.
Among the industry representatives met by Mr Šedivý were Alessandro Profumo (CEO Leonardo), Giuseppe Giordo (General Manager Naval Vessels Division, Fincantieri), Enzo Benigni (Elettronica) and Carlo Festucci (Secretary General, AIAD, Federation of Italian Companies for Aerospace, Defence and Security).