Italy, France deepen economic, defense cooperation

  • France's President Emmanuel Macron, left, and Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi sign the Franco-Italian Quirinal Treaty next to Italy's President Sergio Mattarella, second left, and Italy's Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, right, at the Quirinale presidential palace in Rome, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. (Alberto Pizzoli / Pool photo via AP)

    France's President Emmanuel Macron, left, and Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi sign the Franco-Italian Quirinal Treaty next to Italy's President Sergio Mattarella, second left, and Italy's Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, right, at the Quirinale presidential palace in Rome, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. (Alberto Pizzoli / Pool photo via AP) Associated Press

  • A picture shows an Italy's Air Force aerobatic demonstration during a ceremony after the signing of the Franco-Italian Quirinal Treaty, in Rome, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. (Filippo Monteforte / Pool photo via AP)

    A picture shows an Italy's Air Force aerobatic demonstration during a ceremony after the signing of the Franco-Italian Quirinal Treaty, in Rome, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. (Filippo Monteforte / Pool photo via AP) Associated Press

  • From left, France's President Emmanuel Macron, Italy's President Sergio Mattarella and Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi attend a ceremony after the signing of the Franco-Italian Quirinal Treaty at the Quirinale presidential palace in Rome, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. (Alberto Pizzoli / Pool photo via AP)

    From left, France's President Emmanuel Macron, Italy's President Sergio Mattarella and Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi attend a ceremony after the signing of the Franco-Italian Quirinal Treaty at the Quirinale presidential palace in Rome, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. (Alberto Pizzoli / Pool photo via AP) Associated Press

  • France's President Emmanuel Macron attends a ceremony after the signing of the Franco-Italian Quirinal Treaty at the Quirinale presidential palace in Rome, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. (Alberto Pizzoli / Pool photo via AP)

    France's President Emmanuel Macron attends a ceremony after the signing of the Franco-Italian Quirinal Treaty at the Quirinale presidential palace in Rome, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. (Alberto Pizzoli / Pool photo via AP) Associated Press

  • Italy's President Sergio Mattarella, center left, and Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi, right, welcome France's President Emmanuel Macron, left, at the Quirinale presidential palace in Rome, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021, prior the Franco-Italian Quirinal Treaty signing. (Alberto Pizzoli / Pool photo via AP)

    Italy's President Sergio Mattarella, center left, and Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi, right, welcome France's President Emmanuel Macron, left, at the Quirinale presidential palace in Rome, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021, prior the Franco-Italian Quirinal Treaty signing. (Alberto Pizzoli / Pool photo via AP) Associated Press

  • A picture shows an Italy's Air Force aerobatic demonstration during a ceremony after the signing of the Franco-Italian Quirinal Treaty, in Rome, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. (Filippo Monteforte / Pool photo via AP)

    A picture shows an Italy's Air Force aerobatic demonstration during a ceremony after the signing of the Franco-Italian Quirinal Treaty, in Rome, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. (Filippo Monteforte / Pool photo via AP) Associated Press

 
 
Updated 11/26/2021 7:37 AM

ROME -- Italian Premier Mario Draghi said that a bilateral treaty signed on Friday with French President Emmanuel Macron to strengthen bilateral cooperation would in turn strengthen the European Union, in such areas as defense.

The treaty deepens cooperation 'in crucial sectors, from security to justice, from research to industry,'' Draghi told a press conference.

 

That includes spending to create 'a true European defense" that Draghi said 'obviously is complementary to NATO" and doesn't substitute the alliance.

'To be sovereign, Europe needs to know how to defend its borders. We need to create a real defense,'' he said.

Draghi also cited the intent to strengthen investments in such key areas as semiconductors, as the global supply chain is hard hit by shortages from Asia, as well as in more sustainable energy sources, as countries seek to slow the pace of global warming.

Macron said the agreement does not substitute France's longtime friendship with Germany, which has been considered key to economic prosperity and security in postwar Europe. But he said the two friendships are different.

"In France, we say that when things get complicated with Germany, we turn toward Italy,'' Macron said.

Among the treaty's provisions is the creation of a Franco-Italian civil service and operation center to support law enforcement. In addition, a minister from one country will attend a Cabinet meeting of the other every three months.

'Beyond consolidating bilateral relations, the agreement intends to encourage and accelerate the process of European integration,'' Draghi said.

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