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European University Institute - School of Transnational Governance

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani visits the European University Institute

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani outlined the new government’s foreign policy priorities in a lecture for the EUI community on Monday, 30 January.

30 January 2023 | Event


Minister Tajani visited Palazzo Buontalenti, home of the EUI School of Transnational Governance and a former Medici palace, which is being restored with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Tajani's lecture for EUI students, fellows, researchers, and staff in a packed Elinor Ostrom Room touched upon a range of foreign policy issues. Minister Antonio Tajani started by saying he wanted to make it very clear that "Italy is in Europe and Italy is part of the EU. We want to be a protagonist in the EU." Talking about the Institute's presence in Florence, Tajani said it is an example of "Italy opening its doors to Europe."

The Foreign Minister went on to address the war in Ukraine and migration, emphasising the role of the Italian government in rebuilding the country: "We want Ukraine to be part of the European Union. We are ready to support it in every sector and want to protect and work for the independence of Ukraine." He also discussed relationships with countries in the Western Balkans and in Africa. In highlighting specifically Italy's economic ties with the Balkan region, he mentioned: "We want countries in the Western Balkans to look at Italy, not at Russia."

Throughout his intervention, Tajani addressed his international audience in French, English, Spanish, and Italian. During a frank Q&A moderated by EUI Dean of Executive Education, Professor Georgios Papakonstantinou, students and fellows opened with questions about Italian support to Ukraine, the case of Giulio Regeni (the Italian PhD researcher murdered in Egypt), and industrial policy.

In his words of welcome, EUI President, Professor Renaud Dehousse, thanked Minister Tajani for the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the establishment of the School of Transnational Governance "which wouldn’t exist without Italy’s tenacity and continued support." Dehousse added that "while education mainly happens in a national context, the School of Transnational Governance teaches the next generation of leaders in a transnational framework free from a particular national perspective."

In September 2021, the EUI School of Transnational Governance moved to Palazzo Buontalenti where it teaches and trains current and future leaders in governance beyond the state. Continued restoration works will allow the school's full breadth of activities to take place in Palazzo Buontalenti in the years ahead. The EUI uses the building, which remains property of the Italian state, through a headquarters agreement.

Also on Monday, Florence Mayor Dario Nardella gave Minister Tajani the keys to the city for his efforts to spread European values during his time as President of the European Parliament.


On Palazzo Buontalenti

Palazzo Buontalenti is the headquarters of the EUI's School of Transnational Governance, located in the heart of Florence. Palazzo Buontalenti was built in the 16th century as a casino by Francesco I de' Medici, who commissioned the famous architect Bernardo Buontalenti to design it. It was a "place of pleasures" and at the same time a laboratory where the Grand Duke cultivated his passion for science and alchemy. Over the centuries it was enlarged, rebuilt, defaced, turned into barracks, a customs house, and a warehouse, but without losing any of its architectural charm, which restoration and renovation work is now bringing back to light.

Read more about Palazzo Buontalenti

Last update: 30 January 2023

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