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In this issue

In this issue - ATLANTIS

Anna Bincoletto, Reasercher.

Sara Crivellari, Reasercher.

Domenico Letizia. Journalist.

Eleonora Lorusso, Journalist.

Agata Lucchetta, Reasercher..

Maurizio Melani, Ambassador.

Luca Mozzi, Sconfinare.

Luca Volpato, Italian Office Council of Europe.




Geopolitics and Sustenibility

Geopolitics and Sustenibility - ATLANTIS

 From the Festival of European Geopolitics the candidacy of the capital of the lagoon as the capital of sustainability
Anna Bincoletto

There are many predictions about the future and the safeguarding of Venice. The interest in this topic is not limited to a local and national context but extends beyond the Italian territory. The action strategies for the development and innovation of the City are aimed at a young and international audience; through the promotion of projects and investments in cultural production, the aim is to make the city of Venice a center of excellence for advanced training and research. The third edition of the International Festival of European Geopolitics in the panel entitled Venice, the world capital of sustainability, draws attention to the international role of Venice. A preliminary reflection was developed by the mayor and vice president of the Venice World Capital of Sustainability Foundation, Luigi Brugnaro.

Is the International Festival of European Geopolitics a way to relaunch the city's vocation as a diplomatic center of Europe?

Welcoming the third edition of such a prestigious Festival demonstrates not only how much the City believes in and supports this project but, above all, reaffirms Venice's vocation to be the perfect place to meet and discuss issues that are increasingly fundamental in the confrontation between states and nations. Since the days of the Serenissima Republic, Venice has proven to be the gateway between West and East capable of building bridges of relations and embassies with the whole world. A free city, open to multiculturalism and capable of bringing together populations of different religions, which has in its essence the place where it is possible to talk about geostrategic policies, managing to get out of the national schemes and aiming for the ultra-state and European. For me as Mayor but, even more as a Venetian, hosting these three days of discussion is a real source of pride. Venice, in its capacity as Stato da Mar and Stato da Tera, continues to speak to the world and is the perfect place to lay the foundations for a common strategy of action. Knowing that ministers, senior representatives of the Armed Forces, managing directors of important companies, trade union leaders will meet here demonstrates the scope of this Festival and the ability that this event will have in being able to move from words to concrete deeds. This is the real strength of that Soft Power of which Venice is a strong supporter and which must become that fundamental method for international politics to confront and dialogue. Venice, a city that is in the heart of many inhabitants of the world, can therefore only throw open its doors and welcome you! From here we can really help create a better future for the next generations!

In his book-interview with Stefano Lorenzetto entitled Children will judge us, he states "Venice is the oldest city of the future", an interesting starting point with respect to the panel on the analysis of the development of Venice as the World Capital of Sustainability. What do you mean by this statement and what will be the future prospects for the City?

A path that will see us committed to making Venice a place that looks to the future and which, after having created the first fixed urban hydrogen distributor in Italy thanks to Eni, will also continue to focus on this alternative energy source with the creation of a real and its own hydrogen production hub in Marghera. Sustainability, however, also means encouraging residence in the historic city by promoting initiatives aimed at building new jobs and policies for families and children. Tourism will have to be increasingly quality and compatible with those who want to live, work and study in Venice every day. A challenge that we are also trying to fight against those who are ready to always say "No" to everything, preferring the policy of happy degrowth, thus betraying the history of courage and foresight that the Venetians have always shown.
Venice has already returned to the center of the international geopolitical system, albeit in a more contemporary and modern way. It is enough to look at the number of bodies, institutions, associations and other realities that are based in our city or that have chosen it as a place to meet to understand what an important role it plays as a mediator and for discussion. In addition to the many public and private international cultural foundations that are increasingly present, I also want to remind you that Venice hosts the Emergency headquarters on the Giudecca and that, precisely during a meeting between me and Gino Strada, I wanted to give my full support to the future creation by the Peace Museum Association. Generali's The Human Safety Net Foundation has been based in Venice for a few years, representing a global movement of people who help those who live in vulnerable conditions. Aspen Institute Italia also has an office here, committed to promoting the internationalization of the country's entrepreneurial, political and cultural leadership through a free exchange of ideas. Here, as I said before, at the end of August, for the fourth consecutive time, the Soft Power Club led by Francesco Rutelli, of which I am Honorary President, will meet with the aim of promoting a contemporary vision of Soft Power and its role in the dialogue between nations and peoples, in support of human development. Here, in the city which has been a World Heritage Site since 1987, hosts the only territorial office of UNESCO in Italy with the task of promoting scientific and cultural cooperation especially in south-eastern Europe and the Mediterranean basin. A list that I could go on to underline the importance of "culture" as a factor in international relations, but which culminates with the intense cultural exchanges that year after year see Venice as a fulcrum: just look at the great power that Art, Architecture and Cinema have in bringing together every year all the nations of the world at the Biennale in a riot of experiences, exchanges and comparisons. Also in this way we look to the future with confidence and, above all with the arrival of my administration, we want to ensure that our city speaks more and more to the international world precisely because Venice is a place where everyone feels at home.

Could Venice become a center of study and university according to the Boston model?

Venice is a city that looks to young people and has understood the importance of focusing on them to reverse the trend common to all the great historic cities of Italy which sees a general aging of its population. Hence the idea of ​​making Venice a large campus city on the model of Boston. A project called "Study in Venice" which, in recent years, we have carried out together with the city's academic system and which has become one of the thematic construction sites that the Venice World Capital of Sustainability Foundation has decided to support. The goal is therefore to evolve the academic offer with new services and new structures that can make the City an international leader from an academic point of view. A very ambitious plan that was central to the last plenary meeting of the Foundation in the presence of the Minister of the University Anna Maria Bernini where the objective was set to make the lagoon capital increasingly a center of excellence for advanced training and research. The 'Venezia Città Campus' project therefore aims to rebalance three areas of development allowing for a more harmonious and sustainable growth of the territory: tourism, production and knowledge. Hence the idea of ​​building a widespread campus to be developed between Venice and Mestre and which should especially concern the areas of Santa Marta, via Torino in Mestre, Porto Marghera and the Vega Science Park. It will be essential to increase the educational offer, aligning it with the European average, in order to attract talent from all over the world: the initial estimate foresees a doubling of the student community between now and the next ten years. In short, we want Venice to become a place of cultural production as well as a place of exhibition.

Are you more proud of the results you have achieved as an entrepreneur or as mayor of Venice (800 million deficit brought to 700 in 7 years, I'm not joking…)?

I am a person who looks at results and although the numbers indicate that we have worked well for the City in recent years, I also dwell on what has not yet been completed. In the past, Venice has seen so many trains and so many opportunities pass and has not been able to seize them. The entrepreneur's courage leads me not to miss opportunities: I make an effort to evaluate the context, I try to understand its strengths and weaknesses, and then I always try to take advantage of every good opportunity for my city. Let me give you an example: when I arrived in Venice, many schools and gymnasiums did not have the regular Fire Prevention Certificates. An extremely risky situation especially if we think that they are places dedicated to education and young people. To date, all these spaces are regularly equipped with them. In Venice we have clear ideas on where to invest regional, national and European resources and we have no intention of giving up a single euro of what will be made available to us; in the end it will be seen if I was really capable of it by measuring only the numbers and the results. I think this is the added value that an entrepreneur, who has decided to entrust all his companies to a blind trust to devote himself to the city he loves, can bring to politics. It's called concreteness and determination, that same concreteness and foresight that has led me to lower, up to now, the consolidated debt of the City of Venice from 800 million to 700 in 7 years of administration and which keeps me committed in the coming years mandate with the utmost effort, to further lower that debt bar without removing services or giving up investments in the city. And we owe this to the new generations, because it will be they who, in the end, will judge us!



Strategy and Geopolitics

Strategy and Geopolitics - ATLANTIS

Venice World Capital of Sustainability: the steps to make the city an international model
By Agata Lucchetta
Venice as a model of sustainable city, center of international cultural, scientific and academic debate is the objective of the Venice World Capital of Sustainability Foundation, officially presented on 16 December 2022 at Palazzo Ducale and established on 14 March 2022 in the wake of the strategy of the National Plan of Recovery and Resilience of 2021. The PNRR provides for a set of investments and resources, divided into six missions, aimed at reviving the national economy through European funds after the COVID-19 pandemic, divided as follows: digitalisation, innovation, competitiveness and culture; green revolution and ecological transition; infrastructure for sustainable mobility; education and research; inclusion and cohesion; Health).
The Foundation, which was born from the collaboration between the Municipality of Venice and the Veneto Region, is moving on these fronts to «return Venice to a world city, a place that anticipates the resolution of global problems» starting from local issues, as the president of the Foundation itself, Renato Brunetta, during the presentation of the related projects.
An environmental, social and economic model for the sustainable development of the city and its lagoon so that "it is equally attractive for talents, young people, companies", said the Mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, vice president of the Foundation together with the President of the Region Veneto, Luca Zaia. Thus, "thematic activity sites" were created, to which as many projects were combined, which work in various fields.
The first acts in the industrial sector and on the issue of energy transition and sustainability: it envisages the creation of a Hydrogen Pole in the Venetian area of Porto Marghera to be redeveloped and the promotion of VeniSIA (Venice entrepreneurial international Sustainability Innovation Accelerator), to accelerate entrepreneurship in the sector of environmental sustainability, a project coordinated by the “Ca'Foscari” University.
The second acts on the cultural face of Venice, which will become the stage for the scientific, academic and cultural debate on sustainability by proposing a biennial appointment, alongside that of Architecture, to add to the already famous and consolidated Art, called "Biennale della sustainability" or "Cantiere ten".
Furthermore, through the collaboration of five academic-cultural institutions of the city (in addition to the already mentioned "Ca' Foscari" University; also "IUAV" University; Academy of Fine Arts; Giorgio Cini Foundation and the "Benedetto Marcello" Conservatory of Music), the The Foundation aims to relaunch the residential area of the historic center to counter its depopulation, promoting the relaunch of the academic training offer with the aim of making Venice a "Campus City" on the model of the American university city, Boston. For the same purpose, social inclusion and Venetian vitality are also encouraged.
Finally, the Foundation aims at the use of technology and digitization for the management of tourist flows and the services offered to make one of the souls of the Venetian economy as sustainable as possible.
A package of projects and actions involving the major local, national and international companies and business associations as founding or co-founding members, including ENI S.p.A.; Snam S.p.A.; ENEL S.p.A.; Generali S.p.A.; Confindustria Veneto; Boston Consulting Group and from April 2023 also EDISON, whose list is however still expanding.
«Venice [...] an open-air laboratory of what true sustainability can be. Being its world capital is an ambition, a challenge and we will demonstrate it with this foundation", as stated by the vice president of the foundation and president of the Veneto region, Luca Zaia, who will be a guest at the International Festival of European Geopolitics (Mestre Venezia, M9, 11 -13 May next) Friday 12 May at. 18.00 to discuss cooperation between European regional areas.

Geopolitics and Diplomacy

Geopolitics and Diplomacy - ATLANTIS


By Maurizio Melani 

The new Israeli government and its difficult relations with the outside world


A new factor has entered the Middle Eastern scene in recent months. It would be wise not to overestimate its scope but neither to consider that in various respects there are no adjustments destined to affect balances and positioning in the area.

Crucial friends of Israel in the West have expressed "deep shock" for the announced intentions and behavior of the new Israeli government formed after last November's elections which gave Netanyahu a majority composed of Likud and far-right parties, an expression of ultra-Orthodox Jewish religious fundamentalists and illegally settled settlers, according to international law and Israeli Supreme Court rulings in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The outcome of the elections in terms of seats in the Knesset was the consequence of how and with which alliances the political forces presented themselves to the electoral consultation. Netanyahu, in order to overcome a stalemate that had lasted for years with a repetition of elections that did not give majorities capable of governing stably, decided to ally himself with extremist political forces who supported the annexation of all of historic Palestine to Israel, until then kept on the sidelines of the Israeli democratic system. This choice was also affected by reasons related to the personal situation of the Likud leader, according to whom to deal with them adequately it is necessary that he leads the government.

Errors and divisions in the composite opposing camp then contributed decisively to the outcome of the elections.

Despite the attempts at mediation by the centrist leader Lapid, former head of the last transitional government, the two left-wing parties, Labor and Meretz, which on the basis of the votes obtained could have accumulated up to more than a dozen seats, have not agreed to an agreement at least technical with the effect that the former had to make do with four parliamentarians and the latter did not pass the barrier and therefore had no representation in the Knesset. The same goes for the Arab parties which, unlike in previous consultations, today have a very small number of deputies compared to the demographic consistency of that component of the Israeli population.

To ensure and maintain the parliamentary majority thus obtained, Netanyahu had to give the leaders of the extremist parties top ministerial positions concerning finances, national security and the administration of the occupied territories which would pass from military to civilian authorities, thus foreshadowing their annexation.

And above all, it has initiated the parliamentary process for a reduction of the prerogatives and capabilities of the Supreme Court which on many occasions has censored and quashed decisions and behaviors of state bodies towards the Palestinians and their property, and in whose hands are also the legal proceedings against him.

According to the legislation that is envisaged, the decisions of the Court, whose composition and methods of electing judges would be modified, could be thwarted by Parliament with a simple majority vote.

At the same time the repressive and preventive actions in the occupied territories to hit current or potential perpetrators of military activities in the West Bank and terrorist activities in Israel have increased in intensity with victims among the civilian population higher than in analogous interventions in the past, while the phenomena of unhindered settler violence and attacks with illegal weapons in Israel by Palestinians or Israeli Arabs against civilians or law enforcement personnel.

Against the announced measures, a peaceful protest action has developed that in such dimensions is unprecedented in the history of Israel, with demonstrations that now continuously gather hundreds of thousands of people throughout the country. The watchwords are the defense of Israeli democracy and by many also the resumption of the peace process with the Palestinians, even in the presence of the ever greater evanescence of the PNA by now essentially active only on the diplomatic level, bypassed by extremist organizations and delegitimized by its ever less representativeness and by the behavior towards it of the Netanyahu-led governments, with fears that the announced management of the Palestinian question will produce further radicalization, an increase in violence and greater risks for Israel's security.

The feared alterations in the rule of law also concern the economic circles while we are witnessing phenomena of disinvestment and delocalization especially in the high-tech sector with worrying, even if still very limited, phenomena of emigration.

The United States, which also with the Biden administration has undertaken to give substance to Abraham's agreements and to expand its participation, has expressed concern in Jerusalem with missions by Secretary of State Blinken and top exponents of the armed forces and intelligence , coinciding moreover with those of many belonging to the homologous Israeli structures. Similar concerns are expressed by the European Union.

Israel's position in the international context from the Middle East region has become more difficult. The willingness of the member countries of the Abraham accords to develop relations in the economic, technological and even intelligence fields and with prudence of military cooperation to face what is perceived as a common Iranian threat remains. But at the same time there is strong disturbance for the demands that are manifested in the new Israeli government on Palestine with in particular the provocations of some of its members in holy places of Islam. It is now increasingly difficult, in the current circumstances, for Saudi Arabia to adhere to the agreements, which more than any other is sensitive to the religious aspect and which cannot back down from the Arab League peace initiative it promoted in 2002.

It is significant that the United Arab Emirates, a frontrunner in the Abraham Accords and cooperation with Israel, presented in the United Nations Security Council, of which they are currently non-permanent members, a draft resolution, agreed with the PA, further condemnation of the settlements and in particular of the decision of the new Israeli government to authorize their extension both in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. A mediation action by the United States on the Emirates, the PNA and Israel, in which the latter was threatened with non-opposition American, led to the withdrawal of the draft resolution, replaced by a presidential declaration, with an unknown how explicit commitment by Israel to temporarily freeze the latest decisions adopted on settlements. The statement echoes much of the UAE's motion for a resolution and expresses "deep concern and dismay at the Israeli announcement of settlement expansion that impedes the viability of the two-state solution", and expresses "opposition to the demolition of Palestinian homes and the deportation of civilians". It also recalls the PNA's commitment to counter terrorism and affirms the need to reject all forms of racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and Christianophobia.

The United States thus avoided, appropriately from their point of view and by building a consensus, having to choose between an abstention, which would have allowed the resolution to pass, and a veto which, moreover, could have had negative consequences on the subsequent commitment in the General Assembly relating to the Ukraine.

It is difficult to say how much internal and external pressures, which now also include those of a part of the diaspora, will be able to change the positions of the Government of Israel and its stability in the current configuration.

The fact is that Israeli society, whose demographic composition has changed in recent decades, today appears deeply divided. On the one hand, the "start up nation", technologically advanced, secular, liberal, integrated in the globalized world, eager to interact positively and profitably with the surrounding Arab countries and in particular with the rich Gulf states. On the other, the world that supports the current government with deeply conservative components in the vision of life and in customs. However, both seem to be pervaded by a common feeling of fear for the future and underlying insecurity that has existed in the country since its foundation. In both, albeit with different nuances and with internal contradictions, there is the feeling that an absolute military superiority is in any case necessary at least to postpone for as long as possible the crucial problems of the relationship with the Palestinians, on which a consistent part of the first the composite team would like to find an agreed solution, and the encirclement by countries which, despite agreements of convenience, are widely perceived as structurally hostile. The second component adds a rigid identity closure cloaked in religious motivations which sees security guaranteed only by the submission by force of the Palestinian enemy. 

is deeply linked together with the latest developments within it and in relations with neighbors can again fuel anti-Semitic phenomena whatever their form and origin.

In a region where the presence reacquired by Russia today has a destabilizing effect there as elsewhere, Chinese influence is growing and Iran, also due to American mistakes, is ever closer to having a military nuclear capability with all the risks of proliferation that this entails, I believe it is in our interest that the Israelis preserve their democracy and find agreements with those around them and first of all with those closest to them that can guarantee sustainable security for the country. On this latter aspect, a renewed coordinated commitment by Europeans and Americans would be desirable to encourage positive developments in the manner that the current context allows.


Actuality and Geopolitics

Actuality and Geopolitics - ATLANTIS

Erasmus, the gateway to Europe for students
The program, now in its 36th year of activity, is renewed and broadens its educational and geographical horizons
He's 36 years old, but he doesn't look it. The Erasmus program is one of the best known and most accredited study abroad programmes, which today more than ever allows students from the European Union to spend a training period in another Member State, improving their knowledge of the language and increasing the range of professional possibilities. Born on 17 June 1987, after pilot experiences since 1981, the Erasmus program owes its name to Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466-1536), a famous Dutch humanist who traveled around Europe studying. But it is also the acronym of European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students. Therefore, conceived to facilitate exchanges between European university students, over the years it has expanded its borders, also including non-EU countries. So far, 13 million students have benefited from it: «People of different ages and backgrounds, whose lives the program has really changed. Since 1987, over 670,000 Italian high school students have been involved, with 263 institutes including universities, conservatories, academies of fine arts, high schools for linguistic mediators, ITS Academy. Italy has also shown a strong attraction capacity, hosting a growing number of students - 188 thousand - who chose our Institutes between 2014 and 2021», explains Sara Pagliai, coordinator of the Erasmus+ Indire Agency. Important and constantly growing numbers, despite the Covid pandemic which limited activities in the months of the emergency, without stopping the programme. “That's right. In the last two years, despite the difficult global context and the health emergency, the Program has never stopped and has supported cooperation and mobility activities for over 1 million Europeans. For Italy in 2022 we recorded an increase in participation, with over 13 thousand students and 9 thousand teachers in mobility for training and exchanges», Pagliai clarifies.
Created by the European Commission, it still represents a pillar for the integration of young European students. For example, since 2014 the Lifelong learning program (Llp), the lifelong learning program of the European Union, has become Erasmus+, which also involves high school students and members of the training, volunteering, work and sport sectors , but not only: «The EU Commission has decided to double the budget for the seven-year period 2021-2027 - continues the coordinator - with ambitious objectives that include the increase in beneficiaries and the expansion of activities to sectors such as digital innovation, renewable energies, climate change, the environment, engineering, artificial intelligence, design». The objectives remain clear and the results confirm the success of the project: «The Program is one of the greatest successes of the European Union because it has radically changed the way in which citizens perceive Europe, a continent associated with the possibility of moving around, living experiences of study and enriching and stimulating training. Erasmus+ mobility is one of the most powerful forces for the creation of an authentic European identity, based on the culture of confrontation and respect», confirms Pagliai.
Of course, Europe has also changed over time, for example with the exit of the United Kingdom, which has always been among the most sought-after destinations for students: today the favorite countries for Italian students are Spain, France, Germany, Portugal, Poland, Belgium , with an average stay of 6 months. For internships (about 3 months) the most requested are Spain, Germany and France. After Brexit, European universities can continue to send students across the Channel, but with decidedly different rules. The consequence is that «the United Kingdom has dropped to 15th position among the preferences. Italy, on the other hand, is requested by 188,000 young people (2014-2020), above all Spaniards, Germans and French, followed by Poles and Turks, who studied above all at the Alma Mater of Bologna (15,194), the Sapienza University of Rome ( 9,095), the Polytechnic of Milan (8,301), the University of Padua (7,914) and the University of Florence (6,809)» explains the Indire Erasmus+ coordinator. As for the identikit of the Erasmus student, he has an average age of 23, which becomes 25 if he is an intern: «Girls also like Erasmus very much: in 59% of cases, it is a student who starts out, a value that rises to 63% when the purpose of the mobility is an internship in a company» explains Pagliai. But it is not always necessary to "pack your bags" because after the pandemic experience, internet connections also allow you to study "abroad" while remaining in Italy: «Any period of study or internship abroad of any duration,practice combines face-to-face and virtual activities that facilitate collaborative learning exchanges and online teamwork between participants from different countries and fields of study, who take online courses together or work collectively and simultaneously on tasks recognized as part of their learning journey study. This includes the BIP Blended Intensive Programs. "In a BIP, the virtual component is mandatory and the use of digital technologies allows the institutions involved both to improve their ability to implement innovative teaching and learning methods, and to reach a wider number of program recipients. At Call 2022, 322 BIPs were approved with 5,586 students involved, an increase compared to 2021», explains Pagliai.
Erasmus, meanwhile, continues to look to the future, confirming its "traditional vocation" and broadening its objectives to "meet those who have fewer opportunities, including people with disabilities and migrants, as well as citizens of the European Union who live in remote areas or those facing socio-economic difficulties, also with projects that promote educational activities and facilitate the integration of people fleeing the war in Ukraine», explains the national coordinator. For interested students, it is first of all necessary to monitor the publication date of the Erasmus+ mobility call for the academic year following the current one. Once candidates and the selection have been passed, it is necessary to sign the Mobility Agreement, present, validate and obtain approval of the Learning Agreement; participate in any preparatory language courses for mobility organized by the home institution; verify the possibility of portability of other forms of economic support for the study of which you are a beneficiary such as, for example, local scholarships; register at the host University, i.e. complete the Application Procedure and verify the need to activate supplementary health insurance. Finally, we should not forget useful tools such as the Erasmus student card, the Erasmus APP, the ESN - Erasmus Student Network to get lots of practical-logistical information and ESN contacts at the host office to obtain useful agreements such as those on travel by bus and plane, parcel shipments, student accommodation, etc. Finally, the EU Academy platform and the local student and mentor (“buddy”) networks available at the host institution/organisation, who can provide further useful information once you are ready to start your new training path abroad.

Economy and Geopolitics

Economy and Geopolitics - ATLANTIS

Geopolitics, strategy and interests of the underwater world.
The role of Italy and nanotechnologies
by Dominic Letizia
Among the economic and innovative realities most attentive to the issue of the diver we find the company formulated in nanotechnologies 4Ward_ Aerospace & Defense which with the President Sabrina Zuccalà appears to have been among the first to draw institutional and entrepreneurial attention to the issue, involving the world of the Navy and shipowners. Nanotechnologies can rewrite the role of economic actors in the economy of the sea and in maritime and submarine defence. In recent years, the passion, study and in-depth analysis of the various dynamics of contemporary geopolitics has led the entrepreneur Sabrina Zuccalà and the company 4Ward_Aerospace&Defence to get in touch with government institutions, the Navy, the Defense and some companies related to the 'Aerospace. From this meeting, as President Zuccalà recounted during his authoritative speech in a panel dedicated to Defense during the II Edition of the International Festival of European Geopolitics, the company 4Ward_Aerospace&Defence was born, active in the research and development of new formulations for improve Aerospace and Defense applications. Through continuous research, 4Ward_Aerospace&Defence has become a reference for the treatment of aeronautical, defense and space aircraft components, obtained through the use of ever lighter and more resistant composite materials. These evolutionary thrusts determine new ideas for the introduction of advanced tools such as resources that can be used quickly and effectively by soldiers and experts for different operations. From this awareness arises the need to deepen the relationship between nano-material formulations and the new dynamics of the five domains. The current industrial and infrastructural demand for increasingly innovative and high-performance solutions and materials in order to safely and permanently address the five dimensions of the conflict chessboard: terrestrial, maritime/underwater, air, space and cybernetic and the current and ever increasing research concerning the underwater environment and the defense of the infrastructures contained therein are leading to a continuous study of the opportunities deriving from platforms already in use and from nanotechnological innovations as new perspectives for developing and pushing marine and underwater research towards new boundaries. In March 2023, at a meeting at the headquarters of the historic Neapolitan company "Volaviamare", organized by the Lauro group and the company 4Ward_Aerospace&Defence, the report on the role that nanotechnologies and innovation can play in the progressive change of paradigm on the economy of the sea. Geopolitics, strategy and interests of the underwater world.
“With the Megaride and Marintecnica shipyards, we invest in the world of technologies and related research, confident that innovation is the best way to reduce environmental impact and create employment. We believe nanotechnology has important uses for cleaning materials, increasing drive speeds, maintaining drives, and countless other applications. In this sense, the commitment to refitting the units, which become more performing and less polluting, can only be a priority for those who work in this sector", reiterated Senator Salvatore Lauro, president of Volaviamare.
Among the innovative entrepreneurs and researchers protagonists of these insights, the innovative Sabrina Zuccalà, president of 4Ward_Aerospace&Defence, declared: “Airplanes, ships, vehicles and military machinery can be exposed to the most extreme climatic situations and to various corrosive factors: sand, snow, ice, salt, humidity. Thanks to nanotechnologies, the anti-corrosive treatment already developed by our company allows defense and navy systems to be protected with a nano-silicon dioxide treatment capable of withstanding the most extreme temperatures and protecting the surface from corrosion, reducing maintenance interventions. But the development of shipbuilding 4.0 requires a correct implementation of technologies, inserted within an innovative circuit aimed at guaranteeing maximum safety, integrating processes of sustainability and protection of the sea. Among the main innovations to make this sector less polluting, and in the future to allow for the achievement of "zero carbon", there are the trials of alternative fuels, including electricity and wind energy, as well as the application of nanotechnology formulations which make read ships, speeding up journey times. In addition to factors related to greater automation, a big change concerns the use of fuel by cargo ships.
Another essential aspect, which we are addressing together with our colleague Vieri Caneschi, Aerospace&Defence consultant, is that of the protection of our submarine energy and communication infrastructures: we cannot underestimate the news coming from the complex security question on energy gas pipelines and their submarine protection. The Nord Stream pipeline and the recent attacks have placed the issue at the center of the international political and economic debate. Preserving and protecting the energy and vital infrastructures of our economic and social system is of primary importance, just as it is essential to generate a virtuous network between companies, academies and startups to relaunch the marine economy sector in terms of sustainability and technological innovation".

The role of Italy and nanotechnology for diving

Within the international geopolitical chessboard, characterized by the Russian conflict and aggression, the attention of innovators, institutions and maritime excellence is linked to the new dynamics of diving. The current sensors fixed on the ocean floor and the integration opportunities of all these innovative technological systems help to understand the opportunities of the future. Thinking about the current transnational economic and energy dynamics, we cannot ignore the recent news coming from the complex security questioning on energy pipelines and their submarine protection. The Nord Stream pipeline and the recent attacks have placed the issue at the center of the international political and economic debate. Preserving and protecting the energy and vital infrastructures of our economic and social system is of primary importance. The innovation and nanotechnological processes that are rewriting the Italian logic to the challenges of the five domains were the focus of an important conference, held on 7 March 2023 at the Chamber of Deputies. Authoritative and important works, with institutional greetings that were handled by the honorable Alberto Gusmeroli, president of the X Commission of the Chamber dedicated to productive activities, trade and tourism. Moderated by Antonio Sabbatella, president of the Alcide De Gasperi Institute for European Studies and former PCM general manager, the honorable Salvatore Lauro, president of VolaViaMare, discussed the issue; the president Sabrina Zuccalà, CEO of 4wardAerospace; Vieri Caneschi, military consultant of 4wardAerospace; Professor Enrico Cestino of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department of the Turin Polytechnic; Andrea Pingitore, experimental test pilot of the National Test Pilot School (Mojave, California) and the lawyer Giuseppina Occhionero, former deputy of the Republic.
Following this event, the very important conference “Civiltà del mare. The underwater world, humanity's new environment”, organized by the Leonardo-Civiltà delle Macchine Foundation and the Italian Navy in collaboration with experts, scholars and researchers from the National Research Council (CNR) and the University of Rome La Sapienza who saw the participation, as a guest, of Sabrina Zuccalà. Thanks to the Navy, the innovators of the blue economy of 4Ward_ Aerospace & Defense and academic research, the underwater world is experiencing concrete scientific and media attention in economic and geopolitical terms. An intertwining of economic, geostrategic and geopolitical factors linked to the very survival of biodiversity which makes the underwater dimension the new battlefield between international powers. This is particularly evident in the




Sconfinare - ATLANTIS

China's goals in the Ukrainian match
Exactly one year after the start of the war in Ukraine, the People's Republic of China drafted a twelve-point document containing a series of principles aimed at de-escalation of the conflict. Written in a simple and incisive way, this paper touches on various topics, presenting some points that are openly opposed to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and others that tacitly wink at the northern neighbour. Precisely because of its ambiguity towards Russia, the document is significant, as it represents a clever tool for analyzing the state of Sino-Russian relations, after a whole year of bloody conflict.
Although the document begins (first point) with a decisive affirmation on the need to respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of each nation, it is immediately followed by an affirmation (second point) which insists on the need to abandon the cold war”, i.e. the idea of pursuing one's own security at the expense of that of others, especially through the expansion of military blocs. If the first point is a clear reference to Russian aggression, in the second point we can instead read a criticism of both Moscow and Washington which, through its military hegemony, threatens Chinese strategic interests, especially in the Indo-Pacific context. The paper then continues by referring to human rights, the safety of nuclear plants, the need to continue with peace dialogues and placing particular emphasis on the economic aspect, the protagonist of the last four points.
Although the Russian-Chinese alliance has been feared in Western chancelleries since the beginning of the war, the two powers have not yet managed to find their own balance within the war. Although in this historical phase Xi and Putin share the aspiration of breaking the yoke of American-led unipolarity, the main theme of the recent meeting between the two heads of state last March 20, it is difficult to think of even a mild alliance between China and Russia that goes beyond economic matters. In fact, there are too many common interests and the geographical proximity is such as to almost match the soft underbelly of the two powers: Russian Southern Siberia with Chinese Inner Mongolia. The rapprochement between Russia and China is also a complicated issue since, with the war in Ukraine, China has seen itself severely damaged on two fronts: both on that of its international image (a key element of a nation's soft power), in how closely Xi and Putin had proved to be very close in the phase immediately preceding February 24, than on the strategic-infrastructural one. In fact, the war in Ukraine compromised the development of the New Silk Roads, one of the main vectors of power (economic and otherwise) of the People's Republic. Especially affected were the northern portions of the infrastructure project, such as the 'China-Mongolia-Russia' corridor and the 'New Eurasian Land Bridge', which saw Ukraine as a key hub for trade with Western Europe. In Ukraine itself, Chinese investments, which amounted to several billion up to 2022, have been lost. Among the most important are those for the port of Odessa, for the railway and for the subway in the Kiev Oblast, and those in the energy sector, especially in that of renewables.
The idea of circulating this document, officially called 'China's position on the political solution to the Ukrainian crisis', which devotes great attention to international law, human rights and peace between peoples, responds to China's desire to relaunch its image, especially in the eyes of the West, presenting itself as a neutral power. At the same time, the generic and ambiguous tones of this de-escalation plan testify that China has no interest in conferring on itself the role of mediator in the Ukrainian conflict, nor does it intend to make a choice of side, as much as it feels the need to intervene in this match to tie it to his strategic interests. The economic aspect mentioned in the document is an example: in the paper, China hopes to put an end to the unilateral sanctions, to maintain the stability of the supply chains and to promote the reconstruction of Ukraine.
The theme relating to unilateral sanctions and the stability of supply chains, for example, is applicable to both the Russian and Chinese scenarios. The sanctions imposed by the United States on China since 2018, especially in the field of technology and artificial intelligence, have caused great damage to the Chinese economy, foreclosing the outlet of certain Chinese products on the American and Western markets. In the concrete case, for example, the American sanctions were the architects of the collapse of the telecommunications giant Huawei (which in the last quarter of 2020 saw its sales fall by 42%), which was forced to invest in the pig farming and mining. Similarly, especially in recent months, US sanctions have affected Chinese imports of software components and technological equipment - hitting China's high-tech supply chain hard. Last October, in fact, Biden's decision to limit the sale of semiconductors to Chinese companies, a material necessary for the creation of microchips, essential both for the production of household appliances and also for the creation of military or space technology.
Despite the poor performance of the Chinese economy in 2022 due to the precarious global balance and the poor management of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian giant continues its economic growth and therefore needs to expand into new markets. In this sense we can read the (definitely premature) Chinese declaration (twelfth point of the document) of wanting to rebuild Ukraine, a move that would allow the Middle Empire to invest highly efficient Chinese manpower in rebuilding a country which in the pre-war period had China is its main trading partner.
The United States, together with NATO and the European Union, do not in any way support Chinese mediation in the Ukrainian game, defining Beijing as not very credible and too close to Russian interests. For this reason, following the publication of the Chinese document and, even more following the meeting between Putin and Xi last March, public opinion was alerted to a possible Russian-Chinese rapprochement. At the center of the debate is the possibility of a future transfer of military equipment from China to Russia, a scenario on which, however, Xi has so far wisely shown himself to be very cautious, avoiding the export of war material to Russia. Since the beginning of the war, Russia has nonetheless increased its exports of raw materials to China by more than 30%, a decidedly energy-intensive country which has largely benefited from the foreclosure of Russian products on European markets.

Culture and Geopolitics

Culture and Geopolitics - ATLANTIS



By Sara Crivellari

On 12 October 2022, the presentation of the book The German Question took place in Bologna, with speeches by the former President of the EU Commission and former Prime Minister Romano Prodi and by the Constitutionalist and former President of the Constitutional Court Gustavo Zagrebelsky. López Pina addressed the analysis of the two souls of Germany that coexist and alternate; one pro-European of “universal civic vocation” and “perpetual peace” (Kantian concepts), and the other directed towards Volknationalism (Nationalpopulism), the latter embodied intermittently in the last two centuries and with a significant post-Reunification return. López Pina analyzes how during the period of the Berlin Wall the two parts of the country had developed very different political and cultural identities, and how this duality had influenced politics and society in both parts of Germany.
The Berlin Wall represented a physical division between the two souls of Germany, symbolizing the separation between the nationalist identity, with economic and power centralization, of the western part, and the more democratic identity of the eastern part.
However, despite the reunification of Germany in 1990, the two souls have continued to influence contemporary German politics. After the fall of the Wall, Germany appeared disoriented on several levels (intellectual, cultural, constitutional and political) and the decision of the European Council in 1998 on the entry into force of the single currency led Germany to lean towards Nationalism and to any initiative aimed at advancing the process of European integration. Antonio López Pina's book investigates and analyzes these changes. He identifies the reasons for this in the sense of superiority compared to the other Member States of the European Union acquired by Germany after the Reunification, justified by the considerable benefits obtained in particular from three sentences, starting from which the jurisprudence of the German Constitutional Court was established. The rulings in question touch on the relationship between European law and German constitutional law, and are those on the Maastricht Treaty (1993), on the Lisbon Treaty (2009) and on the purchases by the European Central Bank on the secondary market of debt securities of Member States (2020). These judgments deny the primacy of the European treaties over German constitutional law and affirm that the judgments of the European Court of Justice are subject to scrutiny by the German Constitutional Tribunal in order to be enforceable in Germany. The author of the book refutes this position on a legal level and highlights how on a political level the German question now constitutes the major obstacle for a European political union.
As Ambassadors Raniero Vanni d'Archirafi and Roberto Nigido write in the Preface of The German Question, Berlin's reaction to Russia's invasion of Ukraine was indeed one of stalling towards European sanctions, but also of a gigantic rearmament. Many give this operation the will to bring its military power to the same level as its economic one. Above this reflection hovers the specter of the "national-popular" soul of Germany and "confirms the extraordinary topicality of Antonio López Pina's book".

Antonio López Pina, author of the book The German Question, is a Spanish Professor and Constitutionalist. Born during the Spanish Civil War, in 1963 he graduated in Law from the Central University of Madrid. He trained and conducted research at the Universities of Munich, Free University of Berlin, Sorbonne/Institute for Political Studies, Michigan and Harvard. He held the Chair of Constitutional Law at the Complutense University of Madrid and the Jean Monnet Chair of European Legal Culture. He was Senator of the Kingdom of Spain, member of the Constitutional and Foreign Affairs Commissions, Constituent Courts, Councilor of the Council of State.


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