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In this issue

In this issue - ATLANTIS

Gabriele Checchia, Ambassador.

Sara Crivellari, Reasercher.

Domenico Letizia. Journalist.

Eleonora Lorusso, Journalist.

Agata Lucchetta, Reasercher..

Luca Mozzi, Sconfinare.

Paolo Loreto, Professor.

Luca Volpato, Italian Office Council of Europe.




Geopolitics and Strategy

Geopolitics and Strategy - ATLANTIS

Between East and West: the Adriatic fault line or connector?

On May 30, 2023, a significant day of study was held sponsored by the Italian Navy and the Institute of Maritime Military Studies in Venice, curated by Dr. Francesco Zampieri, analyst. The event was opened by the greeting of Andrea Romani, commander of the Venice Navy Garrison. During the introduction, Giuseppe Schivardi emphasized the importance of geography in defining the physiognomy and destiny of a nation. He emphasized the decisive role of the sea for Italy, but also pointed out how the country is often unaware of its maritime vocation. Therefore, he reiterated the need to work in schools to raise this fundamental awareness for the country's future.
The first panel featured Egidio Ivetic of the University of Padua, Giorgio Fruscione of ISPI analyst, and Ilaria Tani, a researcher in international law at Bicocca State University in Milan. According to Ivetic, the Adriatic plays a role of both integration and borderline.
Until the 1800s, Apulia was seen from a horizontal perspective, but it was not until Italian unification and the completion of the railroad that the region became an important agricultural area for the North. The relationship between Venice and the Ottoman Empire led to seven wars with as many peace treaties. Militarily, Venice had always had maritime supremacy while the Ottoman Empire proved superior on land. There were then numerous influences on the region.
After World War II, the Adriatic was divided in two from north to south, between Italy and Yugoslavia. Since 1970, there has been a Chinese presence in Albania, which has been further consolidated since 2016. However, NATO control has become preponderant. Currently, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have a smaller presence in the region, with television broadcasts in Croatian Serb. An area vision of Adriatic-Ionian macro region is emerging.
In his speech, Giorgio Fruscione spoke about the recent clashes in Kosovo, the result of the so-called license plate war. The election boycott by Muslims led to the election of more than 50 Serbian mayors and a tense situation that unnerved the United States and favored Putin's Russia.
Ilaria Tani focused on the new zones of relevance and Croatia's aggressive assertiveness.

The second panel was devoted to reflecting on the centrality of the Adriatic in geopolitics, and Paolo Sellari introduced the concept of centrality and the number of "Mediterraneans" present in the Mediterranean Sea. The Adriatic was considered as a Mediterranean within the Mediterranean itself. A possible fault line was identified to be religious and cultural in nature, with a fault point in the Balkans between Christianity and Islamism. Since the 1990s there has been talk of corridors, but it has been noted that these do not distribute wealth but strengthen the Hubs. The Italian strategy should focus on connecting the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian.
Antonella Scandino then pointed out that 90 percent of goods travel by sea and that regional routes have maintained a significance of 57 percent. The fault line or connection must be read within the corridors as both export and import outlets.
In conclusion, the study day addressed key issues concerning the Adriatic and its central role in the geopolitical, historical and economic context. Experts and analysts shared their perspectives on this important area of connectivity and integration, emphasizing the challenges and opportunities it presents for Italy and the international community.

Geopolitics and Actuality

Geopolitics and Actuality - ATLANTIS

France, from the colonial past to the social emergency: today's and yesterday's protests
The recent wave of protests, which led to a state of emergency, has new features that other European states also have to deal with
Like a perfect storm. The riots that plunged France into chaos in early July lasted just a few days, but left their mark, as after an environmental disaster. It is a wound destined to leave a scar and the French president, Emmanuel Macron, seemed to be aware of it right away: the death of 17 Nahel, killed by a police officer in Nanterre, and the clashes that followed for several days (with an impressive number of detainees and injured) was followed by a meeting at the Elysée with about 240 mayors of municipalities affected by the riots, received by Macron in Paris. The President assured them that "the peak of the protest has passed", even if he stressed the need to be cautious. But above all to look to the future, to give concrete answers that prevent what happened from happening again.
Paris responses. Macron's first move was to support the mayors, promising "answers on the bottom line" and "up to what they experienced". In his speech, the president expressed "total support" for local administrators, faced with an estimated damage of over 1 billion, but the problem is also (or above all) of a social nature, so much so that the head of the Elysée stressed: "But we don't need to do the same things we've been doing for decades", we need "an answer worthy of what we've experienced".
France has always been a pole of attraction for migrants. As Maurizio Ambrosini, professor of the sociology of migrations at the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Milan, already noted a few years ago, «France has a long history of immigration: it is a sparsely populated country in relation to its size and repeatedly involved in ruinous wars. For at least two centuries it has had a demographic and labor market supply problem. This, combined with industrial development and colonial history, has contributed to making France one of the main poles of attraction for immigration in Europe. In 2015, 7.9 million people born abroad resided in France, equal to 11.9% of residents. In the meantime, the migratory phenomenon, which also affects other countries bordering the Mediterranean such as Italy, Spain or Greece, has not stopped, on the contrary, it has grown further due to political and social instabilities in North Africa.
The difficult integration. “At the same time, the country has historically cultivated an inclusive approach towards new arrivals and their children – observed Ambrosini again, referring to the five-year period for accessing citizenship, and to the almost automatic right to land (ius soli) for those born in France. With Sarzoky, however, the concept of "civic integration" arrived, with the request to newcomers to adhere to an "integration contract": "Integration has been recoded, from an objective of public policies to a commitment of "loyalty" for resident foreigners. Like and more than in other countries, language tests at various levels (entry, long-term residence permit, naturalization) should verify the progress of the residents on the road to integration», explained Ambrosini. The problem is that none of this helped: France was left broken in two.
France "broken in two". The death of the 17-year-old in Nanterre, on June 26, is only a "casus belli" that fits into an "endemic problem" also according to Massimo Nava, journalist and columnist for Corriere della Sera, former correspondent from Paris and a profound connoisseur of France. According to Nava, what has occurred has to do with a new "popular anger": "The basic problem dates back to the 1970s and 1980s, with the first waves of migration, but then continued with the children and grandchildren of those migrants, who are French to all intents and purposes, but who feel like second-class citizens. What has changed is that in the 1980s and with the great protests of the 2000s, social integration, jobs, "positive discrimination" were asked to have access to the big universities: they wanted to get out of the ghetto. Today this protest is of an anarchic type, difficult to channel, almost desperate on the part of people who have nothing to lose. These young people don't vote, they no longer believe in anything, they even speak a different language mangled from French, they contest schools and there is also a religious and criminal drift, which collides with the attempt to recover the territory: the result is clashes with the police”.
The alarm on "White France". The social fracture, already linked to the migratory phenomenon, has not been overcome even with appropriations ingents by the State to improve the condition of the suburbs. Indeed, it would have even been amplified by the French company itself: «In recent years many millions of euros have been lavished on recovery plans for the suburbs and for improving social services, but the failure is in the minds of the French, in particular of the establishment, of the "guaranteed" by the State. It is the sense of separateness that has not been overcome, indeed perhaps it has worsened. Partly because the ghettos remain, with neighborhoods controlled by gangs. The Bataclan bombers also came from the suburbs. But French society itself has stigmatized them, just think of some messages from right-wing and far-right parties and some intellectuals such as Eric Zemmour or Michel Huellebeq, who have fueled the theory of ethnic replacement and the disappearance of white and Christian France», explains Nava.
Protests of yesterday and today. The new clashes have brought to mind those of past years and the more recent demonstrations of the yellow vests or against the pension reform: "Yes, even if there is a big difference: the yellow vests or the demonstrations for pensions have not concerned the suburbs or they have done so marginally, because the population who live there do not feel the need to fight for their pension or work: the political dimension is also marginalized", underlines Nava.
Blame colonialism? Among those who pointed the finger at France's colonial past to explain the reasons for the social protests was the Turkish president. For Recep Tayyip Erdogan, among the reasons for the malaise of a large part of the population, especially in the suburbs, there are the "colonial past" and "institutional racism". The Turkish leader, fresh from his presidential confirmation, did not hide his concern: "Turkey fears that tensions in France could create further oppression for Muslims and migrants".
The risk of the domino effect. The risk of a ripple effect, of a spread of protests beyond the French borders, however, was not openly manifested until a week after the events that triggered the chaos beyond the Alps. In Italy, the hypothesis was rejected by the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Antonio Tajani: «The situation in Italy is completely different, there are not the same problems as in France. There are problems also in our suburbs - we have seen what happened in Rome (with reference to the case of Primavalle, Editor's note) - But those that occurred in the main French cities are events that cannot be exported to our country". German president Frank-Walter Steinmeir, however, is much more cautious: "We Germans follow developments in our neighboring country with great attention. And, like all French people, we want social peace to be restored and the cracks in society to be healed". A wish which, in any case, all European countries have joined.

Geopolitics and Economy

Geopolitics and Economy - ATLANTIS

Italian companies and the rediscovery of Albania.
Interview with the expert Umberto Pagano
by Dominic Letizia
With the growth of the tourist phenomenon abroad after the health emergency, the Albania focus returns to the center of Italian entrepreneurial attention, which with the immense opportunities in the hotel and entertainment world increasingly attracts the attention of companies. However, Albania is not just tourism, but an economic system very close to the Italian entrepreneurial culture and with a tax system, labor costs and very convenient taxation. Over the last decade, Albania has made significant progress towards a modern market economy and has excellent development potential. The country does not present critical issues in terms of security and public order. Albania has joined free trade agreements with Balkan countries, increasing trade opportunities with the region. Albania, which is a NATO member country, is currently also being evaluated for future entry into the European Union. The local law does not generate problems between foreign and domestic investors both as regards the activities and legal structures, and for the application of the tax system. The demand for Made in Italy products is huge and is characterized by a constant tendency of the Albanian consumer to turn their attention to Italian food and technological products, often purchased within commercial networks set up and conducted in collaboration with important Italian companies. A country that deserves attention and that can generate great opportunities, to be studied not only for summer tourist services. In an attempt to understand the enormous economic attractions, we interviewed Umberto Pagano, an expert in corporate law and internationalization of companies of the Ansaldi & Partners firm of Naples, who for many years has relaunched the importance of economic cooperation with Albania.
The cooperation between Italy and the Balkans, for the recovery from the economic crisis generated by the health emergency and the Russian aggression, finds in Albania the key for innovation, the digital transition and the internationalization of Italian companies, as essential tools for the creation of a virtuous circuit capable of making the Italian economy and the entire Mediterranean grow. Can we elaborate?

The recent meeting of 27 July, at the Federiciano Castle, which brought together the ministers of foreign affairs of Italy, Albania, Bulgaria and North Macedonia represents a good example of coordination between the countries crossed by the Pan-European Corridor VIII: a strategic infrastructure between the Adriatic Sea and the Black Sea. The meeting represented an ideal platform for strengthening political dialogue and economic cooperation between the states of the region. The plenary session focused mainly on integration and cooperation, dealing with issues such as connectivity, infrastructure, economic growth and dialogue with civil society. The meeting was attended by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Antonio Tajani, the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of Albania, Olta Xhaçka, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, Mariya Gabriel and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. This meeting was a concrete and recent example of a virtuous institutional and economic circuit for the common growth of trade and cooperation in the Mediterranean.
What are the most important services and needs not to be underestimated for those businesses that decide to invest in Albania?
Buying a house in Albania for investment is a choice that can be made today, in 2023 because prices are still affordable: you can find interesting studio apartments in the Saranda or Durres area even for less than 60,000 euros, or 10-room villas for less than 350,000 euros. Albania offers many investment opportunities due to low labor costs and low property prices and therefore represents a large potential market for European countries. It should be emphasized that Albania has joined the free trade agreements with the Balkan countries, increasing trade opportunities with the Region. The first sector of greatest investment interest in Albania is the energy sector (electricity and gas). In the last twenty years, this sector has been the subject of major developments, both thanks to the opening up of concessions for the renewal and/or construction of new plants on the market, and thanks to promotion policies and investments in renewable energy. To date, there is also an increase in renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic and wind power. Albania also has a large hydrocarbon reserve. Furthermore, it is part of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project which allows the influx of natural gas throughout Western Europe and which we have heard so much about during the recent energy crisis triggered after Russia's aggression against Ukraine.
Consulting for Italian companies in Albania deserves attention and accurate precision due to the different bureaucratic and fiscal procedures from the European context. What are the procedural aspects that should not be underestimated?
The Albanian government pushes on the energy and agricultural sector. In these contexts, companies with large capitals (and smaller companies linked to the energy chain) are called upon to secure the electricity and gas markets and to supply high-tech machinery and plants for the processing, transformation and conservation of agri-food products. The confirmation of the development in these sectors came a few years ago from the Italy Albania Business Forum which was held in Tirana at the beginning of February 2018. Over 350 Italian companies took part in the Forum which also saw the participation of the Albanian Premier Edi Rama, the president of Confindustria Vincenzo Boccia, the then Undersecretary for Economic Development Ivan Scalfarotto and other representatives of international bodies and organizations. I believe that before even thinking about starting a business in Albania it is essential to have been there for a sufficient time to have a minimum knowledge of Albanian society and its interpersonal dynamics. Probing the ground is very important, not only for a market study and the feasibility of your business idea, but also to get to know who will be the players involved in the entrepreneurial project or new business to be launched. Thinking that the whole world is the same as your home is a big mistake that can determine the success of a company. Subsequently, it becomes very important to choose the best legal and tax representative in the field, the one with the most experience, the one who follows successful companies. Choosing only on the basis of price is another huge mistake that you risk paying for with the failure of your business.
What are the contemporary opportunities that come from the technological, economic and commercial fabric of Albania?
A good opportunity comes from the world of technological innovation and digitization for tourism. The year 2022 has far exceeded the best tourist year so far recorded in Albania, i.e. 2019, recording a 17% increase in the number of visitors in 11 months. The data released by the Institute of Statistics show that a significant number of entries into the country were also recorded in November. Specifically, the arrivals of Albanian citizens and foreigners in Albanian territory in November 2022 amounted to 808,813. This indicator translates into an increase of 47.4% compared to November 2021. As of November 2022, the number of foreign citizens who entered Albanian territory was 358,350. Data that make us reflect on the importance of focusing on tourism and technological innovation. The Albanian Government considers the development of the information society, as well as the diffusion of ICT, one of the main priorities for economic growth and for the achievement of high living standards. In this context, on 6 June 2020 the Council of Ministers approved with Decision No. 434 the "National Plan for the Sustainable Development of the Digital Broadband Infrastructure 2020-2025", published in the Official Gazette No. 109 of 9.6.2020. The development of information and communication technology represents one of the priorities of the Albanian Government and is part of the national strategic objectives for integration and accession to the European Union.

Geopolitics and Education

Geopolitics and Education - ATLANTIS

What is this artificial intelligence really?
Artificial intelligence is the ability that a machine has to display human capabilities such as: reasoning, learning, planning and creativity. Such A.I. (or A.I. in the English translation) has been designed to be able to analyze the data, already scanned, process it and elaborate an answer immediately. Artificial intelligence is spreading in various fields of work including graphics and also in art. In this sector, from the meeting between I.A. and the creative universe, various artificial intelligence software are born capable of generating different forms of art: writing texts and poems, composing melodies and even painting pictures.
To obtain these artistic products, GANs (Generative Adversary Networks) are usually used, i.e. a pair of neural networks that are trained to compete against each other in order to improve. One is called generator and has the task of producing new data, the other discriminator and learns how to distinguish them from those created artificially. They are then used together to create absolutely realistic paintings or photographs of people who do not exist, starting from an adequate number of real images. The existence of an art produced in this way questions the unique relationship that exists between subject and object, between author and work created by the latter's ingenuity and between creativity and computation.
In addition to the mere artistic point of view, artificial intelligence affects our lives and some jobs on a daily basis. According to some currents of thought, artificial intelligence could replace most full-time jobs, but for the moment, as fast as it is evolving, A.I. it still has flaws that make the human approach indispensable, especially in the artistic world.
That the world of artificial intelligence is a constantly evolving and growing reality can be seen above all in the market that it is generating around the world.
Market in Italy
The Italian market also collaborates and participates on an international level through some high-level companies, among these there is "QuestIT", a company specialized in the creation of proprietary artificial intelligence technologies that stood out with the organization of the first "Ava Contest" and with the creation of the first virtual tourist guide to support locals and tourists for the Palio di Siena. In this application, artificial intelligence had the power to improve marketing and sales, and therefore productivity in general.
The advantages that artificial intelligence offers to small and medium-sized enterprises are varied and of different nature: the improvement of productivity thanks to the automation of operations, or, having available relevant and significant analytical data, employees can work more effectively and better understand the wishes and expectations of customers.
The latter aspect is linked to the enhancement of customer service which, therefore, has assumed even greater importance. Artificial intelligence for customer support allows you to create chatbots that answer the most common questions of users, analyze the problems encountered most often, automatically assign priorities to tickets and much more. If you get a better understanding of the customer and all his interactions with a company, you will have more tools to propose and sell other products and services of interest.
Analyzing the future labor market, the most requested figures will be the data scientist, the developer of A.I. and the expert engineer of A.I. while the sectors in which the A.I. applications are varied and increasing after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Increase in market value thanks to A.I. by post Covid-19 sector.

The social impact
Artificial intelligence is one of the most important emerging technologies of our age, and it is rapidly changing society in ways few could have imagined. But despite the many benefits, there are also some concerns about its impact on society.
However, it is also raising concerns about workplace automation, data privacy and security, discrimination and the loss of control of this technology.
First, it is rapidly displacing employees in many industries, especially those that require repetitive tasks, such as data processing. This leads to an increase in productivity, but can lead to job losses and a consequent increase in economic inequality.
Second, it is raising concerns about privacy and the security of personal data which, among many privacy issues, can lead to discrimination. For example, if a machine learning algorithm is trained on data that reflects existing biases in society, such as gender or ethnicity, the AI can learn and perpetuate those biases.
A.I. and copyright
Artificial intelligence is rapidly becoming an increasingly used technology for creating and processing copyright-protected content. We have already said how the A.I. is able to create original contents, such as works of art, music, texts and videos, using content generation algorithms starting from a database.
But who owns the copyright to these works? The company that created the software, the person who created the algorithm or the client of the work? Furthermore, this technology is capable of reworking existing content, such as photos and videos, to create derivative works. This raises the question of who has the right to authorize the use of this content. There are also challenges regarding copyright protection when AI is used to copy, manipulate or distribute copyrighted content without the consent of the author.
In this regard, the European Union is currently considering a review of its copyright legislation to address issues related to A.I. and copyright. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has also published a series of guidelines for the use of this software in the context of art.
The case of Steven Thaler was one of the main cases of the confrontation between A.I. and copyright. The U.S. The Copyright Office has rejected Steven Thaler's request to register copyright for an artwork created by an artificial intelligence. The American commission has decided that “human paternity/maternity” is a fundamental requirement for copyright to protect a work.
In conclusion
Analyzing the best and worst aspects we can deduce that, like all tools derived from human ingenuity, artificial intelligence can be used to improve the society we live in with clear economic gain, but it could also increase social and economic divisions. It will certainly be necessary to promote the conscious, intelligent, responsible and sustainable development and use of this powerful technology.


Sconfinare - ATLANTIS

Many Polands, one dream
Luca Mozzi
Like an intermittent light, in the last three centuries Poland has existed and then disappeared numerous times, in an anacyclosis that has seen it eternal prey to its uncomfortable neighbors: the Russian and the Austro-Germanic. Although in this historical period the Polish state has experienced ups and downs, what has never waned, however, is the spirit of the Polish nation. The latter has re-emerged in recent months stronger than ever, aware of its mission as the 'front wall of Europe', an actualization of the expression 'front wall christianitatis', used in the Middle Ages always in relation to Poland.
Historically, the Polish state, which saw its birth in 1385, draws its uncertain and indefinite borders between the steppes of the Sarmatian plain, an immense flat grassy expanse that ideally connects eastern Germany to the Ural mountain range. After a few centuries of constant territorial expansion, which led it to become the largest state in Europe between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with the consolidation of neighboring empires, however, Poland found itself having to deal with its geography. Without any sort of orographic barrier, the country is therefore incapable of defending itself from enemy armies. Hence the four very painful partitions of the country, divided with the first three partitions (1772, 1793, 1795) between the Russian Empire, the Hapsburg Empire and Prussia and in 1939 by the Soviet Union and the Third Reich with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
The opportunity for Poland to redeem itself from its unfortunate geography and its troubled past comes from the current precariousness of the Eastern European scenario and from the role that the country has assumed in the war in Ukraine. From a country considered 'freeloader', illiberal, xenophobic and anti-democratic by European chancelleries, Poland has in a few months passed to being celebrated as a 'heroine' in Europe and overseas for its strenuous support for the Ukrainian cause. Mindful of its troubled relations with Moscow and sensing the dangerously close Russian threat, Poland has in fact opened its doors to 10 million Ukrainian refugees (giving them, moreover, equal rights to Polish citizens), has sent enormous quantities of weapons to the attacked country and has begun a massive modernization of the army. But most importantly, the Eastern European country has become the US player of choice in the war quadrant in Ukraine, the pivot around which the US structures its strategy of supporting Ukraine and containing Russia. This is because the Americans and the Poles share the goal of dampening Russian imperialism, albeit with one crucial difference: the former do it for strategic reasons, the latter for their own survival.
With the war in Ukraine, American military support for Poland has grown exponentially: the Central European country has received brand new technologies from Washington (thus being able to devolve its old Soviet arsenal to Ukrainian fighters) and has seen a substantial increase in American soldiers and NATO infrastructure on its territory. This element represents a unique opportunity for Poland to increase its power in the region and, ideally, to become a model for all those nations, from Estonia to Romania, which have always seen themselves in a claustrophobically squeezed "middle ground" between Western Europe and Russia.
Helped militarily by the States and financially by the European Union, Poland thus finds itself experiencing a historical phase in which, after two and a half centuries of victim depression, it is the full protagonist of its present, so much so that it feels ready to resurrect the glories of its glorious sixteenth-century past. However, this newly discovered national megalomania does not stop at the borders of Poland. The Polish goal is to create an anti-Russian belt of 12 EU states between the Baltic, Black and Adriatic Seas and to be the main actor. This project, known as the Three Seas Initiative (Trimarium), provides for the union of the economic and military forces of the member countries, so as to be autonomous from Russian expansionist aims. To achieve this goal, which would give a new identity to the space between Western and Eastern Europe, the Trimarium is currently being implemented above all at an infrastructural level. Since this forum is made up of countries historically ancillary to either the Russian or the Germanic world, the infrastructural set-up of railways, motorways and energy connections is in fact almost exclusively linked to the East-West dimension. Hence the emphasis on building connection networks for goods, energy and people that develop along the North-South trajectory, thus increasing the commercial and logistic cohesion of these countries which, from the Baltic to the Black Sea, would otherwise be almost inaccessible to each other. To complete these projects, a Trimarium Fund has been set up, defined by Zurawski, adviser to the Polish Foreign Minister, 'a start-up', to underline its innovative and promising vein, which has already received 4 billion dollars, of which only half come from American investors.
Germany is also present in the Trimarium forum with the role of observer, a country which Poland simply cannot be deprived of, being aware of how its anti-Russian crusade is inextricably linked to economic interdependence with its western neighbour. However, it would be naïve to think that Polish self-determination efforts are directed exclusively in an anti-Russian vein; the country has always been oppressed both to the east by Russia and to the west by Germany. The memory of the millions of Polish civilians killed by the Nazi regime is still alive in present-day Poland, as witnessed by the Polish parliament's request last September for 1.3 trillion dollars in war reparations to Germany. Although the request is clearly unrealistic, it is interesting because it demonstrates how, although Poles and Germans find themselves part of the same alignment in this historical phase, the relationship between the two nations will in any case still be partly bound by their past.
America has found in Poland and in the Trimarium project a very clever card to play for the containment of Russia. However, if the superpower's efforts are aimed at weakening Russia, Polish aspirations aim at an all-out war aimed at a real dissolution of the country, which would allow the Poles to forget (apparently) its very uncomfortable eastern neighbor. However, the United States is aware that such a scenario is unsustainable in terms of international security: such a vast and armed country (not only with conventional weapons) would be a perennial threat to global balances and would also favor Chinese penetration into deep Siberia and perhaps even further west. China and its strategic interests are not outside the Ukrainian game and the Americans know it. As they know that, although the war in Ukraine is a relevant clash at a regional level, it is decidedly less binding than a hypothetical clash with China in the Indo-Pacific context, which would certainly more vigorously reshuffle the balance of the current global order, both from an economic and a strategic point of view. For this reason, the maximalist vision of Poland, fueled by the memory of a glorious past and by the desire to redeem itself from the atrocities and miseries of the past, could therefore not be supported forever by Washington, which is not willing to empty its arsenals (and its treasury) for Kiev, as the Poles would like, being aware of the possible future challenge with China, for which it must at least present itself up to par.

Geopolitics and Culture

Geopolitics and Culture - ATLANTIS

Alberti Award for Corporate Culture and Italian Style in the World II Edition 2023 to Professor Claudio Ronco

The second edition of the Pietro Cesare Alberti Award dedicated to a personality from the world of business, art and culture who has distinguished himself for having brought Italian style to international heights in the world, was assigned to Claudio Ronco, Nephrologist, Researcher, Professor at the University of Padua. The delivery ceremony took place on Monday 10 July 2023 during a dinner at the Al Colombo restaurant of the patron Domenico Stanziani, in the presence of the award-winning and the representatives of the sponsoring institutions, for the municipality of Venice was present the metropolitan councilor Matteo Senno, and of the partners and sponsors. During the evening there was also the presentation of the book Il Giro del Mondo in 145 Ricette by Claudio Nobbio, Dean of General Managers of Hotels, Honorary President of the Association of Hotel Managers (ADA) and Editor-in-Chief of the magazine Hotel Managers. Co-author, among other things, of the book Alberti's Day. 1635 (Mazzanti Libri).

The Partners
Municipality of Venice, Veneto Region, Confindustria Veneto Est, Al Colombo Restaurant, ADI (Association of Hotel Managers), Atlantis Magazine, Salvadori spa and SKAL, professional organization of "Leaders" in Tourism which have been promoting global tourism and friendship all over the world since 1934.

Pietro Cesare Alberti (Venice, June 2, 1608 New Amsterdam, November 9, 1655) was an Italian traveler who emigrated to the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam in the seventeenth century and is therefore considered the first Italian American.
The story of Pietro Cesare Alberti is variously reported by American genealogical sources and now taken up by the book Alberti's Day, Mazzanti Libri, Venice,
He has been identified with a Giulio Cesare Alberti, whose baptismal certificate is found in the church of San Luca with the date 20 July 1608. The document shows that he was born on the previous 2 June to Andrea Alberti, secretary of the ducal treasury, and his wife Veronica. He was later called Pietro, probably in memory of an older brother who died in infancy.
Of the Albertis we know that they descended from a branch of the noble Florentine family and that they lived in Malamocco, in the building still known as Ca' Alberti.

The Awarded
Claudio Ronco graduated in Padua in 1976, he is a specialist in nephrology and pediatric nephrology. Full professor of Nephrology at the University of Padua and Director of the Department of Nephrology Dialysis and Renal Transplantation of the San Bortolo hospital in Vicenza, he is now Director of the International Institute of Renal Research of Vicenza (IRRIV).
He is considered a pioneer in the field of dialysis therapies and applied technologies, bio-engineering and biophysics, critical nephrology, sepsis and cardio-renal syndromes. In 1999 and 2000 he was director of the research laboratory of Mount Sinai & Beth Israel Medical Center in New York and received the chair of nephrology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Discoverer of innovative therapies including the CARPEDIEM device for neonatal dialysis, he has 1,590 scientific publications to his credit, 1,380 of which registered in Pubmed, 80 scientific books and an H-Index of 126.
He has received numerous honors including the title of Knight of the Grand Cross of Merit of the Italian Republic. He is a successful author with some recently published fiction books including Carpediem, Il Connettivista, Ombre della Luna, Una sera al BAR, 50 favole per Marivì and Giri di Do.

Geopolitics and University

Geopolitics and University - ATLANTIS


In the turbulent days following the rebellion by Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenary company, Putin proved to be hesitant, uncertain about what to do regarding the reintegration of the private military company (PMC) within the Moscow power apparatus.
In this regard, plans to replace Prigozhin from the top of the company or to insert the PMC itself within the ranks of the regular Russian army have been feared. Hypothesis, the latter, particularly unwelcome to the men of the 'Kremlin cook', who notoriously have little esteem and just as little trust in the defense minister Shoigu and in the Chief of Staff Gerasimov, so much so that the possibility of being integrated into the ranks of the regular army was one of the causes of the rebellion of the contractors. However, little attention has been paid by public opinion to the 'other Wagner', the one active on the African continent.
If on the domestic front, and by extension also on that of the Ukrainian war, it is therefore not clear how the chasm between Wagner and the Kremlin left by the Prigozhin mutiny will be filled, on the wider international level, just two days after the "suspended coup" of the PMC, Russian Foreign Minister Seghei Lavrov declared that the Wagner group will continue to operate in Mali and in the Central African Republic. Countries, the latter, which together with Libya and Sudan constitute the main operational center of the part of the Wagner group active in Africa and which, since the war in Ukraine, has greatly diversified from the section of the company operating in Ukraine.
This difference in the reaction of Putin's government towards the contractor company is attributable, in fact, precisely to the differences that exist between the section of the Wagner group active in Ukraine and the one occupied in the black continent. Analyzing the data from a quantitative point of view, it is possible to observe how only 10% of the company's contractors are active in Africa (5,000 individuals), while the remaining 90% are employed in Ukraine (over 50,000 individuals). If the analysis is completed also from a qualitative point of view, it can be observed that in the European conflict most of the contractors (about four fifths) are ex-convicts, while in Africa Wagner's men are almost exclusively experienced men with great practical skills, such as former operators of special forces, army officers or intelligence agents. These military experts are assisted by individuals who are experts not only in the war sector, but also in the economic, energy and infrastructural sectors.
If the main purpose of Russian contractors in Ukraine is to provide massive availability of men to support the regular army, on the African continent the presence of Wagner has instead a more subtle purpose, namely that of guaranteeing the interests of Russian oligarchs linked to the government (therefore of the federal government itself) in unstable and semi-bankrupt countries, inserting itself with great agility in the power vacuums left by Western nations. Countries, the latter, that are afraid to deal with Africa for fear of being trapped in its endemic chaos and to avoid receiving the stigma of neocolonial nations.
Wagner's main area of action in Africa is the Sahel, an immense strip of land squeezed between the Sahara and the equatorial jungle which until sixty years ago was almost entirely under French domination. For economic reasons and international prestige, France has attempted to bring the Sahel back under its area of influence, intervening in the area with the stated mission of fighting Islamic terrorism. However, it was precisely the failure of France and the UN to restore order to this portion of the globe that allowed Russia, through Wagner, to establish its own influence in countries such as Mali, Sudan, Chad, the Central African Republic (CAR). Thus, in the streets of Bamako (Mali), in October 2021 thousands of protesters took to the streets burning the transalpine tricolor and hoisting flags of the Russian Federation shouting 'France degage'.

(Rebels in the Central African Republic (CAR) credits: Wikipedia Commons)
In countries like Mali, CAR, Burkina Faso, Wagner supports local presidents, most of whom seized power in a coup, while in other African nations like Libya or Sudan, the PMC supports a faction fighting against the establishment.
In the aforementioned countries, PMC is mainly active in the natural resources sector, providing personnel to defend extraction plants, as well as Russian geologists, businessmen and lawyers who deal with business management, acting in great synergy with local governments, which are enriched by the activities of the Russian company. A pioneering model that of Wagner in Africa, which manages to combine military-security capabilities with the highly lucrative business of raw materials that are transported outside the continent via the United Arab Emirates or countries of the European Union itself. The opulence and power of the Wagner group derive precisely from the fact that 30% of global mineral reserves, 40% of gold, 12% of gas and 8% of oil are found on the black continent.
The control of the mines, the raw material extraction plants and the related foreign trade channels obtained through the activities of the Wagner group in Africa provide a very precious asset for Russia, which, as Putin himself recently revealed, has invested a lot of money and resources in the PMC, which can be spent not only from an economic point of view. By sending specialized technicians to African countries, Russia's political weight and its softpower capabilities in the region increase significantly. In fact, Russia has become one of the main trading partners of these countries, which increasingly trust the Federation, which is seen as a very valid alternative to Western countries, whose colonial past with its brutality perpetrated on local populations is still recent. However, Wagner is no stranger to atrocities: in fact, there have been numerous accusations by the European Union and the United States of rapes, abuses and other violations of human rights by PMC mercenaries in the countries in which it is active; the latter atrocities, which prompted the US to designate the company as an 'international criminal organization' in January of this year.

Geopolitics and Books

Geopolitics and Books - ATLANTIS

Secret Agent 1157.
The fictional life of Rodolfo Siviero, a formidable hunter of works of art stolen in Giorgio Radicati's book

A book that recounts the exploits of Rodolfo Siviero, an almost unique character of his kind, transformed in a few years from a spy in the pay of fascism into a voluntary strenuous defender, in various guises, of the national cultural heritage, remaining for a long time, as they commonly say, "in paradise in spite of the saints". by Ambassador Giorgio Radicati, presented on 22 June 2023 at the Circolo degli Esteri in Rome.

To discuss it with the author several illustrious names, experts in their fields of study. Table coordinated by Genny De Bert, art critic and wife of the author.
The speeches were opened by Ambassador Umberto Vattani, President of the Venice International University, appointed twice as Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, former President of the National Institute for Foreign Trade.

Followed by Claudio Strinati, historian and art critic, worked in the Ministry for Cultural and Environmental Heritage, organized exhibitions both in Italy and abroad, hosted cultural television broadcasts and collaborated with the Biographical Dictionary of Italians published by the Institute of the Italian Encyclopedia.

Finally Raffaele Simongini, film historian, artistic consultant, documentary maker and author of numerous art programs for Rai Educational (Art News and Magazzini Einstein. The spectacle of culture). He is professor of art history, aesthetics and cinema history at the Academy of Fine Arts.

The publisher Carlo Mazzanti told what Meta Liber is, a brand that spreads an innovative way of using the book, associating it with listening, viewing photographic images and films and much more, all in progress.

Many testimonies about Siviero, who disappeared in 1982, brought by the diplomats present who knew him during their career. Siviero, discussed for joining fascism from which he later distanced himself, was the protagonist after the Second World War in the search for and return of many works of art stolen and taken away from Italy, as war booty by the Nazis (and others). A true story, but so spectacular that it looks like a movie script.

Many beautiful names: from Paolo Casardi and Maurizio Melani, ambassadors and co-presidents of the Circolo di Studi Diplomatici, to Maurizio Maria Nutto, diplomat and adviser to the club (conceived by Galeazzo Ciano) which overlooks the Tiber, to many journalists: Andrea Scazzola La7, Francesca Carpentieri Rai Tre, Daniela Orsello Rai Esteri, Ettore Guastalla Rai and Lorena Crisafulli Osservatore Romano.

The novel "Secret Agent 1157" will be presented again in Venice on the occasion of the "L'arte rubata" event to be held next autumn.

GIORGIO RADICATI. Born in Rome, he began his career as ambassador in 1967, representing Italy in Europe, the United States and South America. From 1978 to 1984, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he was Head of the Sub-Saharan Africa Office for Cooperation and Development. He subsequently served as Consul General in New York, Ambassador in Prague and OSCE Representative in Skopje. In parallel with his diplomatic activity, he devoted himself to the visual arts and literature, publishing several books.


Contents - ATLANTIS