On November 26, 2021, Italy and France signed the "Treaty for enhanced bilateral cooperation" in Rome, known as the Quirinale Treaty. The Agreement covers several areas including foreign affairs, European affairs, migration policies, space, trade, culture, technology, justice, home affairs, security and defense.
With regard to foreign affairs, Italy and France have undertaken to develop “their coordination and to favor the synergy between their respective actions at an international level”. To this end, at least once every quarter an Italian minister will participate in a council of ministers of the French government and viceversa.
With respect to European affairs, Italy and France "act together for a more democratic, united and sovereign Europe" and are committed to "defend the values of the European project and the rule of law", promoting "a transition of the European Union towards a model of resilient, inclusive and sustainable development, within the framework of an open and dynamic economy ". With these objectives, the two countries "strengthen coordination in the main sectors of European economic policy" such as the budget strategy and the green and digital transition. They also favor "joint initiatives aimed at promoting transparency and citizen participation in the European decision-making process" and "a more extensive use of the qualified majority system for taking decisions in the Council".
An Italian-French civil service and a cross-border cooperation committee are set up on cooperation in the field of migration policies, recognizing the need for a policy for managing migration flows shared by the European Union based on principles of solidarity and responsibility.
Finally, an annual Italo-French intergovernmental summit for general coordination on the implementation of the Treaty is envisaged.
At the press conference in Villa Madama, the President of the Italian Government Mario Draghi commented: “this Enhanced Cooperation Treaty marks a historic moment in relations between the two countries: from today we are even closer. The deeper meaning of this Treaty is that our sovereignty, understood as our ability to address the future, can only be strengthened through a shared management of common challenges. In addition to consolidating our bilateral relations, the agreement intends to favor and accelerate the process of European integration ".
French President Macron said: "we will create a common geopolitical vision, we will help build a stronger common European defense that contributes to NATO, we will have enhanced cooperation in the fight against illegal migrations, to protect Europe's external borders".
The Quirinal Treaty between Italy and France is inspired by the Elysée Treaty signed between France and Germany in 1963 and updated in 2019 with the Aachen Treaty signed by Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel.
Part of the German press reacted with concern indicating that the Quirinal Treaty represents a challenge for Germany, as Italy and France could push for the reform of European debt rules in a transition phase for Germany from the Merkel government (which lasted 16 years) to the government of Olaf Scholz.