Emmanuel Macron with his Italian partners before a visit to the Pope

Emmanuel Macron with his Italian partners before a visit to

Almost 60 years after the historic signing of the Franco-German treaty, France is preparing to seal a pact of friendship and cooperation with Italy, another founding country of Europe. Emmanuel Macron is also due to meet Pope Francis, during his current trip to Rome. This will be the French President’s second audience at the Holy See, after 2018.

With our special correspondent in Rome, Valerie Gas

After Croatia, Emmanuel Macron arrived in Rome on Thursday. Only a few weeks after the G20, here is the French president back in the Italian capital. The last time, there was notably met Joe Biden. This time, the Head of State is due to sign the Quirinal Treaty on Friday, a Franco-Italian agreement aimed at strengthening cooperation between the two countries in terms of foreign policy, security, research or even the economy. .

The president’s visit to Rome should show that between France and Italy, now everything is fine, and even more: ” We have rediscovered an exceptional Franco-Italian relationship “Enthuses an adviser to the Head of State, who insists a lot on the quality of the personal relationship between Emmanuel Macron and Mario Draghi. Between him and the President of the Italian Council of Ministers, “ a relationship of trust and mutual respect »Settled down.

The page of the quarrel, when Matteo Salvini, then Minister of the Interior, supported the yellow vests, is therefore turned. And the signing of the Quirinal Treaty comes at the right time to relaunch bilateral cooperation. At a time when France will take the presidency of the EU, and also at a time when Germany is in the midst of a political transition with the departure of Angela Merkel from the chancellery, at the Elysee, we recognize, Emmanuel Macron wants lean ” a lot “On Italy” In the coming months “.

The migration issue at the center of the discussion with the Pope

But after Europe, alongside the current Italian leaders, it will inevitably be a question of migrants during his meeting with François. The dramatic shipwreck off the French coast, which cost the lives of 27 migrants trying to reach England, will inevitably be at the heart of the exchanges between Emmanuel Macron and the Pope at the Vatican.

The Sovereign Pontiff has often expressed its concern about the fate of migrants, and this “ capacity for indignation “Of the Pope, Emmanuel Macron judges her” precious “. This is what he told journalists from the Figaro and of The cross on the plane this Thursday. In a presidential campaign where migration issues are at the heart of the debates, Emmanuel Macron is looking for solutions not to expose himself to attacks from his right-wing opponents, by trying to hold his line of firmness and, at the same time, of humanity.

The French president wants to believe, it seems, that he can find support from the sovereign pontiff. Emmanuel Macron said in the same interview as according to him, “ the pope is aware that our peoples are hit by the migration crisis “.

François, still according to the French Head of State, is thus aware that ” if we do not face it, we give fuel to the toughest nationalisms “. The very ones that Emmanuel Macron wants to fight in Europe and in France, during the campaign.

France and Italy, a close economic partnership

France and Italy maintain close trade relations, despite an imbalance in the balance in favor of the peninsula. Paris, Rome’s second commercial partner, sells it cars, medicines, luxury products and even electricity … In return, Italy, France’s third largest commercial partner, exports cars, machines and even shoes there.

The two neighbors have also forged industrial alliances. Latest merger to date: that of Peugeot Citroen and Fiat. Stellantis is added to the list which already included ATR in aviation, Thales Alenia Space or EssilorLuxottica in optics.

But, engagements don’t always end well. Recently, the plan to buy back the Atlantic shipyards by Fincantieri collapsed due to French resistance …Enough to fuel a feeling of imbalance in the peninsula to the detriment of Italian investors. In fact, between 2007 and 2020, buyouts of French companies by Italians greatly exceeded in value those of Italian groups by French.

Paris and Rome also share struggles in terms of economic policy. France and Italy took action at the start of the pandemic to relax the budget deficit criteria and to pool the debt at European level.