Defence as an Engine of European Political Integration

AuthorGiampaolo di Paola
PositionAdmiral, Italian Ministry of Defense
The EuroAtlantic Union Review, Vol. 1 No. 1/2014
Defense as an Engine of European Political Integration
Giampaolo di Paola*
I believe that, for the time being, from a European as well as from an Italian
perspective, it is dicult to come o the current news: we are obsessed by the
present, by what is going on and we do not realize that what surrounds us
today, somehow prevents us from foreseeing what will be. But the really
important thing is the construction of what will be tomorrow. Here I would
like to make a poetic reference; those who know me know that I am a
Leopardi’s admirer; in his most famous poems – e Innite – he says: “And
as I hear the wind rustling through these leaves, [...] and I call to mind the eternal,
and the dead seasons, and the present and alive with all its turmoil”. ere is this
sense, the innite, tomorrow, the dead season is the past we come from. We
are obsessed by the sound of it, of the present time and we have the ability to
look into innity as a poetic image of the future. Well, this meeting today, this
conference, however, has the advantage of inviting us to look further. ere is
another man, not certainly worthy of little regard, the great politician Winston
Churchill, who used to say, in the darkest times: “Gentlemen, we have no
money, let’s use the brain”, and I believe that today more than ever “using the
brain” really is the motto that we all should adopt. I will try to use the brain,
the little I have I will make it available. Well, I have a text here but I will not
read it, although are all smart things (I did not write it so I can tell you that),
because I would like to take the ideas given today by those who have spoken
* Admiral, Italian Ministry of Defense

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