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Italy: Legislation on Ministry of Foreign Affairs Implemented

(Feb. 21, 2017) On January 16, 2017, legislation reorganizing certain executive-level positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs entered into effect in Italy. (Decree of the President of the Republic, No. 260 of December 29, 2016, Regulations for the Implementation of Article 20 of Law No. 125 of August 11, 2014, and Other Amendments to the Organization and Executive-Level Positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (D.P.R. No. 260), GAZZETTA UFFICIALE (G.U.) No. 26 (Feb. 1, 2017), NORMATTIVA (in Italian); Law No. 125 of August 11, 2014, on International Cooperation for Development, G.U. No. 199 (Aug. 28, 2014), NORMATTIVA (in Italian).)

D.P.R. No. 260 amends Decree No. 95 of the President of the Republic of May 19, 2010, on the Reorganization of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (the Ministry). (G.U. No. 145 (June 24, 2010), NORMATTIVA (in Italian).)  D.P.R. No. 260 updates the internal organization and responsibilities of the Ministry’s executive-level officials, both in the central offices and overseas, and sets forth the number of executive units to exist in the Ministry, the description of top executive officials’ positions, and coordination mechanisms and hierarchical relations between top executive-level officials. (D.P.R. No. 260 art. 5(8)(f).)

The following are other particular areas amended by D.P.R. No. 260.

  • The powers of the Secretary General of the Ministry’s Central Administration as head of the National Authority for Authorizations of Weapons Materials (The National Authority – UAMA (Unita’ per le autorizzazioni dei materiali d’armamento), Farnesina website (last visited Feb. 16, 2017)) to issue authorizations for the exchange of weapons and to engage in other transactions performed by weapons industries have been enhanced. (D.P.R. No. 260, art. 1(1)(b).)
  • The powers of the General Inspector of the Ministry have been extended to include “the promotion of a culture of legality,” including measures related to the security of Ministry personnel and of the central and overseas offices. (Id. art. 1(1)(c).)
  • The powers of the General Directorate for Political Affairs and Security (General Directorate) have been broadened to encompass common European security and defense policies. (Id. art. 1(1)(d).)
  • The General Directorate has been empowered to deal with international organizations in matters of economic and commercial cooperation and also theprotection of intellectual property. (Id. art. 5(6).)
  • New powers were given to the General Directorate to assume the political representation of Italy in the development of bilateral relations and in the handling of relations with international organizations and with the European Union. (Id. art. 5(8)(a).)
  • The General Directorate has been given enhanced powers to manage Italy’s interests concerning European financial instruments related to development cooperation, the European Development Fund, the bank industry, and other financial mechanisms designed to promote international development. (Id. art. 5(8)(a).)
  • The General Directorate is now charged with evaluating emergency interventions for humanitarian purposes at the international level. (Id. art. 5(8)(c).)