After months of bad news from Italy, at last we have some good news: Emma Bonino, a committed European and a dynamic force in EU politics for many years (as well as an ECFR board member!), has been appointed the country's foreign minister. With progress on a new government at last being made under Enrico Letta, it looks like Italy is reemerging as a key and credible European Union member state.
Italy will benefit from having a stateswoman with experience and energy. As a former European Commissioner, European Parliamentarian and Europe and trade minister her knowledge of the European system will be a great help to her country at a time of crisis. But more important than that, European foreign policy will get a shot in the arm from having someone with vision, principle and determination taking her place at the Foreign Affairs Council.
Emma Bonino has been a long-term champion of an integrated and outward-looking Europe that lives us to the values it claims to embody. As such she has been an advocate of engaging Turkey (she was a member of the independent commission on Turkey), supporting change in the Arab world (she has lived in Egypt and done much to work with civil society across the region), supporting post-conflict reconstruction (she set up the EU's humaintarian affairs agency), for enlargement, as well as being a consistent and brave campaigner for women's and human rights.
Anyone who has met Emma Bonino knows that she brings to her work a ferocious work ethic, a flamboyant style, and a creative and pragmatic focus on results. We wish her all the best in her important new role.
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