Today Italy won. I have learned that the European Commission has just closed the infringement procedure opened against our country in 2018 for the methods of assigning the contracts provided for by the Naval Law for a total of over 5.5 billion euros.
They accused us of using the defense orders as state aid to the national shipbuilding industry. During my mission to Brussels on February 5, with the precious support of the competent offices of the Presidency of the Council and of Defense, I instead clarified once and for all the interpretation to be given to the EU Directive on military procurement, agreeing with the Commission a solution that allowed the procedure to be archived.
The EU executive will henceforth guarantee uniform application of the legislation by all European countries, with a view to developing a single and integrated market for defense products.
I am particularly satisfied with the important result achieved, not only for the hundreds of millions of euros saved by the Italian tax payer, but also for having succeeded in overturning the paradigm "it is Europe that asks for it" inherited from the past. This time, Italy's point of view prevailed, which the Commission has made its own.
The satisfaction is further increased by the fact that our interlocutors in Brussels, with whom I have established a constructive dialogue, have contacted us about the positive result obtained: of the four countries against which a similar infringement was opened, only Italy is in fact to date managed to find a solution to the procedure.