Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (Italy)

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ItalyItaly Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale
Position of the authority Ministry
Consist since 1848
Headquarters Palazzo della Farnesina , Rome
Foreign minister Luigi di Maio
Palazzo della Farnesina , headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome
Italian general consulate in Geneva
Diplomatic missions of Italy (as of 2018)

The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation ( Italian Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale ) is one of the ministries of the Italian government . It is responsible for Italy's foreign policy . After its seat in the Palazzo della Farnesina in Rome , it is unofficially called Farnesina for short . Acting Foreign Minister is Luigi di Maio .


The political leadership consists of the minister , deputy ministers (including one for development cooperation ) and state secretaries . The latter are not civil servants in Italy, but politicians. The Secretary General is the head of the ministry and therefore the highest official . Administratively, the department heads (“general directors”) of the current eight departments (“general directors”) of the ministry and smaller, supporting organizational units , including the protocol service, report to him . The ministry oversees the development cooperation agency AICS and (together with the ministry of industry) the foreign trade institute ICE / ITA as well as some private law organizations.

In Rome, the Ministry maintains the Villa Madama conference and guest house .

The Italian Foreign Ministry currently (2010) has a total of 123 embassies to other countries, nine permanent missions to international organizations and a large number of consular posts of various kinds. The Italian Consulate General in Jerusalem also maintains links with the Palestinian Authority . In Taipei ( Taiwan ) the Italian Foreign Ministry has a branch with special status. There are also around 90 cultural institutes , which are usually assigned to the embassies. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also has responsibilities in the field of Italian schools abroad and the Italian departments and teaching staff at (subsidized) foreign educational institutions.


Although the origins of modern diplomacy go back to the northern Italian city-states of the early Renaissance such as Milan , Florence and especially the Republic of Venice ( Venetian diplomacy ), modern Italy, due to its late political unification, does not have a long national diplomatic tradition such as France . At the head of the Italian unification movement was the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont from 1848 , into which the old Italian states were incorporated in 1861 and which thus assumed the name “Kingdom of Italy”. Therefore the classic departments and some other institutions of Italy have a Piedmontese prehistory.

On February 17, 1717, King Viktor Amadeus II divided the state secretariat into two secretariats: one for foreign affairs and one for internal affairs. In addition, there was the Secretariat for War that was established in the 17th century. In the course of the revolution of 1848 and the constitution ( Statuto Albertino ) passed by Karl Albert , the seven state secretariats were renamed ministries. The Foreign Ministry remained in Turin with the other ministries until 1865 . In the course of the relocation of the capital, it came to Florence until 1870 and then finally to Rome. There the Foreign Ministry was located in the Palazzo della Consulta on the Quirinal until 1922 , until 1959 it was housed in the Palazzo Chigi next to the Chamber of Deputies , then it was finally moved to the Palazzo della Farnesina, which is located on the northwestern outskirts of the city next to the Stadio Olimpico . In the last few years the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has carried out far-reaching organizational reforms. In 2010, the departments were reduced from 13 to 8 and the distribution of responsibilities according to continents or regions of the world was largely abolished in favor of individual areas of responsibility. The diplomatic missions abroad were given more financial and administrative independence. The reorganization and thinning of the network of consular posts repeatedly met with considerable resistance.

For financial reasons, two research institutes of the ministry were dissolved, in 2012 the Istituto italiano per l'Africa e l'Oriente in Rome including its branches at home and abroad (which, however, still exists in the form of an association), and in 2015 the Istituto agronomico per l ' oltremare in Florence, which was taken over by the Agency for Development Cooperation because of its agricultural science orientation.

In 2014, the diplomatic school of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Istituto Diplomatico “Mario Toscano”) was dissolved in its previous form and incorporated into the Scuola Nazionale dell'Amministrazione as a department .

See also

Web links


  1. Presentation on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  2. Internet presence of the Italian Trade Agency (English / Italian)
  3. List of the organizations supervised or controlled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (as of 2017) on
  4. ^ Associazione Internazionale di Studi sul Mediterraneo e l'Oriente - ISMEO
  5. AICS sede di Firenze