The Sahel region is the theatre for one of the most significant developments in Italian foreign policy in the last decade. As a consequence of the intersection between external shocks, domestic pressures, and internal reorganisations, Italy is testing new approaches, instruments, and strategies in the Sahel to further its national interest, which is understood as much in terms of national security as domestic stability and international status.
Contrasting and curbing irregular migration and fighting against terrorist groups in the region are the two main concerns behind the Italian strategic re-orientation towards the Sahel. In this sense, the definition of national interests in the area emerges from the entanglement of foreign and domestic considerations. Italian initiatives have also responded to the collateral need to restructure Rome’s relationship with Paris and Berlin on specific foreign and security policy issues and interests.