Given its key geopolitical location by the Mediterranean, Italy is often first among the NATO allies to experience the consequences of unrest and political instability in North Africa and the Middle East. Along with its substantial contributions to Operation Unified Protector over Libya, Italy is one of the Alliance’s most important voices in formulating Alliance policies and strategies toward the broader Mediterranean region and the transatlantic community’s outreach to North Africa and the Middle East.

On June 17, 2014, the Atlantic Council hosted H.E. Nicola Latorre, Italian Senator and Chairman of the Defense Standing Committee, for a discussion of NATO’s challenges and opportunities on Europe’s southern and eastern borders. This off-the-record roundtable conversation focused on Italy’s perspective on instability in North Africa, how to prioritize threats and goals ahead of the Wales Summit, and the need for effective communication with the public about defense spending.

Senator Latorre was first elected Senator in 2005 as a member of the Democratic Party. Senator Latorre served on numerous committees, including Finance and Treasury, Constitutional Affairs and Home Affairs, Industry, and Oversight of State Broadcast Services. Previously, he led Italian Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema’s office from 1998 to 2000, and served as mayor of Fasano in the early 1990s.