Mrs. Speaker of the House,
Gentlemen Members of the United States Congress,
Mr. Foreign Minister,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Speaker Nancy Pelosi for this chance to meet and celebrate the friendship and alliance between our peoples, during this month that celebrates the Italo-American roots of the United States.
Mrs. Speaker, your leadership is itself a confirmation of the contribution of Italian origin citizens and a kind reminder of the value of the role of women, which finds in the United States Congress a place of historical affirmation.
Exactly a century ago, the House and Senate approved the 19th Amendment to the Constitution for equal voting rights, a milestone in the history of gender equality.
I am very grateful for having the chance to meet a bicameral and bipartisan representation of the United States Congress, beating heart of democracy.
The role of Parliaments, with the representative function they embody, is the core element of the government forms both Europe and America share.
This place reflects the vicissitudes of those millions of faces of women and men who have made the United States great and cementing the friendship and alliance between our peoples.
To the millions of Americans with Italian origins who assert themselves every day, contributing to the success of this country, goes the tribute of Italy in its whole.
I greet the many Italians who have chosen to live experiences in the United States and the many Americans who have chosen Italy: they are the contemporary image of the permanent flow of intellectual and professional energies that enrich our mutual relationships.
I am pleased to speak to you during the celebration days in honor of Columbus, brave discoverer of worlds, builder of bonds.
Mrs. Speaker, Gentlemen Members of Congress,
Thanks to you and also your predecessors’ commitment, our countries had the possibility to choose paths of peace and prosperity, and the Italian Republic is grateful for this.
Our countries are united by the same community they belong to: that of democracies, founded on the choices of freedom that followed the defeat of Nazi-Fascism.
We know how crucial has been the contribution of the United States to the liberation of Europe from totalitarianism and the invaluable contribution given to the cause of international stability in the following decades.
The Atlantic Alliance – which still is the cornerstone of our global security commitment - was a crucial step forward.
Italy and the United States, loyal allies, are continuing a common commitment that is crucial in order to bring stability to the most sensitive theatres.
Our role in the enlarged Mediterranean stems from the awareness that the sea represents a global frontier in which Italy is called to play a leading role, in cooperation with allies and partners.
Let's just think about the importance of that area in terms of global migration flows. It is linked to our joint work in the Sahel, where migration, development and counter-terrorism issues meet. As well as the focus on the Balkans, a key point subject to pressure that must never be tearful again.
Italy, with its presence in Afghanistan - the second largest contingent after the United States for a long time -, has provided concrete proof of its commitment against terrorism and its closeness to the American people after the tragedy of September 11th.
The relationship between the United States and the European Union - based on history, common values, culture and human bonds - is a fundamental axis for global stability.
A stability achieved through multiple forms of collaboration: after the Second World War, trade was the engine of integration and development between the two sides of the Atlantic.
Economic relations between the United States and Italy, as well as between the United States and Europe, have had and still have an unparalleled weight for mutual prosperity.
The resulting value chain has significant effects also on innovation, development and technological and scientific progress.
The latter is indeed a strategic dimension of the relationship between Italy and the United States in which our countries already invest a lot: on the Italian side, we will continue to work convincingly to deepen bonds already extraordinary, fueled by fifteen thousand Italian scientists active in projects in the United States, in the fields of research, of technological and industrial innovation.
International scientific cooperation is an extraordinary example of the benefits for the progress of humanity provided by a multilateral international order, based on fair and shared rules, built with the decisive American impulse after the war and which we must not cease to support and protect together.
It is a common guarantee, the basis to move forward together in the face of the challenges that lie ahead and that none of us can afford to face alone.
In conclusion, I would like to invite all of you here to stand up and pay tribute to the role of the national Parliaments and to the extraordinary bond of friendship between the United States of America and Italy.
Hurray for the United States of America, Hurray for the Italian Republic.