It is such a pleasure to be here in this ancient and wonderful capital, which has welcomed me, my daughter and the delegation accompanying me with warmth and genuine friendship.
I am very pleased to see you here, dear President, less than a year after our last meeting, when I had the honour to receive you at the Quirinal. Already on that occasion we had the opportunity to emphasise the many and strong ties – starting from the cultural and social ones – that unite our Countries.
It is our task to further increase the intensity and range of such ties!
I am particularly happy to be able to visit your Country during such a significant celebration: the hundredth anniversary of Estonia’s independence.
A century of history in which the Estonian population has faced – and overcome, with great sacrifice – very difficult challenges.
A century in which Estonia has been able to build, and rebuild, a solid constitutional State and a competitive economy, obtaining great results in many sectors and establishing itself as a strong democracy.
Among the many objectives achieved, some are particularly special and I would like to mention them with great admiration such as, for example, having made Tallinn a worldwide centre of excellence in the field of digital innovation. A circumstance that was confirmed in Estonia’s impulse, during the recent Chairmanship of the Council of Europe, to themes such as the free movement of data, the development of G5 network and e-Government.
Estonia has worked without cease, during these one hundred years, to strengthen its position as State, embracing a model of open society, based on the respect of rights. This has led it - in a very short timespan, once reconquered independence – to become fervently part of the peoples of the European and Atlantic communities.
The respect of the international law, the inviolability of frontiers, dialogue as instrument for solving controversies, the trust in the continental integration programme, are key principles of this Europe of ours, toward which Estonia and Italy contribute with commitment and determination.
this State Visit constitutes a further piece in the mosaic of a deeper mutual acquaintance between our Countries and our people, starting from the strong cultural ties that already exist.
Indeed, it is impossible not to mention the Latin roots of the music of the great composer Arvo Pärt and the Italian views that greatly inspired Konrad Mägi.
However, despite the ties, the relative geographical distance between our Countries has contributed – at times – in highlighting different sensibilities, also to the many challenges that we find ourselves facing together.
Yet, Europe’s unity lives exactly on these diversities, of synthesis between different positions that lead – within a sincere and synergetic dialogue – to fertile and not at all obvious solutions. Actually, original and innovative solutions reached on the basis of shared and inalienable values of reference, that allow to develop common intents and mutual solidarity which constitute the core of European integration.
Our Countries have found, in the support of our Euro-Atlantic family, the best way to express our independence, to give a response to global issues, and thus to thrive together and look to the future with confidence.
Our individual security and development, as well as any other challenge, are common commitments not only today but especially in the future.
With these feelings, I raise the glass to your health, dear President, to the prosperity of the Estonian population and to the further strengthening of a strong friendship between our Countries.