Viewed 4659 times | Published on 2022-07-21 14:25:00
This article is focused on just a couple of structural elements in both Italy and the European Union, as well as... some personal announces.
I had actually planned to release it over a month ago, but then it became blatant that yet another government crisis was about to start.
It was a case of "chickening out" stretched for few months, as each demand was followed by more demands, as if the target were to pull the plug but without being held responsible for pulling the plug.
Personally, as usual, shared my feed-back on my "open air" business and personal travelogue on my journey in Italy since 2012.
In the end, the crisis resulted in President of the Council of Minister Draghi and President of the Republic Mattarella acknowledging that there was no real interest to support the current "national unity" government.
Notably as both Conte (who had been President of the Council of Minister twice prior to Draghi) and Salvini had their own internal, party politics to hold together, and therefore eventually both used the crisis as a kind of "call to arms".
So, it is almost certain that there will be elections- but, as I will explain in the first section, I will keep being just a bipartisan observer and non-voter.
This article was originally to be the first comparative step of Italy vs. France and Germany, before digging into the organizational side of the Quirinale Treaty.
That a new government will be tasked with the steps ahead introduces some further uncertainties.
Let' s start with a short list of sections
_merging countries, blending cultures
_a personal context (short bridging digression)
_the Italian context of "rules design"
_the Geist (or Poltergeist) of organizational development
_from the Elysée Treaty of 1963 to the Quirinale Treaty
_going practical: a bag of tasks from the Quirinale Treaty
Merging countries, blending cultures
Incidentally: as I previously wrote, I will not vote in these elections- and those who met me in London and Brussels before was forced to return in Turin in 2012 have plenty of "cameos" from Italians that they observed there to understand why, after try and trying again, accepted that I am neither Italian enough nor interested into turning "tribal" just to get protection.
I was bipartisan when I was in politics in the early 1980s, and I was so when I accepted to work first at a discounted rate, then for free part-time as PM/BA on Government agencies projects in Rome in 2004-2006 (being centre-left, I had no qualms for the State to work also at a personal revenue loss for a centre-right government, as the projects seemed aiming for a common good, not just a tribal win).
Well, I had chosen to be an expat once in late 1990s, then invested to prepare to return in the early 2000s, aiming to apply in Italy what I had mainly done abroad (and, in Italy, in few locations, but neither in my birthplace Turin, nor in Rome).
What I saw and experienced in Rome was enough to convince me that relocating abroad in the late 1990s was the right choice, due to the business activities I was in (cultural and organizational change, number crunching for business decision support) and the choice not to belong to any local tribe.
How tribal is Italy? When, in the early 2000s, decided that there was a missing link in the information feeding chain from Brussels and local authorities, and prepared a new service, I focused on the segment of local authorities that could make sense,not on their political connections.
So, when a partner opened the door with a political connection from a different tribe that stated that either he got 50%, or would be a roadblock, I simply said to the partner that he should have asked before starting a political affiliation for the project and that, as the prospect was that of a trench warfare on something that I had started, I was going to pull the plug.
The alternative? Would have been to seek protection from another tribe. And, frankly, that would smack too much of a mafioso environment- so, I really did pull the plug.
Even before my return to Italy in 2012, knew that, unless you had tribal resources at your disposal, going through such a quarrel would be worth of a Don Quijote (and, over they years, saw many assuming that our legal system was not tribal end up paying the price, and instead others acknowledging reality surviving anything anywhere anytime).
Disclosure (that I will repeat in different ways few times in this article): even before I attended the first event organized by the Italian section of the Jeunesse Européenne Federaliste in 1982, I believed that the "Europe" should extend from the Atlantic to the Urals, and down to the Black Sea.
So much that, when after the elementary school,in what in Italy was the called "scuola media" (three years, roughly 11 to 13), had to sketch something as an exercise for arts, used my then decent skills in replicating objects by drawing by looking at a map showing states in Europe (with was in the second half of the 1970s), and... sketched a whole map of the continent, without boundaries, just a single green hue covering all the "geographical" Europe.
Not because I have now (or had as a kid) nostalgia of the Roman Empire- as I was told repeatedly foreign contacts who interacted with my fellow Italians, eventually we in Italy state "but we had the Roman Empire".
Whenever I heard somebody say so, my standard reply is that with the current attitude of Italians, we would never had a chance to build the Roman Empire, we just retained some of the distortion of the Roman Empire (endemic corruption that years ago newpapers reported having turned into micro-corruption).
Anyway, we retained the "tribal" element that was there in Ancient Rome.
Look at the history of how in Ancient Rome, even under the Roman Republic, there was continuous tinkering with the electoral system to include, exclude, under- or over-weight this or that, as Rome extended first to Italy, then to Europe and Asia plus Africa.
So, our current continuous tinkering with the Italian Constitution and electoral systems is really just another "habit" that we imported from our past: Gerrymandering was part of Roman political life long before was given a name elsewhere...
On my side, at the beginning of high school, decided to have a look at the Constitution of other states outside Italy, as part of my interest on the differences between cultures- and found some interesting elements.
In part that interest was "funneled" by booklets about elections in France that my father, who at the time had a radio broadcast and then also news in a local TV station in Turin, had received as part of a "press package".
There and then, I learned about something so "un-Italian": a long list of incompatibilities for candidates, e.g. restrictions for managers working in the public sector, etc.
I do not know if those restrictions still do apply, but those came to mind both while living in London and Brussels,and after my second return to Italy, in 2012.
As it had not been my choice to return a second time, decided to at least, whenever I had time, take on loan books about the organizational and political history of Italy, as well as more details about the evolution of Italy since I had moved abroad first in the late 1990s.
Let's just say that in Italy, since the unification in 1861, we had a long history going in the opposite direction.
As an example, I shared in the past tidbits about the late XIX and early XX century, e.g. how a Prime Minister, Giolitti, "stuffed" the upper chamber (Senato) with former high-ranking bureaucrats "loyals".
And, for good measure... opposition candidates following the old habit of Ancient Rome "promoveatur ut amoveatur" (promote to remove- in this case, as documented e.g.in this article, sent to the upper chamber to remove a potential candidate against a government supporter for the lower chamber).
That was before the referendum after WWII that turned Italy into a Republic.
Still, last time I checked, in Italy we are far away from those restrictions I saw over 40 years ago as existing in France.
This does not necessarily imply that I subscribe to them being needed or even useful in Italy.
Only: that a bureaucracy and political body could express those rules is something worth considering, when trying to "blend" two countries operationally, notably when Italy, instead, has just the opposite attitude- no beached significant political operator is left without a sinecura, and most actually land a second life into local or national bureacracies, quangos, etc.
Not out of competence, but out of appointment. The best, then, develop competence that makes most forget that they had been "parachuted at the helm".
As I described in previous articles, and will again repeat later in this article, there are cultural and historical differences worth considering.
Nonetheless, the recent crises of COVID and the invasion of Ukraine, with their side-effects (both potentially long-term), are paving the way for a further step in integration.\
But, second disclosure, I do not think that giving a fast-track into the EU to Ukraine and Moldavia (to say nothing about extending to Georgia, an old idea of some in Germany that actually goes back to WWII) is what I mean by "further step in integration".
Yes, I was not surprised by the reactions from candidate States from the Balkans, but in that case too we should not make the mistakes done post-1989.
Hoping that more impromptu choices made on the spur of the moment do not affect the long-term sustainability and viability of both the political and economic future of the European Union design.
This article is obviously again on the two treaties signed by France with two Member States and their potential evolutions and impacts.
But, in reality, if the three largest manufacturing Member States of the European Union were to increase their mutual integration, this would imply reshuffling something more than just their bilateral relationships.
And would require some "managed impacts" within the EU, and on the relationships with other countries and "blocs".
Incidentally: but this would require few more articles (yes, evolving the line of reasoning of an article I shared in 2018, about Italian industrial policy).
As you probably know, since 2019 shared on my Kaggle profile datasets on sustainability, UN SDGs, etc.
It all started by chance: I wanted to update my data skills with R first (from the COVID lockdown also Python and ML), but whenever, since the 1980s, updated on some specific knowledge domain, IT or not, I am used to "dig into a project", i.e. either find or invent (i.e. spend time and money) in something that would make sense (and would be useful) for others.
And while in my mind had plenty of data from my past business activities that I could use as model of reference, decided that would make sense to share what I was doing- not just on my website, but also a "pre-digested data", should others have similar needs.
Hence, needed to use that that were public (nowadays "open data"), maintained and "traceable" to the source (so, I selected reputable sources, not those seeking data to confirm their conspiracy theory), and easy to reach (which excluded those behind paywalls).
And that choice will be useful also for this article.
But now, a short personal detour.
A personal context (short bridging digression)
First, a public service announce: as I posted on Linkedin and Facebook on 2022-06-19, I decided what I will do to celebrate the first million of article readers (not just visitors):
Let s share it...
My expectation was that the articles on my website would reach 1mln in 2025 at least
Then, in 2019, started a data-sharing journey, expanded "courtesy" of the March 2020 Covid lockdown (see the material so far on https://robertolofaro.com/datasets )
Then, #nextgenerationeu and, in Italy, #pnrr , created incentives to publish more analyses, beside thoses associated with #digitaltransformation , #unsdgs , #esg , and overall #sustainability
To make a long story short- the articles readership increased since 2021 so much that I am now over 900k
Hence, a public service announce, that I shared with a friend and few listeners yesterday night in a japanese restaurant in #Turin
The datasets, articles, etc (including those I am working on) will evolve during the summer and...
... converge on the completion and release (for free, for the digital edition) of this book "in public drafting" since the #expo2015 in #Milan
The book draft so far? Well, shared few segments, but, actually, also most of the datasets that I published on my Kaggle profileand elsewhere since 2019 (including the weekly release of the update to the search engine on speeches etc released by the ECB (I worked also in banking and banking-related services around Europe 1987-2007)
Then, another bit of information: I am currently discussing for potential new missions, as completed my latest mission on July 18th, so of course updated my CV in June, as will further update it after completing some "knowledge crossing the Ts and dotting the Is", both on themes related to my latest mission, and on the themes I shared files about.
It is an old habit of mine: as I generally worked as a generalist on various domains but as a specialist in few activities (organizational change, business number crunching, managing multi-vendor projects, programs, negotiations, accounts etc), each mission I learned something new.
Without aiming to become an expert in all the domains I worked in, at the end of any mission I summarize, transfer knowledge, and then... read books or follow webinars, courses, etc that allow me to contextualize or generalize what I did during the mission.
I wrote "missions" (i.e. interim activities), but, frankly, I have always said that I became a consultant by accident, and then kept being one because... my past customers and colleagues or managers asked if I would be interested in yet another challenge.
The upside? This way, started in my early 20s to work directly with senior managers in a variety of industries and "picking their brains", and, as an added bonus, was exposed to multinational businesses in the 1980s- while still today most Italian businesses are tiny, local, family owned and with no external management.
At the same time, as in the early 1980s, also kept an eye on the (organizational) evolution of Italian and European politics.
Let's just say that, while living in UK, was resident long enough that discussed potential opportunities available only to UK citizens (I was told that soon could apply for citizenship).
I would add that, after preparing to return to Italy in 2003, and deciding instead to accept an invitation to resettle in Brussels, it wasn't exactly my choice to return to Italy in 2012.
But since then... I had quite a study on the local society.
Inspired also by what I saw first in Rome, then in Brussels.
Just for fun, few cameos (I shared more and their documentation long ago- see on Facebook, if you are curious>
_how many of you are told in office where you have been at dinner the night before?
_or been invited by a police Prefect to a dinner where you are targeted with questions about your family connections from Calabria, and then asked by somebody who has been observing you from another table all night, suddenly rising to shake hands with your host, impromptu turning toward you while shaking hands with somebody else to ask you what does mean "nichevo"?
_how many of you, as I remembered this morning to a long-term friend, in Brussels were offered to buy a stolen car, "dumped on" young boys and girls to see if you could be caught with that, saw a report to the police after having seen you post stolen from your mailbox disappear, been stalked in Brussels by Italian representative that got the habit of telling you that they had checked in Italy what you had said the previous week?
_probably the most curious element was when an online friend (who, on another social network, was marked as having studied at a policy academy in another Member State), sent a message suggesting to do as a friend under a long investigation had done, i.e. accept a lesser charge, so that all could be spared from the embarrassment of a long unproductive expensive investigation.
So, I have my own perspective on what is the reality of human rights in Europe, if you are an Italian, travel around Europe for missions "word of mouth", and have no tribe vouching for you, just your experience.
But those experiences were useful to understand that I did not really know my country, when I had to return in 2012 courtesy of the Italians inspiring those Brussels attemps (other foreigners in Brussels called it "scorched earth"- but since then, at least in Brussels somebody changed mind, as I routinely had offers via email for roles in Belgium).
You would have to look no further than the city and national library registries in Turin since 2012, to see how many books I read (in some cases, re-read) about Italian history, politics, business, and their overall convergence in society development in Italy: I am foreigner in my own birthplace, it seems.
To cross the Ts and dot the Is on what I missed since I first relocated abroad in the late 1990s (as before 2012 all my contacts with Italy were "functional", i.e. related to specific transactions- more about this later).
The Italian context of "rules design"
I keep following the dictum from Churchill about democracy:
"Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."
(quote from the International Churchill Society website)
But I would add a qualifier: "elective".
And this is also why, since returned in Italy in 2012, routinely keep writing criticizing the "new" trend in Italian politics (yes, I know, not just in Italy).
Which is: unable to accept the complexity that in an elective democracy is the bread and butter of our everyday reality...
...many surrender to "google reality", i.e. as if search results could replace long years of study, research, etc.- and selecting by "like" the élites were a way to deliver better results than the usual "tribal" (i.e. co-opting) approach.
Then, identify a "leader", and stop thinking.
A sign of these times is a habit that, in Italy, and in Europe, should make anybody who knows the XX century history of Europe (not just 1920s-1940s, also the 1990s wars) cringe: most political organizations set the name of their "leader" within the symbol of their political party.
Side-effect: if you identify the "political space" of a political party or organization with a single individual, this then implies that you are accepting not just the usual political compromises that happens whenever there are free elections.
But you accept that those "leaders" would do anything to retain their leadership role.
I will ignore the "Politik als Beruf" (I prefer to translate Beruf as "vocation", not as "profession").
Due to recent reforms, the next Italian Parliament, whose elections should be held in 2013, will be much smaller- hence, less seats.
Curious to see what will happen now that the elections instead are targeted to October 2022.
According to an article published today by Wired in Italy, we will have a smaller number of seats, but using the existing law, called "Rosatellum".
I already shared in 2018 (one of my last articles in Italian) what I think about the Rosatellum, within the article Rosatellum in my mind, where I compared its structure with the Tabula Peutigenriana.
Part of the theatrics you are seeing now in Italian politics is also to create multiple opportunities to "capture nuances", i.e. get a slice of that smaller number of seats.
The new Parliament will be tasked probably with few elements of crisis (actually, crises) management:
_completing the PNRR / NextGenerationEU path
_dealing with the security and economic aftermath of the invasion of Ukraine
_trying to leverage both, plus the collateral damage on European Union institutions due to both crises and their management, to reposition Italy at the core of EU decision-making
_probably, paving the way for some Constitutional reforms
_probably, considering the succession to President Mattarella should he decide an early end of his second term, as his predecessor President Napolitano did.
Personally, I am obviously considering relocating again (as I wrote above, being a consultant was an accident, so, I am still considering resettling).
It might be my personal political choice to consider that turning political parties into "leaders' flying vessel" is a distortion of democracy.
Recently I read an old book that you can also find onlined, the English version of The Power of the Charlatan, and it was an interesting source of few quotes- but will let you the pleasure to read it, as, anyway, the pre-unification Italy appears prominently within the book.
The gullibility of élites in a crisis is sometimes amazing, as their status reinforces their own choices as "just" because they are the source of the choice.
Anyway, I still consider that any elected politician should remember that (s)he is the temporary holder of an office, not a demi-god that defines the boundaries of reality.
Reality should transcend a "simple" temporary office holder- and the continuity of that office should be a higher order.
In an elective democracy, it is obviously always possible to "fix it again", as I and others expected if, as we hoped, Mr. Renzi changes to the Italian Constitution were to win.
Why somebody who dislikes so much "leaders" that see themselves as demi-gods supported that set of reforms, also if I criticized the way it opened the door to a win-courtesy-of-structural-Gerrymandering?
Because, following Italian traditions, it was to be expected that tinkering would begin immediately.
The alternative? Those who said that only if the referendum failed, then real reforms would be possible.
Well... Mr. Renzi decided to turn the referendum into a plebiscite (about himself, of course)- and lost.
Did we get the reforms? Well... not really. Apparently, all those wise men (as many of them were men) shouting from their (virtual) soapbox apparently lost interest in reforms after they had taught a lesson to Mr. Renzi.
So, my hunch back then was that it was better a half-botched reform that would need to be fixed, than no reform at all.
The current trend of talking about the "leaders", as if whatever direction they would take were to be right, is generating further risks.
In my view, there is too much ego going around, and the concept of "continuity of the office" is getting blurred way too often, as I saw since 2012.
Blurred how? Of course, mistaking the continuity of the office with the continuity of the office as a specific temporary holder likes it to be.
There is little sense of history going around in Italy
Last summer, released a dataset and webapp reviewing from a structural perspective the law converting an Italian Government Decree into a proper law.
Italy is "tribal" economy, i.e. business and organizational relationships, notably in the national and local public sector, are based on both tribal and family connections.
I know that reportedly Leo Longanesi said that "tengo famiglia" should be added to the flag as national motto, i.e. having a family is a free-all card in any situation where somebody messes up, but, in reality, in Italy, tribe trumps family.
Then, if you are bestowed something from a tribe, it is accepted practice to try to bring into the fold the whole family or, at least, to have some benefits (jobs, opportunities, panem et circenses) extended to your family.
And this is applied with gusto within the public administration (including academia): in other countries, it happens same, I know.
If you are outside tribes, you are supposed to just lie down and live a life that starts in school and end in retirement, as only tribal protection avoids counterattacks from tribes.
But my experience abroad is that the siblings co-opted had a sense of duty, i.e. were groomed for the role, and anyway prepared for that.
In Italy, almost anybody holding an office, no matter how small, builds up in his siblings (at least their kids) a sense of "entitlement", as if they were aristocrats that deserve to inherit the title and the perks associated with it.
Main difference: in order to avoid splitting the estate, in past centuries in Italy aristocrats "appointed" some to be the successors, and shuttled the others to the clergy, or (for men) military, or even some "build up but confined" endowment-based activity.
But when the "estate" is the State, there is infinite capacity to host "entitled" kids and relatives, both directly (as employee) or as suppliers.
It is not uncommon, when reading laws converting decrees, to find the tell-tale signs of tribal dissemination of spoils, sometimes with almost Monty Python-esque effects (say, adding within a law converting a decree on X a clause bestowing grants or career progression on a specific bit of the State bureaucracy- totally unrelated, but useful to extend your tribal connections).
In recent years, a clever gimmickry was to stop altogether to say that a decree was about X, but giving it North Korean-style grandiose titles, and then stuffing it with whatever was needed to curry the favour (or retain allegiance) of this or that tribe.
I will skip the details about the process, but the idea originally was that a Government might issue a decree "bypassing" the Parliament due to its urgency, but then within a couple of months there should be a law "covering" (i.e. sharing ownership and political accountability).
Eventually, if you follow this blog or also followed my articles since 2008 (while I was in Brussels, eventually started publishing for the first time under my name), you know that in Italy, as happened in other domains, the "exceptional" became the "new normal".
Notably since the 1990s, a.k.a. "Seconda Repubblica" (the first one having started after the referendum that decided to turn Italy from a monarchy into a republic).
In the "Seconda Repubblica" the urge to issue decrees as fast as possible, ditto laws, resulted in a couple of additional twists.
While I was living in Brussels, for a critical decree, that was more a collection than a decree, over 90 pages were the "original item".
Anyway, I went ahead, sharing my detailed analysis and translation plus cultural contextualization, and... promised to do the same with the law.
Well, I had to break my promise: as it ballooned to over 300 pages!
Hence, I do understand that in the 2010s and 2020s increasingly Italian Governments made another choice: going "lean and mean" with relatively short decrees, and then, both on the decree and the law...
... create de facto an evolution of the Italian Constitution.
It is not anymore a Tocqueville o "Esprit des Lois" (or even, for those so inclined and quoting him often, Rousseau and his birthplace).
Instead... we have a President, a Government, a Parliament- but the "how" decrees and laws are implemented is into the hands of unelected and politically unaccountable bureaucrats (also if often they are politically appointed or sponsored to their office).
I am not questioning the quality of the bureaucrats (who more than once saved the store when laws gone berserk and detached from reality were released), but I am questioning the process.
Contextualizing means, in my view, two things:
_understanding the "internal" context (e.g. the balance of tribes in Italy or, in my present case, Turin)
_undestanding how this internal context interacts with other.
An element that I had to explain to my foreign colleagues when I supported them in negotiations in Italy: an agreement, even a mere business signed agreement, is never final in Italy.
Unless is part of an overall balance that suggests all the parties involved to stick to what was agreed, it is a common routine to monitor any potential to extract a better deal after, by e.g. "tuning" some implementation measures, either by stretching was is in, or further restraining the scope.
As I discovered repeatedly e.g. in this century, whenever I supported partners or start-ups in Turin: not a single time I received the shares or deferred income agreed, or the full schedule of commissions, etc.
Reason? Being part of no tribe, means that there is no expected fall-back from non-compliance, as if it were a "one-off" event: "sue me" is equivalent here to "fuck off", unless you have access to financial and human resources.
Funny, then, when actually more than once was asked again to support the start-up or partner who had been so "flexible".
But I was not alone: others too, who assumed that Italy is a market economy, looked at the "rule of the law", assuming that it was all that was needed.
Then, I was told how cases dragged forever, with procrastination tactics to turn it into a matter of who had a larger allocation for legal expenses.
Incidentally, I saw the same procrastinations as a consumer, when dealing with some telcos both for myself and on behalf of others.
In my cases, went through a consumer protection ombudsman set up by the regional government- I found puzzling that the agreements included something you would not expect from a consumer protection perspective, i.e. a non disclosure on the settlement.
It is ordinary in case of business arbitration- but the whole idea of consumer protection is to protect the market, and the key point is that individual customers cannot counterbalance a corporate telco.
Hence, a consumer protection approach should actually broadcast issues identified, as there could be more cases (if it is a pattern, there ought to be further cases).
In one of the cases I filed on behalf of a relative, I found a curious application of the non disclosure: compartmentalization.
Or: right after accepting that no amount was due, the amount was actually transferred to credit recovery, i.e. the company willingly transferred a credit that wasn't to a third party as if it had that credit.
Eventually, that too was solved after few more rounds.
But, from a market (and consumer) protection perspective, instead of generating the cost to defend the market rules once and confirm how should work, this approach to consumer rights is not a way to avoid a repetition.
Or: a confirmation that, in Italy, a contract signed is subject to re-negotiation if the balance of power is changed.
The side-effect? After seeing that even a signed agreement did not work, and there was an encore trying to get the same disawowed credit that required more time to be solved, the reaction (not from me) was "the next time will pay to avoid wasting few months of emails, etc".
Organizational bullyism wins.
Out of curiosity, beside the one this week-end, since 2012 when I returned in Italy, and both switched and saw others switch operators, and I saw it quite common- up to the point that, when I was charged for value-added services that I had not requested, I was told that in Italy, you have to say to the operator that... you do not want value added services!
Imagine if that approach were to be followed by your bank, hotel, airline company, restaurant.
Actually, on the latter it happened to me in the early 1990s while on vacation in Italy with my German then-girlfriend: as I had a foreign accent, various places played all the bag of tricks- from bringing what you did not order, to having already wine on the table, to just adding to the bill.
Hence, my American friends vacationing in Italy knew that... they should always check the bills and what is delivered.
Now, if that happens in business in Italy, no wonder if both State and political operators are equally "flexible"- unless tribal balance requires (usually temporarily) otherwise.
The Geist (or Poltergeist) of organizational development
Yes, I am a fan of "Yes, Minister" ("Yes, Prime Minister" once in a while was nice, but overall I liked the former more), but in Italy also bureaucrats, even at entry levels, are traditionally appointed as part of the "spoils system" after an election.
A curious choice: appointing by political patronage somebody that is going to stay there maybe for decades, while the original sponsor maybe will leave office in few years.
Anyway, I referred at the beginning of this section to a previous dataset and webapp: you can read it here.
If you are more interested on the organizational development side, have a look at the timeframe section.
The key point here is simple: if you look at my CV, it is not really important what I did- also, I just included a "sample".
Whenever I was asked to help recruit or assign people to activities, first in political activities, then in the Army, then employers or customers or partners,the CV might be useful, along with the skills, for some roles.
E.g. if you are looking for an expert in security, being an historian or cultural anthropologist might be useful, if complemented with organizational analysis.
But if you specify that you are looking for an ICT security expert, then you have to dig deeper, and do some mix-and-match, e.g. check if the person both "covers" your specific needs, if you have any, and if (s)he is a specialist useful now, or a specialist also able to evolve along with your organizational needs.
Hence, my choice to include just a sample, to keep it short, show roughly the domains worked on, and the learning and relearning paths.
Useful? Probably marginally- but if you worked for decades through word-of-mouth across industries, countries, technologies, cultures, summarizing all that ends up, sometimes, in being asked "but you did not say/wrote that you also..." or, even worse: "how comes that somebody with a background in A has so much knowledge in B / worked in business environment C".
So, when I read a law, in some cases I might be focused on the content, as it is within a domain that I know something about from an organizational or business or cultural development standpoint, in other cases on the structure, to see if the "structural logic" makes sense.
But, in the end, my project/program manager, negotiator, account manager, financial controller, process auditor mind segments converge toward just a couple of items:
_degrees of freedom within the system
Yes, the components of risk.
As I saw in the late 1990s while supporting a negotiation to introduce in Italy a UK-based risk management software but integrating it with the Italian "Centrale dei Rischi"...
...it was a lot of toil and sweat, which included translating in English the functional specifications of the Italian element...
...which implied having to toy with conceptual data: and my first proposal to expand the value was to add a contextualization by industry, location, etc.
It might seem intuitive,but e.g. it requires a whole string of elements to make it work- not just data, but relevant data and a network of people able to digest what is relevant to them, as specialists, into something that can actually be collated into a coherent (and understandable) whole.
Then, add context and capacity planning.
I know- it is boring: and probably why, in 1983, decided to steer away from elective politics in Italy, after working at 18 in my first set of campaigns (long story, but different fields)- in Italy, already back then was common also for "technical experts" to take a leave from reality, in the continuous endless quest of a seat (also because a seat in Parliament pays better than most jobs that many would have any chance to get).
But I am used to either realize, or help to converge those who, collectively, can realize something that invidually they would be unable to deliver.
So, unfortunately, you have to assess reality without melodrama, and then work with others to stretch the boundaries.
If you stop just at the assessment, you end up doing the other extreme of those who ignore reality: project what you will have as if it were a fair representation of the future.
With that attitude, we would still be hunters and gatherers.
From the Elysée Treaty of 1963 to the Quirinale Treaty
A Treaty between two countries might be focused on specific items.
Or might involve multiple parties with different roles, as it was recently proposed to have Turkey, United States, United Kingdom to deliver a kind of "oversight" of a neutral Ukraine (something that, from a European standpoint, would not make that much sense).
As an example that might soon be relevant (and was actually already invoked repeatedly in 2022), consider the Dardanelles, signed by Australia, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Japan, Romania, Yugoslavia, Turkey, United Kingdom, Soviet Union in 1936, with a requirement for Turkey (the, say, "facility manager") to inform the other signatories if warships notified a request of transit.
I described some "cultural" elements of contracts and agreements in Italy as I (and others) observed for a long time (and I just skimmed the surface of what I collected e.g. just in this century), albeit I focused here on the last decade, as things do evolve.
The treaty between France and Germany, and the more recent one between France and Italy, represent different times, different contexts, and different relative roles.
I routinely use tag clouds- which are representing not the content of a text, but the frequency of the use of words.
Of course, this implies that whenever writing something I have to consider repetitions and reduce the number of synonyms, to ensure that specific "key words" are highlighted.
In turn, this implies that sometimes you have to barter prose for legalistic hammering down of the same word over and over- something potentially boring.
Yet, I was used to see this approach well before it became common to see "tag clouds" around.
As an example, when in the early 1980s read the first documents from Brussels and Strasbourg at 17 as part of my political activities,I got used to the "legalistic/political" writing style that most often did the same- repetition as a way to both highlight and build a common communication ground.
There are tools more advanced that would allow both, but require more time and tuning- until will have completed a small project on my own content, will stick to tag cloud and "tag cloud"-friendly writing style.
Actually, both the Search within articles and Search within books look as tag clouds, but "harmonize" content respectively across articles and books.
Anyway, this is the "tag cloud" of both treaties- I will let you guess which one is the one with Germany, and which one is the one with Italy (don't cheat by looking at the link:
1963- Berlin Wall times.
Recently read a book collecting articles published by an Italian newspaper around 1989, i.e. the time immediately before, during, and after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The 1963 Treaty? As its incipit says, it was about reconciliation between France and Germany, after two World Wars.
And started listing the organizational side, i.e. who what when,
e.g. the frequency of coordination meetings, starting from the President and the Chancellor (at least twice a year), to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs (at least once each quarter), to high ranking officers from the same ministries (once a month), to other coordination structures.
Interesting also the coordination of both foreign aid initiative and convergence on defense (both on strategy and tactics, as well as equipment and potentially civil defense).
The treaty, in just 4 pages, covered also the mutual recognition of titles, and other coordination issues.
The Quirinale Treaty, at 14 pages, has a different approach.
It starts with a long preamble about what decades ago used to be called "mediterraneità", i.e. the shared cultural and historical interest on the Mediterranean Sea.
Then, a long list of detailed items where a stronger cooperation is agreed to- but the overall feeling is different.
While the Treaty with Germany seemed an operational agreement for integration, similar to those was involved in sometime in business, the one with Italy keeps going on and on with "cooperation".
But the first real frequency schedule to develop that coordination is outlined at page 7, an annual meetingat the Minister level which is actually a forum, more than operational (art 5. c. 5):
Forum de concertation entre les ministères chargés de l'économie, des finances et du
déeloppement économique est institué Il se réunit annuellement au niveau des ministres
compétents afin d'assurer un dialogue permanent sur deux segments distincts : le premier sur
les politiques macro-économiques ; et le second sur les politiques industrielles, sur le rapprochement des tissus économiques des deux pays, sur le marché
intérieur européen et sur la
coopération industrielle qui implique des entreprises des deux pays.
The Quirinale Treaty sounds more like a task list than an operational agreement.
But, anyway, if you go down to page 10, you can find the same mutual recognition of academic titles that was within the 1963 Treaty, but, again, within the framework of a task list to obtain the convergence of the academic systems, while at page 11 identify a potential other area of cooperation, "mettent en place un programme de volontariat franco-italien intitulé 'service civique franco-italien'.
Elles examinent la possibilité de lier ce programme avec le Corps européen de solidarité. "
Another interesting point, within article 11, is
renforcent leur coopération bilatérale par l'organisation de rencontres régulières et par la réalisation de projets communs entre leurs administrations publiques sur des thèmes d'intérêt partagé, notamment en matière de formation, de numérique, d'attractivité de la fonction publique,
de parité femme/homme, d'évolution des organisations du travail et de conciliation entre vie personnelle et vie professionnelle.
Actually, there is a stronger operational element, as you would have expected from a Treaty signed by two EU Member States after the #NextGenerationEU:
Les Parties favorisent, notamment par des consultations régulières, la mise œuvre d'une
politique industrielle européenne ambitieuse, visant à renforcer la compétitivité de leurs entreprises au niveau mondial et à faciliter l'accomplissement de la double transition numérique et
écologique de l'économie européenne. Elles œuvrent &agreve; la réalisation de l'objectif d'autonomie
stratégique de l'Union européenne, à partir des secteurs des transitions &eacuute;nergétique et num&eacte;rique, des nouvelles technologies, de la santé, de la défense et des transports, notamment en
promouvant des projets soutenant les emplois et les acteurs économiques locaux.
When writing about the national recovery and resilience plans associated with the #NextGenerationEU and #RRF, most quote the amounts, percentages, etc.
But there is an interesting element that, considering the Treaty, should be part of the "convergence".
The staff assessment from Brussels of each national plan included also a mapping vs. the progress on the UN SDGs- and in 2019 shared on Kaggle a sample.
I think that each and any initiative to "operationalize" the Quirinale Treaty should start from those "cultural/organizational" characteristcs I shared above, that are actually part of the reason not just of the Italian State staggering debt (now compounded by a potential 3% spread vs. other EU Member States debt, i.e. worse than Greece), but also of Italy's positioning on the UN SDG progress.
In the next article: digging into data.