(Bloomberg) -- President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Mario Draghi are turning the page on several years of tense relations between France and Italy with a new treaty forging cooperation on everything from space launchers to fiscal policies.
With Macron set to arrive in Rome on Thursday, French and Italian jets performed a joint acrobatic display over the city. Later in the evening, a sumptuous state dinner is planned under the painted ceilings of the presidential Quirinal Palace.
That residence will give its name to the treaty the two leaders will sign on Friday, an accord which envisages regular bilateral meetings, according to a draft seen by Bloomberg.
The events mark the biggest demonstration yet of the close bond that’s developed over the past nine months between Macron and Draghi. Europe’s two pre-eminent statesmen are positioning themselves to wield more influence over European Union policy just as Angela Merkel is preparing to step down after 16 years as German chancellor.
Read More: Macron and Draghi Have Plans to Fill the Void Left by Merkel
About a dozen articles in the accord outline coordination in areas including migration, fiscal policy, justice, education, culture, space, digitalization, green transition and taxation, as well as greater exchanges between diplomats and administrative staff.
The treaty is meant to mirror the Elysee Accords between France and Germany, which was ratified in 1963.
And it is accompanied by a so-called roadmap that details how the two countries will work together on satellites and try to create greater cooperation within the European space industry. That could be good news for companies like Italy’s Avio Aero and French Safran have been competing for the lucrative contract to make Eurodrone engines.
Another section of the roadmap mentions the need for France and Italy to push for an appropriate economic policy mix for the euro zone. This includes contributing to discussions on the future of the European stability pact and promoting further monetary union, possibly through a permanent EU fund.
Draghi and Macron have both made comments over the past year on worrying less about debt and more about investing in long-term growth for European economies.
France was among backers of the EU Recovery Fund, of which Italy is one of the main beneficiaries, and worked to assuage the fears of countries like Germany that the money would be spent well.
Another section of the roadmap focuses on common security and defense strategies in the Mediterranean and Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as migration. It aims to stem tensions that heightened over these issues during the populist government of Giuseppe Conte, which challenged Macron’s vision of greater European integration.
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