Italy-Turkey, agreements and understandings: from driving license to defense industry

It is the ‘dish’ of the intergovernmental summit, underway in Ankara and led by Turkish President Erdogan

Two agreements, five protocols and other technical arrangements. This is the ‘dish’ of the Italy-Turkey intergovernmental summit, underway in Ankara and led by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This is the summary of the signed agreements, ranging from the defense industry to the recognition of driving licenses, passing from political consultations between foreign ministries to scientific cooperation agreements.

Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Driving Licenses for Conversion Purposes: The Agreement, consisting of twelve Articles, intends to facilitate the circulation of Italian and Turkish driving license holders in the territories of their respective countries, allowing the Parties to recognize and convert the licenses issued by the Counterparty with a national model, at the request of the license holders legally resident in the territory of one of the Parties, without any theoretical or practical examination. Responsible for the implementation of the Agreement is the Directorate General for Motorization, for services to citizens and businesses in the field of transport and navigation, of the Department for Sustainable Mobility, while the conversion procedures of individual foreign driving licenses are , carried out at the peripheral offices open to the public, of the Civil Motorization Offices (UMC), present throughout the Italian territory. A List of recognized driving licenses, a Conversion Form, Equivalence Tables, images of the models of recognized driving licenses are attached to the Agreement.

Furthermore, since Turkey is not among the non-EEA countries that the EU considers adequate in the protection of personal data governed by the GDPR 2016/679, a “Discipline for the transfer of personal data between the competent authorities” is attached to the Agreement to align the processing of data of applicants for conversion to the provisions of the RGPD (EU) 2016/679. The Agreement will be signed by the Minister of the Interior Luciana Lamorgese and the Turkish Minister of the Interior Suleyman Soylu.

Agreement on the Mutual Protection of Classified Information in the Defense Industry: The Agreement on the Mutual Protection of Classified Information in the Defense Industry consists of 18 articles and aims to ensure the security of classified information exchanged between the Parties in the context of industrial development and military procurement activities.

Each Party undertakes to protect the classified information received from the other Party on the basis of its national sector legislation and to process the information acquired by applying the security measures provided for by their respective regulations, prohibiting the transfer of classified information to third parties without the prior consent of the counterpart.

The Agreement also defines the methods of reproduction, translation and destruction of classified information, as well as the procedures for the exchange of visits between the Parties or between companies under their jurisdiction involving access to classified information. With reference to the protection measures of personal data, the sector legislation of the security sector (DPCM n.4 / 2020) does not require the prior acquisition of adequate guarantees in the event of transfer of such data to third countries deemed “inadequate”, that is not belonging to the European Union or the European Economic Area. The Agreement will be signed by Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini and the Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar.

Memorandum of understanding on political consultations between foreign ministries: The Protocol arises from the fruitful cooperation between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries and, consisting of 6 paragraphs, has the aim of institutionalizing cooperation, introducing structured consultations between the Italian and Turkish Foreign Ministries, which will hold regular contacts at the political level and administrative, including regular bilateral meetings between Foreign Ministers and Senior Officials, with the aim of developing and deepening their cooperation at bilateral and multilateral levels. The protocol will be signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio and the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Memorandum of understanding between the Maeci training unit and the Turkish Mae diplomatic academy: The Protocol, which consists of 7 paragraphs, aims to institutionalize and further develop cooperation between the Foreign Ministries of the two countries in the training of their respective diplomats, in the field of diplomacy and through the exchange of information on the law. international, diplomatic law and other relevant academic disciplines. It is possible to organize lectures or presentations by officials as part of the training programs, even in remote or hybrid mode. It is also possible for diplomatic officials to participate in the training courses of the other Participant, even remotely. The protocol will be signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio and the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Joint declaration of scientific cooperation: With the Declaration in 5 articles, the parties undertake to restart bilateral scientific cooperation, starting, within the framework of the Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement of 21 February 2001, to negotiations aimed at the conclusion of an Executive Protocol to support joint projects of research, development and innovation, to be selected through Call for proposals. The Declaration also commits the parties to give priority to joint projects in areas such as medical sciences-energy transition and sustainable mobility-prevention of natural disasters-circular economy-sciences and technologies applied to cultural heritage. The declaration will be signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio and the Turkish Minister of Science and Technology Mustafa Varank.

Memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of civil protection: the Protocol, which consists of 6 paragraphs, introduces an agreement between the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic – Department of Civil Protection and the Authority for the management of disasters and emergencies (AFAD) of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Turkey in the field of civil protection, establishing general guidelines for starting and developing a collaboration program in the fields of forecasting, prevention, mitigation and contrast to natural or anthropogenic disasters that occur in the territory of the two countries. The protocol will be signed by the Ambassador of Italy in Ankara, Amb. Giorgio Marrapodi. We are awaiting confirmation who will sign on the Turkish side.

Memorandum of understanding in the field of sustainable development: It consists of 10 paragraphs and aims to strengthen existing bilateral cooperation on environment and sustainable development. It provides for the launch of a series of joint initiatives in areas that include, among other things, the fight against climate change, the protection of biodiversity and the reduction of environmental degradation. Also included are the areas of integrated coastal zone management and the reduction of marine pollution by hydrocarbons, the sustainable management of forests, water resources and waste. The transfer of technologies in the field of renewable energy is also significant. The protocol will be signed by the Minister of Ecological Transaction Roberto Cingolani and by İbrahim Şenel, President for Strategy and Budget at the Presidency of the Republic (the competent structure for sustainable development).

Memorandum of understanding on micro-small and medium-sized enterprises: Proposed by this Ministry for Economic Development, it consists of 10 articles and has the aim of contributing to economic development and bilateral commercial cooperation, deepening the spaces for collaboration between Italian and Turkish Micro-small and medium-sized enterprises, while strengthening them competitiveness in global markets. To this end, the Protocol provides, among other things, for the sharing of information, data and experiences between companies and the organization of business trips to encourage commercial relations and the formation of joint ventures. The protocol will be signed by the Minister of Economic Development Giancarlo Giorgetti and the Turkish Minister of Science and Technology Mustafa Varank.

Letter of intent on the partnership between Med Dialogues and the Antalya Diplomacy Forum: The letter proposes, in ten points, to establish a collaboration between the two Fora, starting with the next editions, defining the terms of an annual and renewable collaboration program from year to year. Activities planned include the exchange of expertise, the organization of bilateral and multilateral debates, consultations, information and data sharing, publication and distribution of media activities. The letter of intent will be signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio and by the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu.

It is also possible that the CEO of Alstom Italia, Michele Viale, and the Turkish Minister of Transport, Adil Karaismailoglu, will sign a MoU relating to the possible supply by Alstom Italia to Turkey of 96 high-speed “Pendolino Avelia” trains produced in the factories in Savigliano (Cuneo) for a value of approximately 2 billion euros (supply which, however, could increase up to 200 trains in the future as Turkey is expanding its HS lines). This MoU, proposed by Alstom Italia in recent weeks to the Ministry of Industry, would set the stakes of the commercial proposal (including the localization percentages) and would establish the timing within which Alstom Italia and the competent Turkish authorities will have to refine the negotiations to reach the it is desirable to sign the actual contract. However, this last chapter is still being defined, the final terms of the agreement will only be understood in the next few hours.