Premier Armin Laschet & Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte – Picture by Land NRW, Ralph Sondermann.
Wednesday, 30 September 2020, Rome, Italian Republic: North Rhine Westphalia’s Premier Armin Laschet met the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte for political talks. Conte received Laschet at seat of government Palazzo Chigi.
Hardly any other country in Europe has been so badly affected by the Corona pandemic as Italy. Therefore, the exchange with Prime Minister Conte focused the on coping with the economic consequences after the corona pandemic: “Germany and all other European countries can only be strong if Italy and the South of Europe are also strong”, said Premier Armin Laschet after the meeting as per statement linked below. “The pictures from Bergamo have shaken us all up. They made us aware of the dangers of the virus. But they have also made us aware of the importance of European solidarity”.
The partnership between North Rhine-Westphalia and Italy
After the meeting, Premier Armin Laschet stressed: “North Rhine-Westphalia and Italy have a long friendship. We want to deepen this relationship further. After all, it was many thousands of guest workers from Italy who helped rebuild our country after the Second World War and thus helped Germany to regain prosperity. We therefore owe a lot to Italy and our Italian compatriots”, said Armin Laschet.
More than 140,000 nationals of Italian origin live in North Rhine-Westphalia. There are currently 16 town twinning arrangements between North Rhine-Westphalia and Italy, including for example Cologne with Turin, Unna with Pisa, Bonn with Frascati and Oberhausen with Iglesias.
In March 2016, Düsseldorf entered into a new town twinning arrangement with Palermo. 114 schools in North Rhine-Westphalia maintain international contacts with Italian schools and there are currently 365 university partnerships. There is a broad network of Italian institutions in North Rhine-Westphalia. For example, the Italian Chamber of Commerce for Germany (ITKAM) has an office in Cologne, as do the German-Italian Business Association MERCURIO, an Italian cultural institute and the cultural association Italia Altrove.
The Italian Consulate General is also based in Cologne, another Italian consulate is located in Dortmund
For further information:
Government of NRW: https://www.land.nrw/de/pressemitteilung/ministerpraesident-laschet-uns-eint-der-wille-zur-geschlossenheit-europa
Italian Government: http://www.governo.it
Italian Embassy to Germany – H.E. Ambassador Luigi Mattiolo: http://www.ambberlino.esteri.it