Antonio Carbone is a Research Fellow at the DHI Rome. He previously worked as lecturer at FU Berlin and taught at TU Berlin as well as at the Europa-Universität Viadrina. He spent extended periods in Buenos Aires and at Columbia University for his dissertation on the influence of epidemics on urban imaginaries in nineteenth-century Buenos Aires. He is the author of two forthcoming books Epidemic Cities (Cambridge UP, 2022) and Park, Tenement, Slaughterhouse (Campus Verlag, 2022). With a regional focus on Europe and Latin America, his interests range from global and urban history to the history of science and ideas.
(De)constructing Mediterranean Europe: Italian farmers facing the EEC’s southern enlargement, (1970s–1980s)
Dealing with Mediterranean agriculture and the positions of Italian farmers, the project reconstructs the discussions concerning the Southern Enlargement and its relationship with visions for a stronger orientation of the Community towards the south. In the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Mediterranean productions had a disadvantage if compared with ‘continental’ agriculture and the discussions for the inclusion of Greece, Spain, and Portugal in the EEC became a chance to renegotiate this matter. At this juncture, Italian institutions as well as different farmer organizations found themselves at a decisive crossroads. On the one hand, the enlargement promised to redefine the geopolitical center of the Community and to provide Italian farmers with new potential allies from the Mediterranean area. On the other hand, the same actors feared that, especially the Spanish accession, would have determined a competition for the placement of Mediterranean goods in the common market. The project aims to understand the tensions that arose between the will to protect Mediterranean productions from competition and the traditional Mediterranean aspirations of several segments of the Italian society. The focus on agriculture enables going beyond an elite focus, tracing the hopes and fears connected with the ambitions to stronger links in the Mediterranean area in different social strata. The project asks if, how, and why the idea of a Mediterranean or a southern European community of states, people, and landscape influenced the positioning of different Italian farmers organizations towards the question of the accession, especially of Spain, to the EEC.
Current status and next steps
I am currently working on writing a first piece I will present at the upcoming meeting of the research group in July 2022. The chapter will focus on the position of the Coldiretti – the biggest Italian farmer’s association – on matters concerning the Southern Enlargement. In the next steps, I plan to work on reconstructing the position of the European Commission on the problem concerning Mediterranean products and the accession of Spain and Portugal to the common market. After the first steps of research at several archives in Rome, the Historical Archives of the European Union in Florence will be the next important address for gathering material.