The EU foreign security narrative often evokes the term “conditionality,” meaning adherence to certain values and norms in exchange for engagement. However, Italy has found that it is the Emiratis that are now applying conditionality on EU and NATO member states. The case of italy is instructive.
Following an arms embargo that Italy imposed on the UAE, the Emiratis responded by evicting Italian aircraft and personnel from a key military base, disrupting their presence in the Middle East. The Emiratis demanded the Italian withdrawal from the Al Minhad airbase, which hosts western military aircraft operating in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, and the Indian Ocean. The last Italian military aircraft left during the first week of July and political-military relations between both countries have continued to deteriotate.