Paolo Gentiloni

The Honourable
Paolo Gentiloni
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Assumed office
31 October 2014
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi
Preceded by Federica Mogherini
Minister of Communications
In office
17 May 2006  8 May 2008
Prime Minister Romano Prodi
Preceded by Mario Landolfi
Succeeded by Claudio Scajola[1]
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
Assumed office
28 April 2006
Constituency Lazio 1
In office
30 May 2001  27 April 2006
Constituency Piedmont 2
Personal details
Born Paolo Gentiloni Silveri
(1954-11-22) 22 November 1954
Rome, Italy
Political party Democratic Party (2007–present)
Other political
The Daisy (2002–2007)
Alma mater Sapienza University
Religion Roman Catholicism[2]

Paolo Gentiloni Silveri[3] (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpaːolo dʒentiˈloːni]; born 22 November 1954 in Rome) is an Italian politician, member of the Democratic Party and Minister of Foreign Affairs since 31 October 2014.[4] He was also Minister of Communications during the government of Romano Prodi.

Early life and family

A descendant of Count Gentiloni Silverj, he is related to the Italian politician Vincenzo Ottorino Gentiloni, leader of the conservative Catholic Electoral Union and a key ally of the long-time Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti. He has the title of Nobile of Filottrano, Nobile of Cingoli and Nobile of Macerata.

He attended the Classical Lyceum Torquato Tasso in Rome and graduated in political sciences at the La Sapienza University; Gentiloni is a professional journalist.

Political career

Gentiloni was a member of the Student Movement (Movimento Studentesco), a left-wing youth organization led by Mario Capanna; when Capanna founded the Proletarian Democracy party, Gentiloni did not follow him, and joined the Workers' Movement for Socialism. During those years he became a close friend of Chicco Testa who helped Gentiloni to become director of La Nuova Ecologia ("The New Ecology"), the official newspaper of Legambiente.

As director of this ecologist newspaper he met the young leader of Federation of the Greens, Francesco Rutelli. In 1993 he became Rutelli’s spokesman during his campaign to become Mayor of Rome; after the election, which saw a strong victory of Rutelli against the right-wing coalition led by Gianfranco Fini, Gentiloni was appointed Jubilee and Tourism Councillor in the Rome City Council. He has coordinated numerous election campaigns and in 2002 he was a founding member of the The Daisy party, being the party’s communications spokesman for five years.[5]

Member of Parliament, 2001–present

Following the 2001 general election, Gentiloni was elected Member of Parliament. From 2005 until 2006, he was Chairman of the Broadcasting Services Watchdog Committee; the committee oversees the activity of state broadcaster RAI, which is publicly funded.[6] He was re-elected in the 2006 election as a member of The Olive Tree, the political coalition led by the Bolognese economist Romano Prodi, who had been Prime Minister also between 1996 and 1998. After the centre-left's victory, Gentiloni served as appointed Minister for Communications in Prodi second government from 2006 until 2008.[7]

Gentiloni was one of the 45 members of the national founding committee of the Democratic Party in 2007, formed by the union of the democratic socialists Democrats of the Left and the Christian leftist The Daisy. He was re-elected in the 2008 general election, which saw the win of the conservative coalition led by Silvio Berlusconi.

On 6 April 2013 he ran in the primary election to select the center-left candidate for Mayor of Rome, arriving third after Ignazio Marino, who will become Mayor and the journalist David Sassoli.[8]

Gentiloni was elected again the Chamber of Deputies in the 2013 general election, in the centre-left coalition Italy. Common Good led by Pier Luigi Bersani, Secretary of the PD.

In 2013, after Bersani's resignation as Secretary, Gentiloni supported the young Mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi, in the primary election.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, 2014–present

Gentiloni with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Rome, 2014

On 31 October 2014 Gentiloni was appointed Foreign Affairs Minister by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi; Gentiloni succeeded Federica Mogherini, who became High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.[9] He took office two months before Italy's rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union ended in December 2014.[6]

At the time of his appointment, Gentiloni had not been mentioned in political circles as a candidate. Renzi had reportedly wanted to replace Mogherini with another woman, to preserve gender parity in his 16-member cabinet. Also, Gentiloni was not known as a specialist in international diplomacy.[6]

On 13 February 2015, during an interview on Sky TG24, Gentiloni stated that "if needed, Italy will be ready to fight in Libya against the Islamic State, because the Italian government can not accept the idea that there is an active terrorist threat only a few hours from Italy by boat."[10] The following day Gentiloni was threatened by ISIL, which accused him of being a crusader, minister of an enemy country.[11]

In March 2015 Gentiloni visited Mexico and Cuba, where he met President Raúl Castro, ensuring the Italian support for the normalization of the relations between Cuba and the United States.[12]

On 11 July 2015, a car bomb exploded outside the Italian consulate in the Egyptian capital Cairo resulting in at least one death and four people injured; responsibility was claimed by ISIS.[13][14][15] On the same day Gentiloni stated that "Italy will be not intimidated" and will continue the fight against terrorism.[16]

Gentiloni with Boris Johnson and Federica Mogherini in September 2016

In December 2015, Gentiloni hosted in Rome a peace conference with the representatives from both governments of Libya involved in the civil war, but also from the United Nations, the United States and Russia.[17]

Since taking office, Gentiloni has had to confront various abduction of Italian citizens. In January 2015, he negotiated the release of Vanessa Marzullo und Greta Ramelli after they had been held hostage by Syrian terrorists for 168 days.[18] Another high-profile case was the murder of Giulio Regeni, an Italian Cambridge University graduate student killed in Cairo following his abduction on January 25, 2016;[19] Regeni was a PhD student[20] researching Egypt's independent trade unions.[21]

At the 2016 United Nations Security Council election, Gentiloni and his Dutch counterpart Bert Koenders agreed on splitting a two-year term on the United Nations Security Council after the United Nations General Assembly was deadlocked on whether to choose Italy or the Netherlands following five rounds of voting for the last remaining 2017–18 seat.[22]


  1. As Economic Development Minister.
  2. "L'ascesa di Paolo Gentiloni, dalla Margherita alla Farnesina" [Paolo Gentiloni's rise: from the Daisy to the Farnesina]. La Repubblica (in Italian). Rome: Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso. 31 October 2014. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  3. "Camera dei Deputati- Paolo Gentiloni Silveri". Camera dei Deputati - Paolo Gentiloni Silveri.
  4. "Chi è Paolo Gentiloni, nuovo ministro degli esteri". Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  5. Profilo personale.
  6. 1 2 3 Paolo Biondi and Roberto Landucci (October 31, 2014), Italy PM picks Paolo Gentiloni as new foreign minister in surprise choice Reuters.
  7. Giada Zampano (October 31, 2014), Italy’s Prime Minister Names Paolo Gentiloni as Foreign Minister Wall Street Journal.
  8. "Primarie Pd, a Roma stravince Marino: secondo Sassoli, terzo Gentiloni". Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  9. "Gentiloni giura al Quirinale, è il nuovo ministro degli Esteri: "Governo dev'essere all'altezza"". 31 October 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  10. "Italy "ready to fight" in Libya if needed - foreign minister". Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  11. "Terrorismo, radio dello Stato islamico cita Gentiloni: "Ministro dell'Italia crociata"". 14 February 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  12. "Gentiloni incontra Raul Castro a Cuba". Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  13. "ISIS claims responsibility for bomb attack against Italian consulate in Cairo | News , Middle East". The Daily Star. 2015-07-06. Retrieved 2015-07-11.
  14. "Islamic State 'behind blast' at Italian consulate in Cairo - BBC News". Retrieved 2015-07-11.
  15. "1 dead in car bomb blast at Italian Consulate in Egypt -". Retrieved 2015-07-11.
  16. AFP/PTI (11 July 2015). "Italy not 'intimidated' by Cairo consulate attack: Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni". Retrieved 24 October 2016 via Business Standard.
  17. "Heads of rival Libyan parliaments meet in Malta, seek more time for unity government". Times of Malta. 15 December 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  18. Liam Moloney (January 16, 2015), Italy Says Against Paying Ransom for Hostages Wall Street Journal.
  19. "Italian student found dead in Cairo 'killed by violent blow to the head'". The Guardian.
  20. "Cambridge University student Giulio Regeni 'was tortured and suffered burns' in Egypt, claim reports". Cambridge News.
  21. "Italy Summons Egyptian Ambassador Over Death of Student in Cairo". The Wall Street Journal. 4 February 2016.
  22. Michelle Nichols (June 28, 2016), Italy, Netherlands propose split U.N. Security Council seat for 2017-18 Reuters.
Political offices
Preceded by
Mario Landolfi
Minister of Communications
Succeeded by
Claudio Scajola
as Minister of Economic Development
Preceded by
Federica Mogherini
Minister of Foreign Affairs
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