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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs ( or MAE) is the foreign ministry of the government of the Republic of Italymarker. It is also known as the Farnesina as a metonym from its headquarters, the Palazzo della Farnesinamarker in Romemarker. It is headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs - the current minister is Franco Frattini (PDL).

History

The first official manifestation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was called The Secretary of the State of Foreign Affairs for the now defunct Kingdom of Sardinia. The original name was derived from the Albertine Statute that founded the Ministry in 1848. The original location was the Palazzo della Consultamarker in Rome, remaining there until 1922.

The first significant reform came under the direction of the minister Carlo Sforza who reorganized the Ministry around territorial bases. However, this system was later replaced during Benito Mussolini's fascist regime. During this time the Ministry was housed at Palazzo Chigimarker; after a brief period in Brindisimarker durning the war, Cabinet President Pietro Badoglio restored the full services of the Ministry with a ministerial decree on July 15, 1944.

From 1959 the Ministry has been at its current location in Palazzo della Farnesinamarker, which together with the Reggia di Casertamarker is one of the biggest buildings in Italy.

Function

The current role of the MAE are laid out in the laws passed on April 23, 2003 n. 109 which states that the Ministry holds the explicit function of representing and guarding the interests of Italy concerning its political, economic, social, and cultural relations with the world and its direct relations with other states and international organizations. The ministry represents Italy in its implementation and revisions of treaties and international conventions. Within the organization of the European Union, the ministry advocates Italy's positions on councils of foreign politics and common security such as, CFSP, The European Community and Euratom. It cooperates with international organizations on issues of development, immigration, and the protection of Italians and workers abroad.

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