Eni: «Special Agent» of Decolonization.
The Italian oil corporation «Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi» (Eni) took its rst steps on the international oil market of the fties, at a time when this was ruled by the oil cartel known as the «Seven Sisters». Leaded by Enrico Mattei, Eni accomplished the search for oil in distant lands, as the major companies were accustomed to do, but without the support of a former imperial state, like France and Great Britain, or a superpower like the United States. Mattei tried to play overseas using a kind of anti- imperialist manner, providing technological know-how to formerly colonized countries, also giving them political-cultural support when these countries were attempting to combine new national identities with the economic development. As for the domestic political life, Eni found support to its foreign strategy just for a brief moment in the late fties within the Christian Democratic party (Democrazia cristiana), in that political sector known as «neoatlantismo», which was headed by Amintore Fanfani. In this essay I try to trace the lines of this political convergence between Eni and the Italian government aimed at building a «Mediterranean» political role for Italy. A role that still today should represent one of the most urgent issues in the Italian political agenda. Keywords: Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi; Oil cartel; Italian Mediterranean policy; Neoatlantism