France and Italy signed a new treaty to formalise their relations on Friday, despite the fact that a European Union is in flux.
French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi put pen to paper at the Quirinale palace of President Sergio Mattarella.
Both countries had an aerial aerial acrobatic display by their air forces.
At a press conference, the leaders of the two Mediterranean powers long bound by historical, cultural and linguistic ties emphasised their closeness but also their joint commitment to the wider EU project.
Draghi called it a historic moment, which intends to speed up the process of European integration of the EU. He added that we are advocating for a more democratic, more democratic, more sovereign Europe.
The treaty was signed just weeks before France took over the rotating EU presidency in January, and at a time of change on the continent.
After the September elections, Britain's messy exit and rows between the EU's liberal democracies and their eastern neighbours have roiled the bloc, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel is finally bowing out.
The so-called Qurinale Treaty covers the economy and industry, culture and education, security, cross-border cooperation and foreign affairs.
Macron said the two countries had had difficult moments, which could be a reference to a diplomatic crisis in early 2019 when Italy's populist government publicly criticised the French president.
With the arrival of Draghi, a former European Central Bank chief, the ties have gone from strength to strength and have gone from strength to strength with a new government in Rome later that year.
Draghi thanked Macron for handing over former members of the far-left Red Brigades group that terrorised Italy in the 1970s and 1980s, and their safe haven for decades in France had been a long-standing source of tension.
There has been simmering anger in Italy over the fact that it has been left by European allies to face tens of thousands of migrants from North Africa who arrive on its shores each year.
Draghi said both sides agreed on the need for a shared EU migration and asylum policy.
Macron later had a private audience with Pope Francis, who had a child abuse scandal that engulfed the Catholic Church in France.