The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

Kingmaker for top EU posts: Conservatives vie for Meloni's favor


Before the EU Parliament is reorganized next year, conservatives are trying to join forces. Giorgia Meloni plays a decisive role in this.

Before the EU Parliament is reorganized next year, conservatives are trying to join forces.

Giorgia Meloni plays a decisive role in this.

Rome/Brussels – Even if the EU parliamentary elections are not expected to take place until spring 2024, conservatives are already positioning themselves to expand – or maintain – their power within Europe in the coming year.

Right in the middle: the Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

The 46-year-old, who has only been Italy's head of state since last October, is not in the starting blocks as a possible EU candidate, but is currently being courted by conservative politicians.

Among the top conservatives who recently met with Meloni are EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen and Manfred Weber (both CSU), head of the European People's Party (EPP).

Both Weber and von der Leyen – who has so far left open a renewed EU candidacy – are said to have had hour-long individual talks with the Italian Prime Minister.

The idea: Giorgia Meloni should be included in a legal alliance that has enough influence in Parliament and the European Council to have a say in the appointment of the European leadership.

Among other things, the posts of Commission President and EU Council President will be filled.

Right-wing alliance in the EU: There is a risk of playing with fire

The EPP - an umbrella organization of centre-right parties in the EU - once ranged from former German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Forza Italia prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The group still controls the Commission and Parliament, but is increasingly losing influence within the Union.

Part of the reason for this is the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) – an up-and-coming EU party that Meloni has chaired since September 2020.

The right-wing extremist Sweden Democrats, the Spanish Vox and anti-immigration hardliners from Italy are part of the faction.

While the ECR is growing, the EPP has suffered losses, particularly in France and Germany.

A right-wing alliance would therefore only benefit the EPP – but if you think of the Republicans' cooperation with Donald Trump, it could also be playing with fire.

However, EPP leaders do not seem concerned at this point.

"There can certainly be an alliance that might be extended to the Liberals," Italian Deputy Prime Minister Antonio Tajani said in early January.

He was referring to the EPP and ECR, as well as the liberals of the Renew group, of which French President Emmanuel Macron is the most powerful member.

Italy is heavily in debt: does Meloni need the EU – and a right-wing alliance?

Asked about a possible collaboration with Meloni, EPP Secretary General Thanasis Bakolas told


that he was "open to anything".

Bakolas said he would like to enlarge his "tent.

I don't understand why I can't play this political game like it's played in any other country.” In the past, however, conservatives have been more cautious about a possible alliance.

They said they didn't want to poach Meloni from the ECR.

Whatever a right-wing alliance within the party would look like: In Italy, Meloni is in charge - and wants to continue to be so.

"Italy has become the laboratory of the centre-right, with the right leading and the moderate members of the EPP dragging along," political analyst Marco Damilano told Italian television.

"Nationalists like Meloni are moving towards the EU - but towards the EU they have in mind," he added.

An alliance with the EPP would be advantageous for Meloni simply because Italy, given its record debt, will need EU support for years to come.

Because power at home is likely to dwindle quickly if Italy's star in the EU sky should sink.

Damilano summed up the situation succinctly when he said being strong in Rome and weak in Brussels "could be deadly" for Giorgia Meloni.


Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-01-25

You may like

News/Politics 2023-02-03T12:06:54.138Z
News/Politics 2023-02-07T16:20:22.433Z

Trends 24h


© Communities 2019 - Privacy

The information on this site is from external sources that are not under our control.
The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.