2022 ITALIAN ELECTIONS: WHAT WILL THEY MEAN FOR ITALY’S POLITICAL FUTURE?
- RMIT European Union Centre of Excellence/ESAANZ
- Link to Event
Italy’s upcoming September elections are the consequence of four years of unstable government and varied coalitions present in the Italian Parliament. The government that emerged from the previous 2018 election cycle included an unlikely coalition of the 5 Star Movement and the right wing Lega headed by Matteo Salvini. After months of political wrangling, an unknown Giuseppe Conte emerged as the preferred Prime Minister with Salvini taking on the post of Interior Minister. The period was defined by constant tensions with the European Union and the contentious policy of stopping immigrants from entering the country via sea. This government lasted until September 2019, when Salvini withdrew his support from the coalition and the Conte Prime Ministership. To Salvini’s surprise, Conte emerged with a second mandate without the Lega!
The second Conte government lasted until early 2021, when Italia Viva leader Matteo Renzi withdrew support from the coalition and provoked the resignation of the Prime Minister. Finding a candidate able to bring the legislature to a conclusion brought up the name of Mario Draghi. Draghi, having just completed his mandate as European Central Bank governor, was sworn in as Prime Minister in February 2021 to the delight of the European Union and Italy’s capital and bond markets. While guiding Italy through the Resilience Fund implementation and the response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Draghi began to lose pieces of his grand coalition. In July 2022, after losing support from the 5 Star Movement and centre right forces, Draghi resigned as Prime Minister and new elections were called for September 25th 2022.
With a much smaller Parliament, and therefore trickier forecasting, electoral indications suggest that the two major parties emerging from the elections will be Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) and Partito Demcratico (Democratic Party). If the current political indications hold true, it appears that September’s elections will usher in a centre-right majority, and in all likelihood, the party with the greatest support will be Fratelli d’Italia, headed by Giorgia Meloni.
This outcome, were it to be confirmed, raises many questions concerning what this new governing majority would mean politically for the country. A right wing government in Italy will certainly further challenge the relationship with the European Union, and impact the implementation of the Resilience Fund. Furthermore, what could this result mean for Italy’s immigration policy, for rising inflation, and the war in Ukraine?
Professor Marco Brunazzo, Professor in Sociology, Trento University, Italy
Ms. Jessica Quirk, Monash University and ESAANZ member
Event facilitated by Bruno Mascitelli, RMIT EU Centre
Cost: Free but registration via Eventbrite for both in person and online is essential!