Giorgia Meloni Strengthens Position After EU Election Victory

Giorgia Meloni’s far-right party achieved a significant victory in the recent European elections in Italy, with early results showing a decisive win. This outcome makes Meloni one of the few EU leaders to emerge stronger after the vote. “Thank you!” the Italian prime minister posted on social media, celebrating her triumph with a V-for-victory gesture.

With half of the ballots counted, Meloni’s post-fascist Brothers of Italy party secured over 28 percent of the vote, surpassing the 26 percent obtained in the September 2022 national elections. Meloni had framed the European Parliament elections as a referendum on her leadership, urging voters to write “Giorgia” on their ballots. In a brief statement around 2:00am, she expressed immense pride in the result, which precedes her hosting of G7 leaders in Puglia. She declared, “I am proud that this nation presents itself at the G7 and in Europe with the strongest government of all.”

This result is a remarkable turnaround from the 2019 European elections when Meloni’s then marginal party garnered just six percent of the vote. Conversely, it was a challenging night for several of her EU counterparts, including France’s Emmanuel Macron, whose centrist alliance was routed by Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally, prompting snap legislative elections. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s coalition also faced a stinging defeat, and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s Socialists were beaten by the right-wing Popular Party.

Political Influence and Future Moves

With increased influence in Brussels, all eyes will be on how Meloni will leverage her political strength. Both Ursula von der Leyen of the centre-right EPP group, aiming for a second term as European Commission President, and Marine Le Pen have courted her. Political analyst Lorenzo Castellani remarked on social media that Meloni could become the best-positioned prime minister in terms of political strength within the EU.

During her campaign, Meloni expressed a desire to lead a far-right victory in Europe similar to her success in Italy. However, tensions between her and Le Pen, who belong to different groupings in the European Parliament, suggest that Meloni may not want to work closely with Le Pen. Daniele Albertazzi from the Centre for Britain and Europe think tank believes Meloni will likely focus on negotiating with the EPP for the next European Commission chief.

Balancing Act and Coalition Dynamics

Since taking office 15 months ago, leading Italy’s most right-wing government since World War II, Meloni has maintained a careful political balancing act. Her campaign promises included restoring national pride, boosting the economy, protecting Christian culture and traditional family values, and reducing illegal immigration. Despite her criticism of the EU “superstructure,” she has worked closely with von der Leyen and gained support from Washington for her strong stance on Ukraine.

While Meloni’s government celebrated the overall success in the vote, her junior coalition partner Matteo Salvini’s far-right, anti-immigration League party saw its support drop below nine percent. Salvini, who had triumphed with 34 percent in the 2019 European Parliament elections, has since been overshadowed by Meloni. Forza Italia, the right-wing party founded by the late ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi, secured around the same amount, as expected.

In contrast, Meloni’s main opposition, the centre-left Democratic Party, had a good night, securing over 25 percent of the vote according to early results, surpassing expectations. The Five Star Movement of former premier Giuseppe Conte appeared to be heading for under 10 percent. While Meloni stood for election herself, she will not take up her seat, as holding an MEP position is incompatible with national political office.

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker