In recent days in Italy a new government has been formed. It is chaired by the former president of the ECB Mario Draghi and has broad support from the majority of the Italian parties ranging from the Left to Matteo Salvini’s League.
The only party that has not joined the new government is Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy (Meloni is also the current president of the ECR group). Her choice has created a great debate on the Italian Right, but I believe that it can be seen as the right decision.
Giorgia Meloni has positioned herself as a leader who stands for uncompromised beliefs and policy coherence. She has made the motto “never with the Democratic Party and never with the Five Star Movements” her strength and by disavowing herself, she would risk losing much of her support. Secondly, there must always be an opposition group in a functioning democracy that monitors the work of the government. Finally, not all centre-right voters are convinced that support for Draghi is the right decision and in the long run, Meloni’s choice could have serious reward.
Until a serious presidential reform is implemented (a historic cause of the Right and its noble father Pinuccio Tatarella), anyone, even a prominent figure of undisputed value like Mario Draghi, will have to deal with divisions within the Parliament.
It is undoubtedly important that Giorgia Meloni’s opposition is responsible and avoids extremist choices, in line with the constructive political-cultural decisions that culminated with her election as president of the European conservatives. This constructive approach was epitomised by her as, after two rounds of consultations, she submitted a series of concrete proposals that she and her party would support. These ideas ranged from health to economic issues, to the management of the Covid recovery fund and immigration.
Acting like an opposition party from the pre-Covid world would be wrong. Meloni is aware of this and she underlined this point in a letter to the newspaper “la Repubblica” – the need for a better Europe, capable of concentrating its efforts on important subjects on which it can truly offer added value.
As president of the ECR, she has underlined the need for a confederal Europe, taking up the words of Roger Scruton who referred to the “true Europe” based on a common cultural identity and historical and cultural values even before economic or political values.
Meloni outlines a conservative opposition that is above all credible. It is no coincidence that of the 44 parties that are part of the European conservatives there is not one that is in government with the federalist and global left.
Over the years, the Leader of Brothers of Italy has demonstrated her political abilities by opening up to new voters and embracing an important political-cultural tradition such as conservatism. A continuation of this and principled opposition could represent an opportunity for further growth for Fratelli d’Italia.