September 26, 2022

Italy’s New Far-Right Government Threatens EU Unity

This past weekend’s snap elections in Italy marked the end of Mario Draghi’s technocratic administration, ushering in a new era dominated by the far-right. Likely to be led by Giorgia Meloni, the incoming coalition government threatens to fragment the European Union when unity is more urgent than ever. This shift to the right is a harbinger of financial instability in the Eurozone, stalled EU integration and reform, and challenges to the Western response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Italy’s new political leadership should be cause for significant concern to the European Union and to the liberal order more broadly.

Last month, Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi resigned following the collapse of his coalition government. Draghi, a former European Central Bank President who saved the euro, took the reins in February 2021, steering the country through the uncertainty of the pandemic and the associated economic downturn. His stewardship bolstered international confidence in Italy, and he had numerous victories during his short eighteen months in office — for instance, he secured more than 190 billion euros from the EU in exchange for reforms and helped the Italian economy rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, his government collapsed after months of strained relations within the coalition, which ultimately culminated in the Five Star Movement (M5S) rejecting a plan to mitigate the rising cost of living, undermining his political agenda. While Draghi’s mandate was previously set to expire in 2023, this shakeup resulted in early elections, leaving Italy to form its 68th government in 77 years.

Read the full article from The Wilson Center.

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