Italian PM Meloni to Run in EU Elections Despite Resignation Requirement

Italian PM Giorgia Meloni to run in EU elections, aiming to unite conservative forces and reshape EU politics, despite rules requiring her to resign as PM if elected.

Nitish Verma
New Update
Italian PM Meloni to Run in EU Elections Despite Resignation Requirement

Italian PM Meloni to Run in EU Elections Despite Resignation Requirement

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni announced on Friday that she will run as the lead candidate for her far-right Brothers of Italy party in the upcoming European Parliament election, support in June. Meloni's decision comes despite EU rules that would require her to resign as prime minister if she wins a seat in the European Parliament.

Meloni stated that her goal is to create a center-right majority in the European Parliament that will "send the left into opposition even at the EU level." Her Brothers of Italy party, which has neo-fascist roots, emerged as Italy's most popular party in the 2022 general election with around 26% of the vote. Recent polls show the party maintaining similar levels of support ahead of the European elections.

The move is seen by political analysts as a calculated strategy to boost Meloni's party at the European level by exploiting its current popularity in Italy, even though Meloni would be forced to vacate her seat in the EU assembly if elected. Italian leaders have previously employed this tactic, with Meloni's deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini running in 2019 despite holding a government position.

Why this matters: Meloni's candidacy in the European elections reflects her ambition to shape EU politics and unite conservative forces across Europe. The outcome could significantly impact the balance of power within the European Parliament and Italy's influence in shaping EU policies.

Other prominent Italian politicians, including opposition Democratic Party leader Elly Schlein and Forza Italia party's Antonio Tajani, have also announced their intention to run, election in the European elections. Like Meloni, they would be expected to vacate their seats if elected to pave the way for runner-up candidates, in compliance with EU rules.

In a fiery speech on Friday, Meloni declared, "It's time to raise the stakes. Let's change Europe too." She expressed confidence in her party's ability to bring about change in Europe, citing its growth from 4% in the 2014 European elections to 26.5% in the last national elections. Meloni also criticized the European Green Deal and the "bureaucrats locked in a glass palace," particularly regarding energy class obligations and the push for electric cars.

The upcoming European Parliament elections are expected to be hotly contested, with Meloni's Brothers of Italy party projected to win up to 24 seats with 27% of the vote, according to recent polls. However, a change in the balance of power between coalition parties could have significant implications for the governing coalition in Rome, even as Meloni's party maintains its lead in voting intentions.

Key Takeaways

  • Meloni to run for EU Parliament, despite rule to resign as PM if elected
  • Aims to create center-right majority, boost Brothers of Italy party's EU influence
  • Other Italian politicians also running, would vacate seats per EU rules
  • Meloni criticizes EU policies, confident in party's growth to 26.5% support
  • Brothers of Italy projected to win up to 24 EU Parliament seats at 27% vote