Thursday, September 29, 2022

Von der Leyen’s “threat” to Italy and Meloni (Salvini dislikes it more than anything)

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“We will see the results of the elections in Italy, but if we find ourselves in a difficult situation, as in Poland or Hungary, we have the means”. Commissioner Der Leyen responded to students at Princeton University in the United States, who asked for comments on the upcoming elections in Italy and possible support for the center-right bloc.Steel allies of the Warsaw government and Giorgia Meloni, who is close to the Hungarian leader Victor Orban. Word in our latitudes is read as a threat from Brussels and is evidence that EU leaders are looking with concern at what will happen after the Italian vote.

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Already in recent days, prompted by journalists, the EU Judiciary Commission’s Didier Leinders said that if there was a possible rule-of-law dispute, like the one that has been going on for some time with Poland and Hungary, Brussels would is the same instrument used by these two governments: a mechanism that allows EU funds to be frozen to those who violate the democratic principles set out in the EU treaties. The reality is that this means was used in a timely manner and not sunk the knife. The commission has so far delayed disbursement of his PNRR funds, first in Warsaw and now in Budapest for structural funds. You can do the same in Italy, but what is it based on?

Rule of law mechanisms have been removed in Poland and Hungary, mainly due to judicial reforms (Warsaw) and restrictions on the expenditure of European funds (Budapest). Italy’s centre-right during the Berlusconi administration already had this kind of problem in Brussels. But times have changed and the next president of Italy basically has two tasks. Reforms related to the NRP (also about justice) and the future of the Stability Pact. More than the rule of law mechanisms, at stake are the terms of the Recovery Fund and the now-classic push-and-pull of public accounting and budget manipulation. In a speech at Princeton, von der Leyen declared, “Our approach is to work with whatever democratic government is willing to work with us.” , is an invitation to collaborate rather than hit a wall.

New Visegrad?

Von der Leyen has professed composure, but Meloni’s affirmation, which heads a coalition of moderates, or coercionists, in the minority, is not without concerns. “Melloni’s government is not the first euroskeptic government in Italy, but it will be the first to gain political support in another EU capital,” he said. written Political. The Italian Brotherhood leader was able to carve out a major role in his Ecr, the Conservative Party of Europe. Ecr was founded by the British Tories and is now in the hands of the Polish Pis, the power that leads the Warsaw government. Also among the ECR are the Swedish Democrats, who recently became the first political party in favor of Stockholm’s new centre-right government. Not forgetting Spain’s Vox, a political party not coincidentally mentioned by Meloni recently, has come to a growing consensus on Iberian soil, to the point of foreshadowing a possible alliance with the moderate PP.

Advancing New European Rights

An alliance in the Council between Poland, Italy, Sweden and, in the near future, Spain could indeed create a power bloc that could determine political choices in the EU. Especially if Hungary joins the club. There used to be Visegrad, an alliance between Warsaw and Budapest with “little” Slovakia and the Czech Republic, but the schism between these countries over Russia has led to Frozen at the moment. But unlike Visegrad, an unprecedented blockade between the countries of Southern, Eastern and Northern Europe would have devastating effects on the EU’s political balance. A vote to elect members of the European Parliament will take place in May 2024, with Ecr, along with sovereigns Salvini and Marine Le Pen, to obtain the numbers to determine the new leader of the European Commission. I can. Something von der Leyen doesn’t want to give up.

Or the new center-right?

But the advance of conservatives isn’t necessarily bad news for von der Leyen himself. The former German Defense Minister is part of the European People’s Party (EPP), which has always been the backbone of the Brussels government alliance. The “Ursula Majority”, made up of popular Social Democrats and Macron’s liberals. And the contact between EPP and Ecr has long been in an advanced stage. The two parliamentary groups collaborated on important papers in Strasbourg, especially when they found valid allies of conservatives, especially on the issue of the Green Deal. Balancing the demands of ecologists and left-of-center with those of industry. Moreover, in the midst of the Ukraine and energy crises, Poland was the strongest supporter of anti-Putin sanctions, and Swedish Democrats hailed the start of Stockholm’s NATO accession process as a success.

There are common grounds upon which European moderates and conservatives can build alliances. EPP leader Manfred his Weber is said to have wished to meet Meloni during his trip to Rome. Roberta Mezzola, a source close to the President of the European Parliament as well as a major supporter of the EPP, confirms that her relationship with the leader of the Italian friars is excellent. Raffaele Fitto, a former Berlusconian minister who moved from the EPP to the Ecr when the FdI was a small party with no European representation, could also be one of the ‘bridges’. A few years later he became co-chair of a conservative parliamentary group.

These good relationships could get even better, but they also depend a lot on what Meloni decides to do. Look to Victor Orban. In the first case, your government could find a way to negotiate in Brussels without reaching a dramatic stalemate (as we have seen, sovereign debt dangerous as it affects public debt such as yields). In the second case, the von der Leyen Commission could come up with that “tool”. Perhaps this is the message to Rome behind the German leader’s statement about Italy. And it is perhaps precisely for this reason that the strongest reaction in our latitudes came from the League, which sought an apology from von der Leyen. EPP) sirens may convince Meloni to put him in quarantine. In Europe, like Italy.

Source: Today

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