Next Italian political elections and its broader implications
Fabio Massimo Parenti
Giorgia Meloni, leader of the "Fratelli d'It" party speaks at a political rally in Caserta, Italy, September 18, 2022. /CFP

Giorgia Meloni, leader of the "Fratelli d'It" party speaks at a political rally in Caserta, Italy, September 18, 2022. /CFP

Editor's note: Fabio Massimo Parenti is associate professor of International Studies at China Foreign Affairs University, Beijing, and member of various think tanks. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily those of CGTN.

What will be a possible impact on EU after a new center-right government will take power in Italy? I do think that the main impact on EU is coming from its own confrontational one-sided approach in the Ukraine-Russia conflict, rather than from the new Italian government. In fact, the latter will not change (or reform) the Italian foreign policy guidelines, which is the only relevant index to evaluate "Italian impact" on regional and global affairs.

The new Italian government will confirm a full subordination, if not subjugation, of the EU to U.S. grand strategy. Italy will not offer any significant novelty, but rather a strong contributor to the negative consequences that Europe is experiencing – for example, in terms of energy, economic and financial crises – for its own responsibility or inability to figure out properly its internal priorities.

Lifting sanctions on Russia, stopping arm sales and opening a dialogue with Russia is a precondition to readdress European mistakes. However, nobody in the Italian mainstream political parties seems to be aware about these objective needs.

A "new" center-right government in Italy – likely led by Giorgia Meloni, Fratelli d'Italia's leader – will not have an impact on these dynamics. The main three parties of a center-right coalition in Italy are aligned fully to the so-called "agenda Draghi." It simply means keeping Italy at the Washington's service, namely at its foreign policy priorities, guaranteed Brussels.

Meloni is hyper-Atlantist; therefore, nothing will change in this sense. About EU, if Meloni will try to put in discussion of the Italian belonging to EU, she will undergo repercussions and will last short. However, beyond propaganda rhetoric, said coalition has not articulated ideas and real power, even when in power, to implement "Italexit" policies. 

Meloni will not affect Washington-Brussels axis

Even though it is true that Fratelli d'Italia, Forza Italia and Lega have expressed in the past their skepticism towards Brussels and the Italian belonging to EU, we have to keep in mind that neither in the past, nor currently they have implemented or elaborated anything serious in this direction. It could be possible that they will make some ambiguous statements after taking power, but nothing more than this. 

In addition, Washington-Brussels axis is stronger than ever (even though globally weaker), and it is a geopolitical benchmark in the current Italian foreign policy, not only for center-right coalition but also for center-left. This is so true that during the current electoral campaign, for the first time in the short history of the Italian Republic, nobody is talking about Italian foreign policy.

Neither a relatively new force, such as Five Stars Movement, does not present an alternative to a strong "euro-Atlantic" positioning. In the current campaign, foreign policy debate evaporated, disappeared, in spite of the fact that the world is experiencing huge geopolitical turmoil in the core of Europe, but also in North Africa and Middle East, to mention few events affecting directly the Italian domestic context.

Leader of Five Star Movement Party Giuseppe Conte eats a pizza during his visit in San Gregorio Armeno Street for the electoral campaign of Italian politics elections, September 3, 2022. /CFP

Leader of Five Star Movement Party Giuseppe Conte eats a pizza during his visit in San Gregorio Armeno Street for the electoral campaign of Italian politics elections, September 3, 2022. /CFP

The Italian cultural-political atmosphere during the Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi's term changed radically and brutality towards an anti-Russia and anti-China posture in order to reaffirm a so-called Euro-Atlantic positioning. It can be summarized as nobody in the main parties put in discussion this radical turn since the Draghi's ascent until now. If I am correct in my evaluation, the new elections should not present any significant change. 

The anti-Russia and anti-China approach took off with the Draghi's government, where Draghi was called into power by Italian President Sergio Mattarella and foreign supporters in order to implement a brutal twist in favor of a rigid and ideological "Atlantism."

According to elites in Washington and Brussels, Italy was too open in 2019 towards China and Russia by signing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) MoU with China. Therefore, they organized a counter-reaction readdressing Italy's foreign policy. How did they implement it? Exploiting the weaknesses of Italian political forces and intervening with an Atlantist/Whashington high-level executor of the capitalist world, Mario Draghi.

It is very likely that Mario Draghi, or another similar personage, will come back to power if the new government coalition will not guarantee stability and the "correct" direction according to Washington's desire.

Ironically enough, we got benefits from Chinese investments and trading with China – much more focused on real economy than U.S. and Europe. However, we decided to blind our eyes, neglect cost-benefits analysis, and move into a wrong direction.

U.S. foreign policy – with the Brussels complicity – is irrational and it is producing Italian irrational views, for example our confrontational posture towards Russia. In addition, there is the acceptance of anti-China attitude, following the dangerous and unreasonable new Cold War strategy applied and imposed by U.S. to Europe. Meloni is fully adherent with such an approach.

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