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Emma Bonino’s party explores possible alliances

Emma Bonino’s More Europe (+Europa, or +E, ALDE-affiliated) is “skeptical” about a possible political alliance with the Democratic Party (PD) and remains open to possible partnership with other Italian political forces such as the Greens, +Europa member of the Italian Parliament Alessandro Fusacchia told this website.

“We believe that Calenda’s manifesto goes to the right direction”, he said, adding that at the same the Democratic Party politician cannot claim to be the only one who has a vision of a brighter future for the EU.

The first centre-left pre-election proposal comes from Carlo Calenda, former Italian Minister of Economic Development during the Renzi and Gentiloni administrations.

Fusacchia, elected in the European constituency [one of the four constituencies for Italians voting abroad], was in Brussels recently to attend the meeting with his voters. On 21-22 March the spring EU summit will take place, and key leaders of More Europe come to Brussels to attend the European Liberals party (ALDE) pre-summit meeting. One day before, they will organize a conference on the way forward.

Greens and former 5 Stars could be taken onboard

More Europe held its general assembly on 17 February. Several motions were adopted. “One of these foresees to continue the dialogue with the Greens and ‘Italy in Common’ on one hand, and with Volt on the other hand”, Fusacchia said.

‘Italy in Common’ is a new force, founded in 2018, as a civic and ecological party, led by Federico Pizzarotti, incumbent mayor of Parma. He won the local elections in 2012 by running as candidate of the Five Stars Movement (M5S), but left this force in 2016 after disagreements with its national leadership.

Volt is also a new force, representing a pro-European political movement advocating a “pan-European approach” in many policy fields.

Being open to former 5 Stars is not directly aimed at stealing voters from this force. “I don’t believe disappointed M5S voters will be our main source of votes”, Fusacchia pointed out. “I do believe that our main source of votes be the group of people who don’t vote at all or expect not to vote”.

Alessandro Fusacchia [personal archive]

Anyway, Pizzarotti was able to convince the founder of More Europe, Emma Bonino, to be a credible possible partner.

Emma Bonino doesn’t need an introduction. A historical icon of the Italian radicals, great promoter of social rights and strong defender of fundamental rights, she was the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection in the European Commission led by Jacques Santer. A strong and fully committed pro-European, she wants to keep contributing to shaping Europe.

Pizzarotti is one option, the Greens are another one. “The political agenda related to ecology is certainly very important to us”, Fusacchia stressed.

Everything has still to be decided, but +Europa has already found a solution for its parliamentary group, in case of success at European elections. “I don’t know if such an alliance will be reached. In any case, elected candidates of More Europe will seat with the ALDE group while the elected candidates of the Greens will seat with the European Greens. Nevertheless, the two will have a common agenda”.

Partners are needed

More Europe has no alternative but to find political partners. So far Bonino’s party is expected to obtain 3.3% of the vote. It means it would be under the threshold of 4% set in Italy to elect MEPs. It is not clear whether the Italian section of the pan-European movement Volt alone could help +Europa to gather at least 4% of the votes. (The Greens and Italy in Common together give major guarantees to can reach the target of 4%).

“I am not sure that in politics 3.3% plus 0.7% makes 4%”, Fusacchia said. “When you make certain political moves you are going to lose part of your own voters, and you are going to catch others”.

Never say Weber

Nothing has happened yet, but never say never. At the same time, never say Weber. Because according to Fusacchia, it is written nowhere that the ALDE group are going to back the candidacy of Manfred Weber for the presidency of the next European Commission.

“I wouldn’t start the lottery of people to be appointed. Everything is still open and ongoing, and I am not sure that things can happen as somebody thinks. Dynamics are all to be determined”.

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