The delegation of the Five Star Movement (M5S) at the European Parliament is losing unity, and risks falling into pieces. At least two MEPs criticized the decision of the party of forming a governing coalition with the Democratic Party (PD). The new Italian government, in other words, caused an earthquake inside the Movement.
Ignazio Corrao and Piernicola Pedicini don’t consider the partnership with the social-democrats a good idea. In particular they are against the choice of Paolo Gentiloni as the next Italian commissioner. It is thus likely that the political move by Luigi Di Maio is going to reshape his army.
Spokesperson of himself
Pedicini is the current spokesperson of the Five Star delegation. It is difficult for him to speak at personal level, because everything he says can be seen as the opinion of the Movement. Nevertheless on his Facebook page Pedicini decided not to keep silent.
“I can’t recognize the Movement anymore”, he wrote. “We are forced to see Italy given to PD in Europe, we are forced to see Italy handed over to the masters of austerity, those who crunched our productive activities because of their European mechanism”.
Pedicini’s words sounds like a farewell to his brothers in arms. There is the impression that his deep disaffection can lead him to leave. “I am sorry, but I cannot accept all this. I can’t recognize my Movement anymore”.
In case of departure Pedicini could remain independent within the Non-attached members or knocking to the doors of other political groups. We will see. In any case the Movement risks to lose an MEP both in the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) and in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), where Pedicini seats.
Corrao against the establishment
Even tougher criticism came from Ignazio Corrao, M5S MEP in Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). In his opinion, the social-democrats got all the main important ministries (Economy, EU affairs) together with all the strategic ministries for Mezzogiorno, the area comprising all the less developed regions (it means Agriculture, Infrastructure, Health). “Are you really happy for the composition of this government?”, he asked.
“I am ironic in saying this, but I am serious in thinking. I congratulate those who have negotiated for the PD, they made count their 18% as much as 40%”. This is a remark clearly against the leadership of the Movement. It also means Luigi Di Maio is suffering a confidence crisis among his troops.
New opportunities but still problems
MEPs from the Movement are still in search of a political group in the European Parliament. Until now they were criticized for their alliance with Matteo Salvini and the League. In Brussels, this is an issue commented by many. The Green, the Liberals (Renew Europe), the United Left (GUE) slammed the door in face of the Five Stars because of their political alliance with the populists. Now things could change. The new partnership can give the Movement the possibility to join one of the existing groups.
Perhaps getting aboard of the liberal group becomes less unlikely. The Greens, even if critic, seemed to offer some possibility. “Italy’s new coalition must prove its credentials beyond ousting Salvini”, said the co-chairs of the European Green Party Monica Frassoni and Reinhard Bütikofer. “Both parties need to guarantee a credible discontinuity with their own former policies and open up towards new talent”. Thus a cooperation appears possible.
The price to pay will be the unity of the MEPs. Somebody could leave. At the same time these new events can hit the Movement in terms of consent. Every leaving person is a politician voted by Italians. It means that the Five Stars are going to lose their electoral weight in Italy.