The social-democrats got 6 ‘top jobs’ in the new EP, the League none
UPDATE 5 September 2019
++Please note that the situation described in this article has been little bit changed. On 3 September MEP Giuliano Pisapia, from PD, was elected vice-president of the Constitutional Affair committee. The day after Roberto Gualtieri was proposed as new minister of Economy. The changes have been underlined in the picture on the bottom of the article++.
The great puzzle of the new European Parliament has been completed, as the MEPs elected the presidents and the vice-presidents of the parliamentary committees. All the pieces are in place, and less than two months after the European elections the directly elected EU institution takes shape. Italy obtained the remaining empty places with Antonio Tajani – the head of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) and at the head of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON).
Tajani, vice-president of Forza Italia and president of the European Parliament in the past legislature, is the only Italian of the European People’s Party group (EPP) to have got a ‘top job’ in the internal bodies of the Parliament. He will thus keep being a prominent personality of the Italian troop of the EPP.
“My commitment in Europe goes on”, he said after his nominee. “It will be an honor for me to lead the work of the European Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee”. The commission he is responsible for will deal with dossiers related to inter-institutional relations, institutional affairs of the European integration process – such as the preparation, the start and execution of treaty revision procedures, the application of treaties and the evaluation of their functioning, the institutional consequences of the negotiations for the enlargement of the European Union or for withdrawal from the Union. It means he will deal with Brexit, a very delicate issue.
Gualtieri, from the Democratic Party (PD) was confirmed in the leading role of the ECON committee. He served as president in the past legislature, and he will still be responsible for the management of the parliamentary activity on economic and monetary affairs. That is to say that investments, tax justice, and completing Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) will be at the pivot of his mandate.
Gualtieri’s appointment is certainly due to political negotiations among the different political families, but at the same time is also the right reward for his personal capability and work. Gualtieri’s election confirms once more that he is the most influential Italian in the European Parliament.
For Italy the real European winner is PD
Looking at the overall picture emerged from the huge puzzle of the new European Parliament, the Democratic Party results is the real winner of the European elections. It is true that in the last May elections the Italian social-democrats didn’t get the majority of the votes, but in the new EU institution PD is the party which performed best.
As president of the European Parliament was elected David Sassoli, in what is an unprecedented result since no Italian from the Socialist party got the highest seat before him. Beside them, other four Italians from PD party were elected as vice-presidents – Caterina Chinnici (Committee on Budgetary Control – CONT), Patrizia Toia (Committee on Industry, Research and Energy – ITRE), Giuseppe Ferrandino (Committee on Fisheries – PECH) and Pietro Bartolo (Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs – LIBE).
In total the Italian delegation of the The Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D group) has six ‘top jobs’. No other Italian political party performed so well.
Forget about the League
Despite its great, unprecedented victory in the European elections, Matteo Salvini’s party got no presidencies and no vice-presidencies. Besides the sovereign party was the great home winner, it is still the great loser in Europe. The League brought to Brussels 28 MEPs, nine more than PD, nevertheless none of Salvini’s followers gained the most prominent positions in the European Parliament.
The great ‘debacle’ is explained by the “quarantine line” built up by the pro-EU forces against the eurosceptics and sovereignists. The Identity and democracy group (ID) claimed for itself two presidents and nine vice-presidents positions, but nothing was let to it. Five years ago, at the beginning of the last legislature, the same ‘cordon sanitaire’ was applied for the Five Star Movement (M5S). We could argue if it is fair or not, for the League it is not. Mara Bizzotto, from the League, talked about “a slap to democracy”.
The first time of Brothers of Italy
The last Italian to conquer a ‘top job’ in the new European Parliament was Raffaele Stancanelli, from Brothers of Italy party (FdI), who was elected among the vice-presidents of the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI). It is the first time that the post-fascist party can boast of such a position.