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No EP group for M5S. Those who promised change are unable to deliver

The leader of the Five Star Movement, Luigi Di Maio, and the slogan "keep going to change, even in Europe". The Movement has no groups, and the party is out of the decision making process [personal archive]

Now it is official: the Five Stars Movement (M5S) won’t be part of any political group in the new European Parliament. What this website predicted came true: the Italian anti-establishment force will seat with the non-attached members (the group of Non-Inscrits, NI). The decision was announced after a last, desperate attempt to find an affiliation. Despite all efforts, no door was open for to the Movement. It became clear that the size of a delegation doesn’t matter, what really matters is the political program, the ideas, reputation, and trust.

The Five Stars were sure that 14 MEPs were a good business card to offer in the negotiations for the new European Parliament. In fact, the number can be an advantage, but it doesn’t guarantee anything. So, the presumption “we are so many, they need us” that the Movement believed could help to form a coalition didn’t work. As a consequence Luigi Di Maio’s “team Europe” will spend the first part of the new European legislature in the sidelines.

The European ‘Caporetto’ for the Movement

During the WWI, the Italian army suffered one of the harshest defeats in the history of the country, known as Caporetto. At this site, the Austro-Hungarian forces sent the Italians away as never seen before. Now the new Caporetto is for M5S.

The Movement had one vice-president of the European Parliament (Fabio Massimo Castaldo), and a co-chair of the committee on Legal affairs (Laura Ferrara). By losing the parliamentary group, the Italian party will lose automatically the right to claim any relevant political position in the European Parliament. Furthermore, sitting within the non-attached members, the Movement won’t have the possibility of getting rapporteurs. The Italian political force claiming for radical changes in Europe, wont’ be able to change anything. And this is already a first big political debacle for Di Maio’s friends.

Nobody want the (Five) Stars

Stars always shine, but it is not the case for the Five Stars. Nobody wanted its MEPs. The last desperate negotiation was with the United Left (GUE), but the Movement was rejected. The fact that M5S tried to play the GUE card clearly shows their predicament.

The Movement is ruling the country with a clearly non-leftist party. Matteo Salvini’s the League is everything but not a Bolshevik force. On the contrary, intolerance, racism, fanaticism and fascist sympathies characterize the Movement’s partner in the government. How credible can it be for such a party to seek an alliance with the leftist forces? Not much, and this is why there will be no space for M5S in GUE.

The Movement tried to build up an alliance and form a parliamentary group with everybody. The Conservatives (ECR) couldn’t welcome the Five Stars because of the veto exerted by the Italian delegation on the Brothers of Italy (FdI). The Greens slammed the door because of the internal “democratic” process of the Italian party. The internet platform Rousseau and the unclear transparence and accountability is a matter of concern for most of the green delegations. 

Chronicle of a Death Foretold

That the Movement was doomed to be alone in the European Parliament appeared to be crystal-clear since the very beginning, when Luigi Di Maio himself started negotiations in uncharted waters.

The leader of the Five Star Movement held a European tour to talk to the leaders of the Greek agrarian party AKKEL, the Finnish political movement Liike Nyt, the Polish party Kukiz’15. These are completely unknown forces outside the national borders, and not so popular even domestically. Di Maio entered into negotiations with parties whose decision-making was very slow, and it was easy to imagine that for these parties reaching the respective national thresholds to elect an MEP would have been a real problem. And it was, in the end.

Since the very beginning the political strategy of the Movement was not of the smartest, and the poor political outcome is there to prove it.

Time for a second chance

The fact that the Movement will start the new European legislature without having a group doesn’t mean things cannot change along the way. But the 14 MEPs will have to work better in order to enter an already existing political family or creating a new one.

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