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Ukraine at the centre of Meloni’s European agenda

The Italian PM announced her candidature for the European Parliament and reiterated Italy’s commitment to supporting Ukraine. At the same time, she called for a European industrial policy in the defence sector

The speech. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni addressed the general conference of her party, Brothers of Italy (FDI), launching the political campaign ahead of the European elections scheduled for 6-9 June. During her speech, the PM announced that she would be running for the European Parliament as the head of her party’s lists in every constituency.

  • The move is intended to boost the party’s vote, as she plans to decline the post once elected and retain her seat in the Italian Parliament. 
  • Other party leaders, such as Democratic Party’s Elly Shelin, Forza Italia’s Antonio Tajani and Lega’s Matteo Salvini, have also adopted this of standing as the head of their respective lists in order to win as many votes as possible.
    • Former PM Giuseppe Conte, the leader of the Five Star Movement (M5S), has decided not to run.

It’s all about Ukraine. During the speech, PM Meloni spoke at length about her government’s stance on Ukraine, highlighting Italy’s military and economic support for Kyiv during her year and a half in office, in line with NATO allies.

  • She claimed that “Italy has honoured its international commitments and is therefore respected for having the courage to take the right decisions, even when they are politically unpopular,” as in the case of military aid.
  • Ms Meloni strongly criticised Mr Conte for being critical of the Italian supply of military equipment to Ukraine and for being vague on the issue. 

Ukraine and European defence. PM Meloni also discussed the geopolitical impact of the conflict in Ukraine and touched upon the topic of European defence, which will be one of the central topics on the agenda of the upcoming European Commission. 

  • Opening to a common European strategy, she pointed out that “It is essential to accelerate towards a common industrial policy in the defence sector, to increase collaboration between our national champions in a logic of European sovereignty.” She concluded, “Freedom and security have a cost, and to have peace on our borders, we must be able to exercise the necessary deterrence.”

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