Home » Meloni-Fiala meeting signals potential ECR passing of the baton

Meloni-Fiala meeting signals potential ECR passing of the baton

The Czech Prime Minister visited Rome, emphasising the strong bilateral relationship and shared views on migration with the Italian counterpart. Their meeting hints at a possible alliance between European Conservatives and Reformists Group for the upcoming European elections, with speculation that the former will succeed the latter as leader. They advocated a coherent EU industrial policy and increased defence capabilities

The Rome-Prague alliance. On 23 May, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala arrived in Rome to visit Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. The meeting served as an opportunity to acknowledge the strong bilateral relations between the two countries and to discuss the challenges of the upcoming political agenda. 

  • Meloni emphasised that she shares Prime Minister Fiala’s perspective on a number of issues, particularly migration policy
  • “We have always agreed,” she explained, “that to manage migration, the priority is to work on the external dimension with third countries and partners. Italy is setting a good example with the Mattei Plan”.

Industrial policy and defence. The two Prime Ministers called for a coherent industrial policy at the European level, backed up by concrete financial resources. The declaration adds to the European debate on whether it can increase the Commission’s spending capacity to support Member States’ industrial policies. 

  • On this issue, Italy and France are aligned on the need for a common European debt, a position opposed by Germany and the frugal countries, which have denied any possibility of such a course of action. 
  • Furthermore, PM Meloni stated that “Europe must become a geopolitical giant” and that this “goes hand in hand with a defence industry capable of meeting the needs and requirements of such a complex international context”.  

What about the European election? The meeting was also a clear sign of the cordial relations between two key figures in Prime Minister Meloni’s European Conservatives and Reformists group ahead of the June European elections.

  • A new majority for the election of the next European Commission President could lead to a strengthened alliance between the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), the European People’s Party (EPP) and the Liberals (Renew). 
  • Notably, Commission President von der Leyen recently refused to rule out the possibility of an alliance with the ECR. 
  • Moreover, it is rumoured that after the European elections, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni may step down as president of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group in favour of the Czech Prime Minister, who would be willing to take over the leadership.  

Subscribe to our newsletter