Italian Senator Emma Bonino wants her new party PiuEuropa to become part of the ALDE family in the European parliament and get leverage to fight Matteo Salvini’s populist government at home.
The former European Commissioner told Euronews that populists use the European Union as a scapegoat for domestic issues.
"The economic problems that my country is facing - lack of productivity, unemployment, etc, are not the fault of the European but of the national authorities. We are the only member state that has a public debt which is enormous. I cannot even imagine in such a fragile situation what 27 countries, all on their own, could achieve. So, Konrad Adenauer said some time ago that Europe has been a dream for a few, a hope for the many but will become a necessity for all. We are exactly at that, the necessity for all," she said.
PiuEuropa will have observer status in the ALDE for now.
The new formation will organise a congress in January to choose its new leader and a program for the European elections.
One of its members in the Italian parliament explained the political priorities.
"In Italy we are not necessarily 100% sure that we are not moving backwards in civil rights and liberties, so I think we have the duty and the right to protect them and to promote them. I think that civil rights, opportunities and inequalities are the key words that we should put in our agenda," says Alessandro Fusacchia.
The current alignment between Hungary’s Viktor Orban and Italy’s Matteo Salvini was described by many in the ALDE Congress as a major threat to the European Union project.