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'Call me Giorgia': Meloni plans to rally Europe's centre-right in elections pledge

Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni stands on a military jeep flanked by the Italian Army Chief of Staff Carmine Masiello, Friday, May 3, 2024.
Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni stands on a military jeep flanked by the Italian Army Chief of Staff Carmine Masiello, Friday, May 3, 2024. Copyright Mauro Scrobogna/LaPresse
Copyright Mauro Scrobogna/LaPresse
By Giorgia Orlandi
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In the run-up to the European elections in June, Euronews takes a closer look at the Brothers of Italy party leader and the country's prime minister's speech in Pescara.

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The Brothers of Italy’s conference in Pescara was more than a party gathering to launch Meloni’s electoral campaign.

The event marks a key moment in the run-up to the European elections in June, with the Italian prime minister’s address last Sunday providing crucial insight into her conservative leadership in Europe and her EU goals.

At the event, she announced that voters should use just her first name on their ballots. “Call me Giorgia,” she said.

The move is legal, and while many, including her rivals, have criticised her decision, it aligns with her image as a leader with working-class roots who took her first step into politics in Rome’s Garbatella district.

In both her role as Italy’s PM and president of the ECR group, Meloni outlined her vision for Europe. 

Notably, she spoke of Brothers of Italy’s increased support over the years since the last European elections in 2019, while commenting on her ambitions to extend what her party has achieved in Italy to the rest of Europe. 

"We want to do in Europe what we did in Italy ... create a majority that brings together the centre-right forces and send the left into opposition," Meloni said in Pescara in what has since been highlighted as a key statement.

Alliances based on issues, not ideals

A closer look at Meloni’s speech can help better understand what she has in mind. As ECR Co-Chairman Nicola Procaccini told Euronews, "Meloni refers to a spectrum of positions which sees both the ECR and the EPP as the two main axes when she talks about the creation of a majority that brings together centre-right forces."

"Then, some delegations from ID in the right-wing camp," adds Procaccini, "along with others from Renew Europe ... will make up the total number that is needed to reach the majority to vote in favour of some measures."

According to Procaccini, it is crucial to understand that the idea of “majority” within the new 720 seats-strong European Parliament is not fixed and that finding common ground with other political forces remains a possibility. 

"Majorities or minorities form themselves based on the single vote. I do believe that the balance within the next European Parliament will shift to the right," Procaccini said, adding that the EPP and a large part of Renew Europe are already voting alongside ECR, PiS or Viktor Orban's Fidesz. 

"It’s already happening today," Procaccini continued, "not because there’s a deal in place, but based on the issues we are voting on."

And as for sending the left into opposition, "it’s about giving the EPP the possibility to break the bond it has built with the socialists and the greens," Brothers of Italy MP Sara Kelany told Euronews.

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