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Matteo Renzi: Why we need Renew Europe in Italy

We report this morning’s editorial by Matteo Renzi, Italian senator, former prime minister, president of Italia Viva, in Italian newspaper Il Riformista on the occasion of the Renew Europe summit in Rome.

A year from now we will vote for the European elections.

Italian commentators are already imagining what will happen to the tightness of the Meloni government, what the power relations between the majority parties will be, what will happen to the executive. And already the analyses begin about the impact of the Europeans on Elly Schlein’s new course, on the holding of the Five Stars, on the future of the Third Pole.

In Florentine I would say that these are all bischerate. Minor things, in short. Because this time the European elections are important — for Europe, not for anything else. We are in the habit of considering the renewal of MEPs as little more than a big certified poll to understand internal power relations.

But the truth is that on June 9, 2024, we will be playing with the future of Europe. Don’t believe it? Look at the reality.

Chinese influence is growing on all dossiers, from Taiwan to the Arab world to the Silk Road. The United States remains the bastion of the free world, but it is experiencing a profound weakness in its own internal democracy. South America sees a renewed Brazil flirting freely with half the world, from Washington to Beijing. Africa confirms itself as the great promise yet to blossom, but demographically within a generation Nigeria alone will outnumber the entire European Union. India is driving the growth of the planet, growth that is not just demographic. And Russia, well, Russia missed its date with history with the criminal decision to invade Ukraine.

In this chaos our generation, raised with the thought of the “end of history,” has a responsibility today.

Do we want to make Europe play a role or are we content to see it on the bench?
If Europe wants to play a leading role, it must give strength to the reformist and democratic ideal, rooted in communitarian personalism and the sound pro-European tradition, and drawing on giants such as Alcide De Gasperi, Luigi Einaudi and Altiero Spinelli. Giorgia Meloni is attempting an ambitious operation: to bring together the conservatives of the far right and the populars and build a self-sufficient majority on the right. I don’t know if she will succeed. But I do know that the only way to block this project is to give strength to Renew Europe, the reformist array that recognizes itself first and foremost in the leadership of Emmanuel Macron. Let us not be provincial for once: the united list of all political forces that identify with Renew Europe, which is holding an interesting summit in Rome today, does not serve to settle the accounts of petty indigenous divisions. Rather, it serves to block the design of the extreme right and to affirm the most authentic pro-European ideal. Whoever pulls out of this project will do harm to Europe and therefore to himself.

Matteo Renzi

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