Meloni’s Party Strengthens Hold in EU Parliament

Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing Brothers of Italy party has solidified its position in the European Parliament following elections that saw significant gains for the right wing.

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing Brothers of Italy party secured a victory in the Italian vote for the EU Parliament on Sunday, coinciding with right-wing gains in both France and Germany at the expense of ruling coalitions.

Meloni’s party is projected to have won a decisive victory, garnering an estimated 28% of the vote, according to projections by state broadcaster RAI with nearly 70% of the ballots counted.

Other members of her center-right coalition fared less well. Matteo Salvini’s right-wing League party received 8.5%, despite topping the 2019 EU election with 34%. The Silvio Berlusconi-founded Forza Italia, its former junior coalition partner, surpassed it with a projected 9% of the vote.

The center-left opposition Democratic Party is expected to finish with 24.5%, and the Five Star Movement with 10.5%.

“I’m proud that we are heading to the G7 and to Europe with the strongest government of all,” Meloni stated at her party’s headquarters on Monday.

The Meloni-led European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) is projected to secure around a tenth of the 720 seats in this year’s EU Parliament.

The right-wing prime minister emerged from the EU elections with stronger backing than German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron. Scholz’s party slipped to third place in the polls on Sunday, behind the conservative CDU/CSU and right-wing AfD. Macron’s Renaissance party secured around 15% of the vote, compared to 31% for the right-wing National Rally, prompting the French leader to dissolve parliament and call for a snap election.

Despite rising to power on a wave of anti-immigration sentiment, Meloni has shifted her stance to support the current EU policies on asylum seekers during her two years in office. She has been a steadfast supporter of Ukraine in its conflict with Moscow, but has hesitated on NATO’s recent move to authorize Ukraine to conduct long-range strikes deep into Russia.