Upcoming European elections could tip Meloni's political balancing act

Upcoming European elections could tip Meloni's political balancing act

The upcoming European elections could tip the balance between Giorgia Meloni’s mainstream foreign policy and domestic far-right agenda.

In less than two years leading the EU’s third-largest economy, the Italian Premier has emerged as the most powerful far-right-wing leader in Europe.

However, her pro-Ukraine and Israel policies have proven reassuring to centrist allies in America and the rest of Europe – with Italy preparing to host G7 leaders in June.

The European elections between June 6-9 could tip this balancing act.

“I think there are two Melonis, and the Meloni that is getting more attention to the pragmatic, pro-Ukrainian Meloni,” said Wolfango Piccoli of the London based Teneo consultancy.

“There is another Meloni back in Italy where she is pursuing a clear right-wing agenda on a variety of issues from migration to socio-cultural values,” he said, “The European elections could be a bit of a moment of truth. She has never been forced to take a clear ideological stand.”

Despite initially campaigning on an anti-EU platform, Meloni has shifted her stance as Europe pours more than 200 billion euros in pandemic recovery into Italy.

Meloni also has a potential political ally in the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen – who has not ruled out inclusion of Meloni’s part in a coalition if needed.