If there are at least three centrist parties of liberal inspiration in Italy (and they argue furiously, read the pre-electoral exchanges between IV and Action but also +Europa) the situation is no longer calm at the European level. In Strasbourg, however, they are almost all united within the Renew group, a coalition born in July 2019. Among its members is the European Democratic Party, founded in 2004 by an offshoot of the EPP (among the founders included the leader of Margherita, Francesco Rutelli, and with a big role from Romano Prodi who became president); ALDE, historic European liberal party, founded in 1979; and Renaissance, Emmanuel Macron's party.

Who they are and how they were born

Over the years, the liberal space has been the expression of a position which has never had excessive weight in Italy – we believe that at the beginning of the European liberal party, only the Republicans were part of it – but which strongly expresses the tradition of an important part of Europe, that of Belgium and Holland, attentive to the balance of accounts and the centrality of the market economy for the Union. Especially in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, it has always had good electoral success, increased by the birth and success of what five years ago was En Marche and today is Reinassance. But now, all eyes are on this party which risks losing many consensuses at European level and which is followed in the role of “third party” by the conservatives of the Ecr. Not only because of the course of the European elections, but also because in recent months some Renew members have lost the government of their country. Sandro Gozi, former Italian undersecretary, initially within Matteo Renzi's PD, already elected in 2019 with Macron and today president of the Pde, as well as head of the list of the Renew Europe Now team, affirms that for his group , the objectives of the next legislature are from the strengthening of common European defense to the implementation of the Green Deal and, a very complex question, to the revision of the treaties which today oblige the most important decisions to be taken at the unanimity.

The countries they govern

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas. EPA/OLIVIER MATTHYS

In the current situation, Renew can count on greater weight in the European Council than, in particular, the Socialists, given that it governs in a greater number of countries. They are governed by representatives of Renew, in fact:

  • France, where President Emmanuel Macron is one of the main representatives of Renew and, indeed, Reinassance, also voices the group's leader, Valérie Hayer.
  • Slovenia, led by Robert Golob. His Slovoboda party! joins Renew. Golob leads a coalition with the social democrats and the left.
  • Estonia, the Prime Minister is Kaja Kallas, one of the most influential figures in Renew, so much so that we worked for a long time to make her the group's spitzenkandidat

Then, there are three countries which do not have a clear political situation and whose liberal government could no longer be in place on June 9 or in the following months.

During the handover, Acting Prime Minister Dimitar Glavchev (left) and the resigning Nikolai Denkov. EPA/VASSIL DONEV
  • Bulgaria, which returns to elections on June 9. The outgoing Prime Minister, Nikolai Denkov, a liberal, resigned in March after yet another clash with the conservatives. All roads are open, particularly because Bulgaria is emerging from a period of great political instability which shows no signs of slowing down.
  • In the Netherlands, Mark Rutte is prime minister but we already know that he will not lead the country. The leader of the far-right PVV party Geert Wilders, winner of the elections, does not have a majority supporting him and negotiations are still underway to understand whether or not the country will return to elections. It is possible that Rutte will become prime minister on June 9, but unlikely in the fall, not least because in November he could become NATO secretary general.
  • The Belgian government of Alexander De Croo is also set to vote during the European election weekend. End of the four years of the “Vivaldi” coalition, made up of socialists, liberals, greens and Christian Democrats. De Croo is a candidate again.

The role of Renew for future alliances

The three souls that make up Renew have chosen to maintain their diversity even during the European event. As Sandro Gozi, one of the three candidates with Valérie Hayer and, on behalf of Alde, Strack Zimmermann, explained to Open, this is not a step backwards (compared to the usual progression): “We We have chosen not to mock the voters, given that there is no way to directly elect the candidate for the presidency of the commission and that indeed the candidates of the two major parties, Von der Leyen and Schultz aren't even on the list in their respective countries, it seemed like a more consistent choice.”

The problem with polls

If Renew does not really aim to choose the president of the European Commission, a first objective will be to maintain the same number of elected officials or at least not to drop much compared to the 2019 elections, according to the Politico poll. lose a significant number of elected officials, going from the current 102 to eighty-one parliamentarians. After the Greens – who are expected to almost halve the number of elected officials – they would be the ones to lose the most, even if, once again, Gozi affirms that everything can still change. For the current assessment, the decisive result will concern France, in terms of weight, but also concretely, of effective elected seats given that each country sends its representatives in relation to the population.

The weight of Macron and the agreements on the right

One of the leaders who took the June challenge most seriously is undoubtedly Emmanuel Macron. The one who actively talks about elections and who last week sent the signal that everyone is now discussing: “If Russia were to win in Ukraine, I do not exclude the possibility of sending our soldiers”, a- he declared.

Professor of political science and observer of Italian and French politics, Marc Lazar, explained to Gr1: “President Macron is on the electoral campaign and is trying to put in difficulty the far right, which has a rather confused position on the war. Poland is in complete agreement, other countries are more reluctant, starting with Germany.” There is obviously a fundamental problem, but behind the president's speech also lies the difficulty of defining the alliance that will support the next European Commission The expected electoral collapse of Renew has opened the way for discussion on the entry of new players, although the votes of the EPP, S&D and Renew are still expected to constitute a majority in Parliament. Macron is considered the weaver of dialogue, for example with Giorgia Meloni, even if not with the entire ECR (also in 2019, the Poles voted Von der Leyen in disagreement with the group chaired by the then Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki), also unlike Id who in France has more weight, given the strong presence of Marine Le Pen On May 8, Renew signed a document with the S&D, the Greens and the. Left, in which he declares himself in any case against the agreements with ID and Ecr. Gozi shows the way: “We do not want to make a structural alliance with the ECR, we never will. If they then want to add their votes to those of a political pact which, in my opinion, must also see the Greens present, we cannot prevent them.”

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