The League

The League is living its moment of grace: despite the difficulties of the Italian economic situation, the support for Salvini and his party increases. They have overtaken their government partners, the 5 Star Movement, in two regions of central and southern Italy (Abruzzo and Sardinia) which are not the party’s traditional heartland. There are therefore great expectations for the May elections, in which 8-9 MEPs are expected to be elected in the north-west and 7 in the north-east. On March 29th the meeting of the “new populist generation” will take place in Rome in the presence of Marine Le Pen. The talk of new alliances in the European Parliament seems to be on hold for the moment.

Salvini’s leadership of the party remains very strong . Supported by the polls, which show the League on the rise, the Home Affairs Minister declared that his party wants a European Commission guided by the European Popular Party and «by that party – still to be created – which will gather European nationalists and populists». During the meeting with Marine Le Pen in Rome, Salvini has moved on in that direction, opening to an agreement with EPP, where he expects to have the support of Orban and Kurz to form a more right-wing European Commission.

In terms of future political groups, there is speculation that Salvini and Kaczynski, who has led Poland since 2015 with his Law and Justice party (Pis), could form a “sovereign” Euro-sceptic alliance. This remains, however, to be clarified in light of their differences around the position with regard to Russia, with many of the political parties in the current ECR being strongly anti-Russian while Salvini wants to strengthen ties with Putin.  This could mean the League remains in the ENF with the Rassemblement National of Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders’ Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV).

In August 2018 he met with Hungarian PM Viktor Orban and announced a pan-European anti-migrant manifesto for the EP elections, pitting themselves directly against Emmanuel Macron, who they portrayed as the defender of illegal migrants.

The League’s objective is to become the biggest party in Italy, giving it the right to choose the next Commissioner to send to Brussels. In December Salvini, reiterated that it is in the interest of the League to choose the future Commissioner for Agriculture: a role that could be covered, according to some rumours, by the current Governor of Veneto, Zaia. As an alternative, the current Minister for Family, Fontana, could be put forward as Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs.

New candidates for the League include

Steffania Ceccardi, Mayor of Cascina in Toscana,

Stefano Andrini Former CEO of the municipal company for the environment, Roma

Pietro Sbardella, member of the regional council of Lazio

Vincenzo Sofi expert on cultural affairs