Meloni’s week

Bolstered by the support garnered from the G7, Meloni has concluded a strategically significant week for her legislature. Starting from Borgo Egnazia, the three-day international summit, despite the geopolitical significance of the final declarations being somewhat questioned due to the low specific weight of the endorsing leaderships, the Italian Prime Minister has strengthened her international standing, already “blessed” by the good electoral result in the European elections. Building on this increased authority, the leader of the ECR is also trying to win an important game within the EU for the round of appointments. The names in the Italian government’s pocket, according to rumors circulating in recent hours, are those of Belloni and Fitto. But to succeed at those tables, some steps still need to be completed, including the installation of the new European Parliament.

On the domestic front, however, the week has been of great importance for the government’s agenda. Two fundamental directives of this legislature have advanced: the reform of the premiership and the one introducing differentiated autonomy. Starting with the first, the Senate approved the constitutional bill on the Premiership with 109 votes in favor, 77 against, and one abstention. The bill now moves to the Chamber of Deputies. Since it is a constitutional law, it will require approval in four readings; the upcoming one in the Chamber will be the second, but as everyone already predicts, the reform will pass through a popular referendum, both for reasons of political loyalty and because the two-thirds majority in both houses is likely to be lacking.

The second reform is considered by some to be a great risk, by others an innovation. Certainly, the law on differentiated regional autonomy, definitively approved by the Chamber with 172 votes in favor, 99 against, and one abstention, is a historic step in Italian politics due to its potential impact on the future of public life. The reform defines the criteria and implements the provisions of Article 116 (amended in 2001) of the Constitution, which pertains to the possibility of autonomy for ordinary statute regions. Essentially, the founding fathers had already envisaged wide margins of maneuver for territorial entities, but they had placed them as eventualities and not as obligations in our legal system. The point, however, lies entirely in how these autonomies are systematized. Depending on the cornerstones, a model can be judged either respectful of constitutional principles and fundamental rights or detrimental to them.

While the approval was a victory for the majority, it also had the backlash of uniting the opposition in a “broad field” of dissent, expressed both in Parliament and in the streets. The old debate on the opportunity to unify the center-left voices within the same coalition is resurfacing. And now the spotlight is on the weekend’s runoffs: Perugia, Florence, and Bari, a new test for Schlein to gauge the success of the alliance.