Rome-Brussels-Kiev, the axis directing the beginning of the year in politics

The second week of the year began with the spotlight shining overseas, specifically on Brazil, where on Sunday thousands of supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro assaulted three Brazilian institution buildings protesting his defeat in the last elections. A material attack, certainly, which led to the arrest of over 1,500 people, but also a metaphorical one directed at democracy, which alarmed the entire world. Inevitable, in fact, is the comparison with what had already happened in Washington on 6 January 2021 when supporters of the then outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol, contesting the result of the 2020 presidential election. An anti-democratic drift, therefore, that seems to be repeating itself again, increasing the concerns of the world’s major leaders, starting with that of the United States, which fears “contagions” for a democracy that has yet to fully heal from the wounds of the Trump presidency.


All this happened almost at the same time as the meeting in Rome, on the sidelines of the commemoration of former European Parliament President David Sassoli, between Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The two talked for an hour or so at Palazzo Chigi about all the topical issues of the moment, from Ukraine to energy, from Brazil to immigration, with a special focus on the implementation of the NRRP and on the possibility that the Meloni government hopes to apply some changes to it, albeit without disrupting it. A request, the latter, to which the President of the Commission is open to discussion, leaving it to the technicians, and to Minister Fitto, to work to find a solution that can satisfy both parties. A more than cordial exchange of views between the two leaders, confirming the harmony and spirit of cooperation that now binds Italy to the European leaders and vice versa.


A climate of international cooperation that is also reaffirmed with the signing of the third joint declaration between the European Union and NATO on Tuesday, which enshrines and strengthens cooperation on challenges to the security, interests and values of the Euro-Atlantic community. “We will further strengthen our cooperation in existing areas and expand and deepen our collaboration to address in particular the growing geostrategic competition, critical infrastructure protection, emerging and disruptive technologies, space, the security implications of climate change, as well as the manipulation and interference of foreign intelligence”, the document states. 


The Russian-Ukrainian war remains at the center of international attention: Russia is considered “the most serious threat” to western security in recent decades and full support for Ukraine is also confirmed by sending all the weapons «they need», von der Leyen states decisively. A direction that also seems to be in force in Italy, where on Wednesday the Senate approved the decree extending the government’s mandate for the continuation of military supplies to Kiev by one year. The outcome was expected, as was the vote against by the M5S and the Alleanza Verdi Sinistra, which have always been opposed to the matter. Less expected, however, was the split on the issue that affected the Democratic Party, which now appears more divided than ever, as demonstrated by the controversy surrounding the way the primaries were voted. In the Chamber, Democratic Senators Susanna Camusso and Vincenza Rando abstained from voting on the measure, later claiming their choice, while two of their colleagues, Andrea Giorgis and Valeria Valente voted against, despite a note from the party explaining that for the latter it was a mere mistake in typing the vote. This makes the existence of two PDs even more explicit: one that recognises itself in the candidate Elly Schlein and tries to get closer to the M5S and recover the relationship with the CGIL, and another that tries, instead, to remain anchored to the Atlanticist line traced by former Defence Minister Guerini and that winks at the Third Pole with Bonaccini as its new secretary. Instead, the posture of the majority is different, which today appears granitic in supporting Kiev with all the means at its disposal, even beyond the military ones. This is confirmed, for example, by the trip undertaken by the Minister of Enterprise and Made in Italy Adolfo Urso and the President of Confindustria Carlo Bonomi to Kiev this week to offer support for the reconstruction of Ukraine’s infrastructure and production chain. In illustrating Italy’s commitments in the field of humanitarian, social and economic aid, Minister Urso addressed the issues of industrial and technological cooperation, laying the foundations of what will be possible partnerships for the reconstruction of Ukraine, in the hope that Italy can be part of it.


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