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Italian election results: a conservative turn which promises to put an end to years of anti-life and anti-family policies and reinforce the concept of Europe of nations

Published: 27.09.2022

Ordo Iuris

The results of the elections held in Italy on September 25, 2022, marked a clear preference of Italians for conservative parties and a strong victory of the right-wing coalition led by Giorgia Meloni's.  It also marks a decisive defeat of the left-wing parties which ruled the country for the past decade and, most importantly, during the coronavirus pandemic when they took decisions that greatly impacted citizens' fundamental freedoms and which adopted laws on fast-track divorce, same-sex unions, and advance treatment provisions to refuse treatment at the end of life.

The victory of the right-wing coalition, after years of large coalitions and technical governments, has re-introduced a clear bipolarity between “progressive” and “conservative” parties in the Italian political landscape. It draws a dividing line between, on one hand, a political vision aiming to disavow the Christian roots of Europe and the legacy of natural law and order and, on the other hand, a vision aiming to maintain and preserve traditional values and identity, while protecting family and human life.

The election results also indicate a significant change in the position Italy intends to hold in the European and international arena since the right-wing coalition is strongly in favor of basing the European Union on the principle of subsidiarity.

The coalition of right-wing parties comprised of Fratelli d’Italia, Lega, Forza Italia and Noi Moderati won 44% of the votes cast, while the left-wing coalition, formed by Partito Democratico, + Europa, Sinistra Italiana e Verdi, Impegno Civico won 26%. Other parties won smaller support, with  Movimento 5 Stelle, lead by former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte reaching 15% of the votes and Piu’ Azione, lead by Carlo Calenda and Matteo Renzi reaching 7%. The most “progressive” party, Emma Bonino's Piu' Europa advocating euthanasia, abortion, legalization of drugs, prostitution, same sex “marriage” and adoption did not exceed the minimum threshold and will not enter the parliament. Similarly, Monica Cirinna, the name and face of the law on same-sex civil unions, will not enter Parliament, losing in the constituency where she was a candidate of the Democratic Party.

In this sense, the elections usher in not just the victory of the right-wing parties, but, above all, a clear defeat of the forces, which strived for years for the approval in the Italian Parliament of laws detrimental to human dignity. They reflect a clear position of Italians on these issues despite the pushing through of laws that were not supported by a large consensus among the population.

Moreover, the greatest support within the right-wing coalition was obtained by Giorgia Meloni's Fratelli d'Italia, which alone reached 26 percent of the vote, emerging over the other political entities as Italy's leading party. The vision and project on which Fratelli d'Italia's program is based declares itself to be strongly anchored in the defense of Italian cultural identity and the defense of the national interest in the international arena, decidedly distancing itself from the approach taken by previous prime ministers who have governed the country in close alignment with the European agenda, advocating a strong supremacy of decisions taken in international forums over national directions. However, the party's goal is not to exit from the Eurozone or to weaken European institutions, but rather a paradigm shift in dialogue with the European Commission and supranational bodies and the implementation of policies that respect the sovereignty of Italy and other EU Member States in the decision-making process.

On the issue of social rights, however, it should first be noted that different approaches to the topic of the same-sex civil unions or the issue of abortion coexist within the right-wing coalition. Although the most progressive party in the coalition, Berlusconi's Forza Italia, which has members who voted in favor of the Cirinnà law, is the minor one, and Salvini and Meloni's position on same-sex marriages, adoptions the teaching of gender ideology in schools is strongly in favor of the freedom of parents to decide on the education of their children.  At the same time, the two leaders have repeatedly opposed propositions for adoption by same-sex couples and the idea that a child does not need a mother and a father to grow and develop his or her personality. From this perspective, they have strongly opposed attempts to replace the terms "father" and "mother" with "parent 1" and "parent 2" in children's documents. However, Fratelli d'Italia and Lega have emphasized that they will not remove the law on civil unions or the law on abortion, but they have pledged to defend the institution of the family, births, and to enforce the part of the law on abortion devoted to abortion prevention by helping and funding those mothers who feel compelled to have an abortion because of economic difficulties. 

On this side, although the majority political parties will not engage in significant changes regarding the laws passed in past years by the Italian Parliament, with more certainty it is possible to say that they will stop the promotion of laws detrimental to human dignity or will not apply in domestic law conflicting European directives on issues such as the denial of masculinity and femininity or the further promotion of abortion or same-sex marriages, while respecting the expressed will of citizens. These factors represent a positive element in the direction that other EU Member States may also take, supporting, for example, each other's primacy of national law on matters not within the competence of the European Union.

Veronica Turetta – analyst of Ordo Iuris International Law Center

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