The defections from the majority government of the Movimento 5 Stelle, Lega and Forza Italia have put an end to the experience of the government led by Mario Draghi . Many European and international leaders, on the eve of the crisis, from American President Biden to Spanish Prime Minister Sanchez , to Ukrainian President Zelensky , had given their public support to Draghi. The European leaders , starting with the President of the European Commission von der Leyen, although respectful of the usual institutional secrecy, had revealed their concern about the possible fall of the Italian governmentand the start of the process leading to early elections in the fall.
International situation and the Franco-German axis
The first reason has to do with the current international situation, which has seen Italy, under the leadership of Mario Draghi, go from a soft underbelly of Europe due to its ambiguous positions with respect to Russia to one of the countries in the front line. in the strategy of firmness against Putin’s aggression against Ukraine. This position, in line with the Atlanticist and Europeanist inspiration of the Draghi government, had been strengthened by the recent missions of Prime Minister Draghi in Washington and Kyivtogether with French President Macron and German Chancellor Scholz. Now there is the fear in the international chancelleries that the electoral campaign and the eventual victory of political forces that have had a fluctuating position towards Russia, such as the 5 Star Movement and the League, could destabilize this strategy and break European unity and western.
Mario Draghi’s departure specifically calls into question a very effective work of anchoring Italy to the Franco-German engine , a goal pursued by many governments in the past – with the recent exception of the yellow-green government of 2022. – but that with Draghi he had undergone an acceleration and collected concrete successes. In particular, mention should be made of the signing of the Quirinal Treaty between Rome and Paris , which coordinates the action of the two capitals at European level, and the ongoing discussions for an Italian-German Action Plan., which should identify a series of specific areas of collaboration between the two countries. Their implementation will certainly be linked to the work of the administrations of the three countries, but it is clear that effective coordination depends to a large extent on the political capital of the state leaders, which Mario Draghi will no longer be able to guarantee.
Pnrr and reforms
From a policy point of view, these months will be crucial for the implementation of the NRP , bound to a series of heavy reforms such as those of competition and justice, and pressing deadlines for the implementation of projects in the pipeline. The doubt remains that a resigning government in charge of current affairs only – although within a broad perimeter such as the one evoked by the Head of State Mattarella – will be able to keep the pace and above all that the new Prime Minister will be able to manage this enterprise, also considering the possible delays in the composition of the new government and the deadlines of the budget law.
But in recent months the construction site of European reforms is also opening , ranging from the rethinking of financial rules to the completion of economic governance, from the issue of the ceiling to the price of gas imports to the measures for the ecological transition of the Green Deal , up to the policies of migration and asylum. These are crucial battles for the future of Europe and many in Brussels and the main capitals hoped to be able to count on Mario Draghi’s credibility and expertise to bring them to fruition.
Italy weak link
This explains why there is so much turmoil over yet another Italian government crisis, this time generated in the height of summer and in the midst of an unprecedented international crisis recently, and why it is feared that Italy will once again be under special surveillance. ‘Europe , and not the reliable partner that the Draghi government had guaranteed. As always, the country will survive, but the hopes for ambitious structural reforms will be greatly reduced, as will its ability to significantly affect the main international matches that will define Europe and the global system of the near future.