EU Appointments, Italy is Isolated and Takes a Stand Against. Or at Most… Abstains. Meloni: “What if They Made Us Pay? Shameful”


By John

The European Council approved the new appointments, but Giorgia Meloni remained isolated: abstained on Ursula of der Leyen and voted against the socialist Anthony Coast and the liberal Kaya Kallas. The centre-right Italy thus finds itself in opposition in the EU, marginalised and outside the centre of command.

“There is broad convergence on these three names…”, began the President of the European Council late in the evening, Charles Michelopening the debate on the highest institutional positions of the Union. He confirmed the “package” announced in the previous days: Von der Leyen, Costa and Kallas. The pact between the Populars, Socialists and Liberals was not influenced by the opposition of the “right” block composed of Italy, Hungary and Slovakia. There was no openness to alternative solutions, only a formal willingness to discuss the candidacies.

This was a polite way to make Giorgia Meloni understand that she could express her opinion, but that there was a majority that resisted. She was not able to form a blocking minority capable of stopping the process. The discussion, in fact, took place. It began after 10 pm and the first part was dedicated to the “Strategic Agenda”, a legislative program based on three pillars: Economy, Defense and Democracy. A document prepared by Von der Leyen and largely amended by Germany and France, the countries that once again played a fundamental role in the EU’s decisions. A diplomat from the Council commented that Meloni was now the only obstacle that prevented the meeting from concluding early.

The game was over and the prime minister could only delay the decision. The People’s Party also tried to sweeten the situation. “No decision will be taken without Italy,” said the EPP “negotiator”, the Polish prime minister. Tuskimplying that the decision would be taken during the European Council, but without changing the candidacies. Meloni did not take it well and remained silent during the first part of the meeting. When Michel opened the debate, Von der Leyen and Kallas left the room to avoid conflicts of interest. The hope that the “Package” would be approved with the silent assent mechanism vanished when Meloni declared: «I am not in».

The Hungarian Orban partially sided with her, voting against Von der Leyen, in favor of Costa and abstaining on Kallas: “European voters have been deceived. We do not support this shameful agreement.” French President Emmanuel Macron defended the choices, trying to close the issue before the elections in France. He also expressed his desire to confirm Thierry Breton as commissioner, also asking for an executive vice-presidency, a role that Italy is unlikely to obtain. Even the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholzmaintained his position and warned that there would be no collaboration with Ecr and therefore with Meloni.

Scholz insisted on the need to maintain the agreement with the EPP and Renew, excluding right-wing populists. He promised to try to broaden the majority to the Greens, despite the difficulties. Macron and Scholz are organizing a negotiation to obtain the support of environmentalists for Ursula in the Parliament. Their 50 votes could protect the coalition from dissidents. The final test for the Commission president will be in Strasbourg on July 18, where she will have to seek a share of security consensus. He gave Meloni a small consolation: “It is very important for me to work in the Council with Italy and with all the other states, it is a principle that I have always followed”.

Prime Minister Meloni’s reaction

“I do not agree that voting against puts our position in the EU at risk. It would be shameful if they made us pay for it,” said Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at the end of the EU summit.