Sandro, what is your opinion of Renew Europe’s two days in Rome? What are the results compared to the goals you set for yourself?
It was the best meeting held by Renew Europe since 2019. It’s not me saying it, it’s the comments of many European colleagues. We had a great response from the militants. The Piccolo Eliseo theater was packed and asked for only one thing: Renew Italy. Matteo Renzi has indicated very clearly why we must pursue this goal, recalling what is at stake for the whole of Europe. Giuseppe Benedetto rightly insisted on the need to ally liberals and democrats and build true European political parties, through transactional lists, which have always been one of our strengths. Carlo Calenda and Riccardo Magi showed attention and openness, without hiding the issues that need to be worked on to achieve the goal. His candor was also appreciated.
After these two days, do you think the prospect of the single list is closer?
The political reasons why the joint Renew list should be made are now even clearer. Because at Renew we are the only ones who can win the battle against sovereignists and nationalists, staying at the center of politics and building a new Europeanist majority in the European Parliament. We are the real alternative to the project that Manfred Weber, Antonio Tajani and Roberta Metsola want to carry out to come to power with the extreme right of Meloni, Vox and the nationalist forces. For this we need a great result in Italy and more Italian liberal democrats and reformers in Renew Europe. The question is not to make the electoral threshold, to run four for 4%. The point, and the real responsibility, is to make a political difference in Italy as well.
The Alde congress will take place over the weekend in Stockholm, which, together with the PDE of which you are secretary, is one of the main components of Renew. What message do you want to send to Riccardo Magi from Più Europa, who is a member of the Alde and who was the most prudent of all on Wednesday at the Piccolo Eliseo?
That at the Stockholm congress, Alde will discuss the Political Memorandum that I signed, as secretary of the PDE, together with Stéphane Séjourné, president of the Renew group, and the two co-presidents of Alde, in which we reconfirm and relaunch our political alliance, an alternative to left and right, and say no to extremists. I mean, let’s just say we’re also alternatives to Elly Schlein’s PD. I do not see how Riccardo Magi can say yes to the political alliance with the PDE in Europe and no to the common list with the two parties of the PDE -Italia Viva and Azione- and the lib-dem in Italy, based precisely on the objectives and values Renew shares that will be remembered in Stockholm.
Let’s talk about topics. Where to start building a common path for June 2024?
Undoubtedly from geopolitics, and from Ukraine. Thanks to the impulse of Mario Draghi we have made a historic decision: Ukraine’s accession to the EU. And with kyiv, other southeastern European states will also arrive. This also means profoundly reforming the EU’s institutions, policies and economic resources. Without reforms, enlargement is simply impossible because it leads to paralysis. And this is a priority. So we must work to make globalization more just, democratic and social, because we cannot respond to global problems with closure or protectionism, but rather with less naive and more effective policies. It is the issue of strategic autonomy, especially with respect to China, but not only. The relationship with Africa, for example, through the implementation of the new Euro-African association launched in February 2022 under the French presidency of the Council of the EU, at the initiative of Emmanuel Macron. Finally, focusing on a new investment policy for the digital, green and defense transition. Because we have adopted great rules for digital and green, but rules alone are not enough, investments are also, and above all, necessary to overcome these challenges. Renew Italia must start from these issues, on which the representatives of Azione and Italia Viva are already working at the PDE.
You have insisted a lot on the issue of rights. Do you think that this will be one of the milestones of the next electoral campaign, especially making a difference with Giorgia Meloni and the conservatives?
Absolutely. Because in Rome, or in financial circles around the world, they can even pretend that Meloni is an ordinary conservative, at least as long as she follows the lines drawn by Draghi on public finances and by Washington on Ukraine. But it is a fiction, in fact. Because Meloni and her brothers-in-law and her advisers are reactionary, obscurantists and anti-Europeans. And as soon as they can, they show us. Just think of the rights denied to the children of same-sex couples, the propaganda against immigrants or the alarms about ethnic substitution. To her “God, country and family” we respond with “Secularism, Europe and rights”. And not because we are not patriotic, but because, as Marco Pannella taught us, in this era of empires, from Moscow to Beijing, only a European homeland can save national homelands and protect our interests and values in the world. . And when they cling pathetically to Giuseppe Mazzini, I remind them that Mazzini also loved Young Europe. We are radically alternative to the Italian Brothers and we are on the side of civil rights and the rule of law, that the EU not only has the possibility, but the duty to protect and protect European citizens even against their governments, as we are doing against Orban and the Polish government.
And left instead? What political distances should be highlighted?
Elly Schlein’s left is currently the chromatic nothing. If I look at the little he says, I only see conservative positions: no to the reform of the judiciary, of the institutions, no to the employment law, for them credit is from the right and the ecological transition means more restrictions and taxes. for everyone. We are alternatives to both far-right reactionaries and left-wing conservatives.
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