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Giorgia Meloni meets European leaders for the first time in Brussels

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Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni meets European leaders in Brussels on Thursday for the first time since her appointment.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni joins the leaders of the European Union on Thursday (November 3rd) in Brussels for the first time since taking office, a meeting which should be dominated by the energy crisis.

The journey of the far-right leader, who has pledged to defend Italian interests above all, will be closely followed in a climate of concern about the possible turbulence that could arise between her government and the European authorities. .

>> To read: Italy: the EU ready to “cooperate” with the far-right government of Giorgia Meloni

“Brussels should not be concerned with what Rome can do better,” said the 45-year-old sovereignist in a book of interviews to be published on Friday, castigating “a Europe that is invasive on the little things and absent on the big issues. “.

Meeting with Ursula von der Leyen

For her first trip abroad since her appointment – ​​she had a brief meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on October 23 in Rome – Giorgia Meloni will meet Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and the head of the European parliament Roberta Metsola.

His face-to-face with Ursula von der Leyen will be the first since the scandal caused in Italy by the words of the President of the Commission – before the elections in the peninsula, she had warned of the consequences to which the Italy in the event that the country deviates from democratic principles.

But the first female head of government in Italy, at the head of the most right-wing government since the post-war period, was to arrive in Brussels without warlike intentions, according to political scientist Lorenzo Codogno: “Meloni is pragmatic and wants to be perceived as a moderate leader,” he told AFP.

Reduce energy prices

Giorgia Meloni, who heads the euro zone’s third-largest economy, is expected to stress the urgency of European measures to reduce energy prices, a fight already started by her predecessor Mario Draghi.

“Discussions will focus on energy (…) the most urgent problem as winter approaches”, underlines Lozenzo Codogno, for whom Giorgia Meloni will seek to demonstrate continuity with the Draghi government by demanding solutions “at EU level”.

The former head of the European Central Bank (ECB) had united with other countries to call for European solutions to the energy crisis rather than adopting an individualistic approach like Germany, much criticized by its partners.

This trip should have “no immediate practical consequences”, the Roman daily Il Messaggero ruled on Thursday, adding that it should allow Giorgia Meloni to assess “the prospects” for European aid to her country.

European leaders hope for their part to seize the opportunity to “better understand Meloni’s intentions”, analysis for AFP Sébastien Maillard, director of the Jacques Delors Institute.

Caution

“Beyond the messages of appeasement” on Rome’s anchoring in the Western world and in NATO and its distancing from fascism, “it ultimately remained rather vague about what it wants to do”.

European leaders should be careful to avoid pushing Giorgia Meloni into the camp of their two nationalist pet peeves, Poland and Hungary.

A clash over the European post-pandemic recovery fund, of which Italy is the main beneficiary with around 200 billion euros, is unlikely, even if Giorgia Meloni has said she wants to obtain “adjustments” to take into account the increase in energy prices, and these adjustments had to be negotiated at the “technical” level, according to Lorenzo Codogno.

For Sébastien Maillard too, “on economic subjects, it has no interest in opening a front with Brussels”. “If it came out of European nails, it would be against Italian interests.”

But it will be difficult for Brussels to avoid a confrontation over immigration, a favorite theme of the far right in Italy, which is one of the main gateways for migrants in Europe.

With AFP

France 24-Trans

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