Disputes over migration, EU put Italian Lega-M5S government on hold

On Monday 14 May Italian President Sergio Mattarella accepted to award more time to the Five Star Movement (M5S) and the far-right League party to form a coalition agreement, as migration and relations with the European Union remain key issues of disagreement.

The President had already called for an ultimatum as the two parties failed to find a majority after the elections, resulting in a hung parliament on 4 March. The deadlock was overcome when Silvio Berlusconi, whose party Forza Italia brought crucial votes for the right-wing coalition, decided to step back to allow his ally League to negotiate a coalition government. Nevertheless, the programme of the future executive remains uncertain. While the M5S focus on reforming EU governance and migration policy based on solidarity, the League praises Hungary’s Viktor Orban confrontational approach toward the EU on migration. The party stresses the task of stopping arrivals and returning people to their countries but lacks a strategy on a European migration policy. If M5S grants the League the Ministry of Interior - in exchange for the Foreign Ministry, Italy could start orbiting around the V4 in the likes of Austria, affecting EU debate on quota scheme. Further, the M5S criticised NATO's stance on Russia and called for warmer relations with Russia, while the League has signed a cooperation agreement with Vladimir Putin's United Russia party. 

About author: Giada Negri

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