|Sergio Mattarella (Independent, since January 2015)
Giuseppe Conte (Independent, since June 2018)
|Size||301,338 km² (116,306 sq. miles)|
|MEPs||73 (joined the EU in 1958)|
|Next presidential election
Next legislative election
|Presidency of the Council||January – June 2028|
|Last meeting with Boris Johnson||None held to date|
|Brexit priorities||Relatively speaking, Italy does not trade much with the UK, so it is less exposed the economic consequences of a bad deal. However, due to its financial instability and reliance on a steady euro, the Italians will not want to jeopardise its trade and economic ties.
The Italian Government’s main priority is to preserve the EU-27, while also guaranteeing the rights of hundreds of Italian citizens living in the UK.
As the country is currently overwhelmed by the influx of refugees, the Italian Government might take the opportunity to request more assistance from the UK in managing its crisis.
|What Mr Conte said on Brexit||“We need to underline the need for Britain to depart from the European Union in an orderly fashion,” “(But) we will continue to work with our European partners to prepare for the little-hoped-for scenario of an exit without a deal.”|
|Italy’s priorities||On 10 September 2019, Parliament approved a new coalition government with anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the Democratic Party (PD). The new government came about after Matteo Salvini, leader of the League party, pulled the plug on his coalition with the Five Star Movement hoping that an election would allow him to become Prime Minister. Instead the Five Star Movement – predicted to lose many seats in an election – made an agreement with the PD to avoid going to the polls.
Priorities for the Prime Minister Conte’s second government are to improve relations with the EU to work towards building “a more solid, more inclusive Europe” and to change the bloc’s economic governance and migration policies.
Apart from addressing economic and social issues, Italy is dealing with a refugee influx from North Africa. The Italian Government is working together with EU and North African partners to reduce the numbers of refugees crossing the sea. The refugee crisis is thought to have increased the popularity of the League party.
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