Wednesday

17th Jul 2019

Prodi steps down over foreign policy dispute

  • After nine months as Italy's Prime Minister, Romano Prodi steps down (Photo: EUobserver)

Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi has handed in his resignation after senators from the ruling coalition parties voted down his plans to expand a US airbase in northern Italy and keep Italian troops with NATO forces in Afghanistan.

The country's president Georgio Napolitano is scheduled on Thursday (22 February) to hold a round of crisis talks with political leaders and decide whether to call new elections or ask Mr Prodi to stay in power.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The Italian centre-left leader indicated yesterday that he would carry on as prime minister "if, and only if, he is guaranteed the full support of all the parties in the majority from now on," his spokesman said, according to press reports.

Mr Prodi was not obliged to step down after the vote on the non-binding foreign policy motion in the Senate, the legislature's upper house, but he insisted that he needed clear support for his cabinet to pursue Italy's international commitments.

The former president of the European Commission led Italy's shaky nine-party coalition with a thin majority for nine months following last year's victory over his centre-right predecessor Silvio Berlusconi - the first leader to achieve a full parliamentary term in government after years of unstable politics in the country.

But partly due to Mr Berlusconi's changes in the electoral system, the centre-left government ruled on the basis of a thin majority - by one vote in the Senate - which also enabled Tuesday's result with the executive losing by two votes.

According to analysts, while the radical left wanted to voice its anger over foreign policy issues it did not intend to topple the government and call for a snap election - which is viewed as a signal that Mr Prodi will get another chance to form a new cabinet.

Apart from involving Mr Prodi, President Napolitano could choose a different cabinet leader from the ruling coalition or appoint a government of technocrats.

Prodi survives confidence vote

Italian prime minister Romano Prodi narrowly survived a confidence vote on Wednesday after his nine-month fractious centre-left coalition government received 162 to 157 votes in Italy's Senate.

Analysis

Von der Leyen faces gender battle for commission posts

The first-ever female president of the European Commission wants half of her team of commissioners to consist of women. But most of the commissioners put forward so far by EU member states so far have been male.

Analysis

What did we learn from the von der Leyen vote?

The vote on von der Leyen showed the fundamental change in EU politics. The rise of the European Parliament, the power of political parties, and the fragmentation of politics, are new realities to be taken into account.

Von der Leyen's EU vote far from sure

Unhappy socialist and liberal MEPs could upset German's bid to be next EU commission chief, making an even worse mess in the top jobs system.

Von der Leyen vote the focus This WEEK

MEPs will vote to confirm - or not - on Tuesday the new commission president, Ursula von der Leyen - a candidate put forward at the last minute by the EU leaders, and grilled by lawmakers recently in Brussels.

Merkel and Macron split over Weber presidency

EU heads of government have their first face-to-faces discussions after the European elections on who should lead the EU commission. They are unlikely to decide quickly - with the parliament also divided over the candidates.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. Von der Leyen faces gender battle for commission posts
  2. EU proposes yearly rule-of-law 'reviews'
  3. Poland 'optimistic' despite new EU law checks
  4. What did we learn from the von der Leyen vote?
  5. Is Golden Dawn's MEP head of a criminal organisation?
  6. Finland rejects call to end sponsorship of EU presidency
  7. MH17 five years on: when will Russia be punished?
  8. EU commission has first-ever woman president

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us