1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Italy's far-right PM Meloni makes first Brussels trip

November 3, 2022

Prime Minister Georgia Meloni once called the EU "invasive" and wanted Italy to leave the eurozone. However, she has taken a softer stance on Europe since taking office.

Georgia Meloni and Ursula von der Leyen
Meloni met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Her trip to Brussels was her first time abroad as prime ministerImage: Yves Herman/REUTERS

Georgia Meloni, Italy's new far-right prime minister, took her first trip to meet with EU chiefs in Brussels on Thursday. Her appearance in the European Union's capital was being closely watched, as Meloni spent much time on the campaign trail vowing to put Italy's interestes ahead of those of the EU.

"The voice of Italy in Europe will be strong: we are ready to confront the big questions, starting with the energy crisis, working together for a solution to help families and businesses to halt speculation," she wrote on Twitter ahead of her arrival.

The first person to greet Meloni was head of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola.

Before the prime minister's arrival, Metsola had tweeted pointedly that "more than ever s with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, skyrocketing energy prices and rising inflation — we need to stick together. We are stronger if we are together."

Meloni tones done anti-Europe rhetoric

Despite fears from Brussels, however, Meloni has taken a softer tone towards the EU since taking office in October.

Although she once called for Italy to abandon the euro currency and leave the "invasive" EU, she has recently made remarks trying to downplay her isolationist stance and distance herself from accusations of supporting fascism.

In her first speech in office, she reaffirmed Italy's commitment to Europe and to NATO. She has also not resisted the reforms requested by the EU in exchange for millions of euros in pandemic recovery funds.

EU leaders have tread carefully with regards to Meloni, lest she be driven to closer ties towards other nationalist governments like Hungary and Poland.

Meloni also met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen then by European Council chief Charles Michel during her trip.

Following the meetings with EU leaders, Meloni described the talks as "frank, positive."

"I am happy with the climate I found here in Brussels. Probably to be able to see and speak with people can help dismantle a the narrative about yours truly," Meloni told reporters. "We are not Martians. We are people in flesh and bone who explain our positions."

es/sms (AFP, dpa)