More than 250 people assembled on Saturday 1 March in the lovely Quirinetta theatre, which is around the corner from the Trevi fountain in the heart of Rome. The event was called Constituenta #GreenItalia – it celebrated the foundation of a new ecologist movement in Italy. Among its founders are respected representatives of Green civil society in Italy, representatives of Green small and medium enterprises and representatives of the EGP member movement Federazione dei Verdi.
The new movement should attract broad support, and open up new space for Green politicians and supporters throughout Italy, where they have not been popular over the past few years. Environmental NGO’s thrive in Italy, but a political vision has not materialised yet. Green Italia is a very necessary player in the Italian political landscape, in view of the new government showing a very low environmental ambition. Politics as such in Italy is very much in need of a new and progressive voice. The transformation of the economy as engine for job creation is a key demand, but Green Italia will also fight for more accountability in governance and Italy's political structures. It's position on the future development of the European Union, and it proudly expresses its pro-european stance on its logo.
The meeting unfolded in a ‘classical’ southern European style. It start a little late (only one hour!) with a series of speakers who took the floor from 10h30 until 17h00. The impressive line-up inclided Don Luigi Ciotti, who is President of the anti-mafia agency Libera, and Ignazio Marino, Mayor of Rome. The speakers were interesting, and covered a variety of important topics as the economy, agriculture, culture, anti-corruption, and democracy.
Several of the speakers were brilliant, in the truly classical political tradition. They really inspired their audience. In spite of my limited understanding of Italian I remained interested and was very much impressed. The start of Green Italia looks very promising – I hope it will be warmly welcomed by the media and be able to grow quickly and take up the important role of representing Green politics in Italy.
The assembly nominated two spokespeople, Annalisa Corrado and Oliviero Alotto. Green Italia adopted a statute and the political programme, which can be found on www.greenitalia.org.
As Secretary General of the European Greens, I spoke briefly about what unites the Europe's Green parties and what makes us a strong and cohesive political force. EGP Co-Chair Monica Frassoni has worked relentlessly to make Green Italia a reality and is very much appreciated by all constituents for her constructive role. She presented the common Green European election campaign to the public. Our posters are also appreciated in Italy!