Paolo Gentiloni

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The Honourable
Paolo Gentiloni
Paolo Gentiloni - Festival Economia 2016.jpg
57th Prime Minister of Italy
Assumed office
12 December 2016
President Sergio Mattarella
Preceded by Matteo Renzi
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
31 October 2014 – 12 December 2016
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi
Preceded by Federica Mogherini
Succeeded by Angelino Alfano
Minister of Communications
In office
17 May 2006 – 8 May 2008
Prime Minister Romano Prodi
Preceded by Mario Landolfi
Succeeded by Claudio Scajola (Economic Development)
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
Assumed office
30 May 2001
Constituency Piedmont 2 (2001–2006)
Lazio 1 (2006–present)
Personal details
Born Paolo Gentiloni Silveri
(1954-11-22) 22 November 1954 (age 62)
Rome, Italy
Political party Democratic Party (2007–present)
Other political
The Daisy (2002–2007)
Spouse(s) Emanuela Mauro
Residence Palazzo Chigi
Alma mater Sapienza University

Paolo Gentiloni Silveri[1] (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpaːolo dʒentiˈloːni]; born 22 November 1954) is an Italian politician who has been Prime Minister of Italy since 12 December 2016.[2]

Gentiloni, a member of the Democratic Party, served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 31 October 2014 until December 2016, when President Sergio Mattarella asked him to form a new government.[3] Previously he was Minister of Communications from 2006 to 2008, during the second government of Romano Prodi.

Early life and family[edit]

A descendant of Count Gentiloni Silveri, he is related to the Italian politician Vincenzo Ottorino Gentiloni, who was the leader of the conservative Catholic Electoral Union and a key ally of the long-time Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti. Gentiloni has the titles of Nobile of Filottrano, Nobile of Cingoli, and Nobile of Macerata.

Born in Rome, he attended the Classical Lyceum Torquato Tasso in the city and graduated in political sciences at the La Sapienza University. Gentiloni was a professional journalist before entering politics.

Political career[edit]

Gentiloni was a member of the Student Movement (Movimento Studentesco), an extreme left-wing youth organization led by Mario Capanna;[4] when Capanna founded the Proletarian Democracy party, Gentiloni did not follow him, and joined the Workers' Movement for Socialism. During those years he became a close friend of Chicco Testa who helped Gentiloni to become director of La Nuova Ecologia ("The New Ecology"), the official newspaper of Legambiente. As director of this ecological newspaper he met the young leader of Federation of the Greens, Francesco Rutelli.

Rome City Council[edit]

In 1993 he became Rutelli’s spokesman during his campaign to become Mayor of Rome; after the election, which saw a strong victory by Rutelli against the right-wing coalition led by Gianfranco Fini, Gentiloni was appointed Jubilee and Tourism Councillor in the Rome City Council.

Member of Parliament, 2001–2006[edit]

In the 2001 general election, Gentiloni was elected as a Member of Parliament and started his national political career. In 2002 he was a founding member of the Daisy party, being the party’s communications spokesman for five years.[5]

From 2005 until 2006, he was Chairman of the Broadcasting Services Watchdog Committee; the committee oversees the activity of state broadcaster RAI, which is publicly funded.[6]

Minister for Communications, 2006–2008[edit]

He was re-elected in the 2006 election as a member of The Olive Tree, the political coalition led by the Bolognese economist Romano Prodi. After the centre-left's victory, Gentiloni served as Minister for Communications in Prodi's second government from 2006 until 2008.[7]

He was one of the 45 members of the national founding committee of the Democratic Party in 2007, formed by the union of the democratic socialists Democrats of the Left and the Christian leftist The Daisy.

Member of Parliament, 2008–2013[edit]

Gentiloni was re-elected in the 2008 general election, which saw the victory of the conservative coalition led by Silvio Berlusconi.

On 6 April 2013 he ran in the primary election to select the center-left candidate for Mayor of Rome, placing third after Ignazio Marino, who became Mayor, and the journalist David Sassoli.[8]

2013 general elections and support to Matteo Renzi[edit]

Gentiloni was elected again to the Chamber of Deputies in the 2013 general election, as part of the centre-left coalition Italy. Common Good led by Pier Luigi Bersani, Secretary of the PD.

In 2013, after Bersani's resignation as Secretary, Gentiloni supported the Mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi, in the Democratic Party leadership election.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, 2014–2016[edit]

Gentiloni with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Rome, June 2016.

On 31 October 2014 Gentiloni was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi; Gentiloni succeeded Federica Mogherini, who became High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.[9] He took office two months before Italy's rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union ended in December 2014.[6]

At the time of his appointment, Gentiloni had not been mentioned in political circles as a candidate. Renzi had reportedly wanted to replace Mogherini with another woman, to preserve gender parity in his 16-member cabinet. Also, Gentiloni was not known as a specialist in international diplomacy.[6]

On 13 February 2015, during an interview on Sky TG24, Gentiloni stated that "if needed, Italy will be ready to fight in Libya against the Islamic State, because the Italian government can not accept the idea that there is an active terrorist threat only a few hours from Italy by boat."[10] The following day Gentiloni was threatened by ISIL, which accused him of being a crusader, minister of an enemy country.[11]

Gentiloni with the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

In March 2015 Gentiloni visited Mexico and Cuba and met Cuban President Raúl Castro, ensuring the Italian support for the normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States.[12]

On 11 July 2015, a car bomb exploded outside the Italian consulate in the Egyptian capital Cairo, resulting in at least one death and four people injured; the Islamic State claimed responsibility.[13][14][15] On the same day Gentiloni stated that "Italy will be not intimidated" and would continue the fight against terrorism.[16]

In December 2015, Gentiloni hosted a peace conference in Rome with the representatives from both governments of Libya involved in the civil war, but also from the United Nations, the United States and Russia.[17]

Gentiloni with Boris Johnson and Federica Mogherini in September 2016.

As Foreign Minister, Gentiloni had to confront various abductions of Italian citizens. In January 2015, he negotiated the release of Vanessa Marzullo and Greta Ramelli after they had been held hostage by Syrian terrorists for 168 days.[18] Another high-profile case was the murder of Giulio Regeni, an Italian Cambridge University graduate student killed in Cairo following his abduction on January 25, 2016;[19] Regeni was a Ph.D. student[20] researching Egypt's independent trade unions.[21]

In the 2016 United Nations Security Council election, Gentiloni and his Dutch counterpart Bert Koenders agreed on splitting a two-year term on the United Nations Security Council after the United Nations General Assembly was deadlocked on whether to choose Italy or the Netherlands following five rounds of voting for the last remaining 2017–18 seat.[22]

Prime Minister of Italy[edit]

Main article: Gentiloni Cabinet
Paolo Gentiloni during his first Council of Ministers on 12 December 2016.

On 7 December 2016, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced his resignation, following the rejection of his proposals to overhaul the Italian Senate in the 2016 Italian constitutional referendum. A few days later, on 11 December 2016, Gentiloni was asked by President Mattarella to form a new government.[23] On the following day Gentiloni was officially sworn in as the new head of the government.[24]

He led a coalition government supported by his own Democratic Party and the Christian democratic Popular Area, composed of the New Centre-Right and the Centrists for Italy. This was the same majority that had supported Renzi's government for almost three years.[25] Meanwhile, the centrist Liberal Popular Alliance (ALA), led by Denis Verdini, did not support the new cabinet because no member of the ALA was appointed as a minister.[26]

On 13 December his cabinet won a confidence vote in the Chamber of Deputies, with 368 votes for and 105 against, while the deputies of the Five Star Movement and the Lega Nord left the chamber.[27] On the following day the government also won a confidence vote in the Senate of the Republic, with 169 votes for and 99 against.[28]

On 29 December deputy ministers of the Democratic Party, New Centre-Right, as well as the Italian Socialist Party and Solidary Democracy, were appointed. After the split of the Democrats and Progressives from the Democratic Party, that party was presented by one deputy minister in the government.


A major problem faced by Gentiloni upon becoming Prime Minister in 2016 was the high levels of illegal immigration to Italy.

On 2 February 2017, Gentiloni reached a deal in Rome with Libyan Chairman of the Presidential Council Fayez al-Sarraj on halting migration. Libya agreed to try to stop migrants from setting out to cross the Mediterranean Sea.[29]

On 9 February, Gentiloni signed a similar deal with President of Tunisia Beji Caid Essebsi, to prevent the migration across the Mediterranean.[30]

Labour policies[edit]

In March 2017 the government abolished the use of vouchers, bonds of the redeemable transaction type which are worth a certain monetary value and which may be spent only for specific reasons or on specific goods.[31] The government decided to promote this law after a referendum that was called by Italy's main trade union CGIL.[32] Gentiloni stated that he decided to abolish them, because he did not want to split the country in another referendum, after the December 2016 constitutional one.[33]

Foreign policies[edit]

Paolo Gentiloni with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, in March 2017.

Gentiloni strongly supports European integration and a multispeed Europe.[34]

During his premiership, Gentiloni faced several challenging foreign policy situations, such as the European debt crisis, the civil war in Libya, the insurgency of the Islamic State (IS) in the Middle East.

Gentiloni set up good relations with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.[35]

As prime minister, he will host the 43rd G7 summit in Taormina, Sicily. This summit will be the first one for him, but also for British Theresa May and American President Donald Trump.


On 10 January 2017, after an official trip in Paris to meet President François Hollande, Gentiloni suffered an obstructed coronary artery and received an emergency angioplasty.[36] On the following day Gentiloni tweeted that he felt well and would be back at work soon.[37] On the same day he also received the wishes from President Sergio Mattarella, former Prime Ministers Matteo Renzi and Silvio Berlusconi, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.[38]


  1. ^ "Camera dei Deputati- Paolo Gentiloni Silveri". Camera dei Deputati - Paolo Gentiloni Silveri. 
  2. ^ Rovelli, Michela (11 December 2016). "Governo, Gentiloni accetta l'incarico di governo: «Un grande onore»". Corriere della Sera. Retrieved 11 December 2016. 
  3. ^ "Chi è Paolo Gentiloni, nuovo ministro degli esteri". Retrieved 24 October 2016. 
  4. ^ Trocino, Alessandro (13 December 2016). "Gentiloni, Mario Capanna: «Negli anni 70 Paolo era con noi ma neanche mi accorsi di lui»" (in Italian). Corriere della Sera. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  5. ^ Profilo personale.
  6. ^ a b c Paolo Biondi and Roberto Landucci (October 31, 2014), Italy PM picks Paolo Gentiloni as new foreign minister in surprise choice Reuters.
  7. ^ Giada Zampano (October 31, 2014), Italy’s Prime Minister Names Paolo Gentiloni as Foreign Minister Wall Street Journal.
  8. ^ "Primarie Pd, a Roma stravince Marino: secondo Sassoli, terzo Gentiloni". Retrieved 24 October 2016. 
  9. ^ "Gentiloni giura al Quirinale, è il nuovo ministro degli Esteri: "Governo dev'essere all'altezza"". 31 October 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2016. 
  10. ^ "Italy "ready to fight" in Libya if needed - foreign minister". Retrieved 24 October 2016. 
  11. ^ "Terrorismo, radio dello Stato islamico cita Gentiloni: "Ministro dell'Italia crociata"". 14 February 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2016. 
  12. ^ "Gentiloni incontra Raul Castro a Cuba". Retrieved 24 October 2016. 
  13. ^ "ISIS claims responsibility for bomb attack against Italian consulate in Cairo | News , Middle East". The Daily Star. 2015-07-06. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  14. ^ "Islamic State 'behind blast' at Italian consulate in Cairo - BBC News". Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  15. ^ "1 dead in car bomb blast at Italian Consulate in Egypt -". Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  16. ^ AFP/PTI (11 July 2015). "Italy not 'intimidated' by Cairo consulate attack: Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni". Retrieved 24 October 2016 – via Business Standard. 
  17. ^ "Heads of rival Libyan parliaments meet in Malta, seek more time for unity government". Times of Malta. 15 December 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2015. 
  18. ^ Liam Moloney (January 16, 2015), Italy Says Against Paying Ransom for Hostages Wall Street Journal.
  19. ^ "Italian student found dead in Cairo 'killed by violent blow to the head'". The Guardian. 
  20. ^ "Cambridge University student Giulio Regeni 'was tortured and suffered burns' in Egypt, claim reports". Cambridge News. 
  21. ^ "Italy Summons Egyptian Ambassador Over Death of Student in Cairo". The Wall Street Journal. 4 February 2016. 
  22. ^ Michelle Nichols (June 28, 2016), Italy, Netherlands propose split U.N. Security Council seat for 2017-18 Reuters.
  23. ^ "L'ascesa di Paolo Gentiloni, dalla Margherita alla Farnesina" [Paolo Gentiloni's rise: from the Daisy to the Farnesina]. La Repubblica (in Italian). Rome: Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso. 31 October 2014. Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  24. ^ Nasce il governo Gentiloni, ministri confermati tranne Giannini. Alfano agli Esteri. Minniti all'Interno. Boschi sottosegretario
  25. ^ Governo Gentiloni, il ministro scelto da Mattarella: “Stessa maggioranza, gli altri non ci stanno”. Lunedì la squadra
  26. ^ Governo, Denis Verdini si sfila: «No fiducia a governo fotocopia»
  27. ^ Governo, Gentiloni ha la fiducia della Camera
  28. ^ Governo Gentiloni, fiducia al Senato con 169 "sì". Come Renzi alla "prima" a Palazzo Madama
  29. ^ Italy, Libya reach deal on halting migration ahead of EU summit
  30. ^ Migranti: Alfano, domani accordo Tunisia
  31. ^ Abolizione dei voucher: ecco il decreto legge
  32. ^ Voucher, perché la CGIL li ha voluti abolire
  33. ^ Addio ai voucher, Gentiloni: “Sarebbe stato un errore dividere il paese”
  34. ^ Ue, Merkel: “Sì a Europa a due velocità”. Gentiloni: “Ci siano diversi livelli di integrazione”
  35. ^ Migranti e libero mercato, asse tra Gentiloni e Trudeau
  36. ^ Italian PM Gentiloni's heart procedure completely successful
  37. ^ Italy’s New Prime Minister in Intensive Care After Emergency Heart Procedure
  38. ^ Gentiloni : “Grazie dell’affetto, sto bene e presto torno al lavoro”

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Mario Landolfi
Minister of Communications
Succeeded by
Claudio Scajola
as Minister of Economic Development
Preceded by
Federica Mogherini
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Angelino Alfano
Preceded by
Matteo Renzi
Prime Minister of Italy
Order of precedence
Preceded by
Laura Boldrini
as President of the Chamber of Deputies
Order of precedence of Italy
as Prime Minister
Succeeded by
Paolo Grossi
as President of the Constitutional Court
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Shinzō Abe
Chairperson of the Group of 7