Party of Italian Communists
The Party of Italian Communists was a communist party in Italy founded in October 1998 as a split from the Communist Refoundation Party led by Armando Cossutta, the founder and early leader of the PRC. In December 2014, the party was transformed into Communist Party of Italy, which would evolve into the re-edition of the Italian Communist Party. In October 1998, the PRC was divided between those who wanted to stop supporting Romano Prodi's first government, led by PRC secretary Fausto Bertinotti; the central committee endorsed Bertinotti's line, but Cossutta and his followers decided to support Prodi whatsoever. The votes of cossuttiani were not enough and the government lost a confidence vote in Parliament; the dissidents, who controlled the majority of deputies and senators and formed a rival communist outfit, the PdCI, which joined the first cabinet led by Massimo D'Alema, leader of the Democrats of the Left and first post-communist to hold the job of Prime Minister of Italy. Under D'Alema, PdCI's Oliviero Diliberto served as Minister of Justice.
Despite the split of most of PRC's parliamentary representation, the PRC remained more popular than the PdCI with voters, both in the 1999 European Parliament election and the 2001 general election. Diliberto, elected secretary in 2000, led the PdCI to continue its participation in the centre-left coalition at the 2001 general election, which registered a victory by Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right House of Freedoms coalition; the PdCI obtained a handful of deputies and senators. In the 2006 general election, the party was a member of the winning The Union coalition and won 2.4% of the vote and 16 deputies while the Together with the Union electoral list consisting of the PdCI, the Federation of the Greens and United Consumers won 11 senators. Subsequently, the PdCI entered Prodi's second government, which would last until January 2008. In the meantime, Diliberto had become the undisputed leader of the party and since 2005 clashes between him and Cossutta became frequent. In 2006, the latter was replaced by Antonino Cuffaro.
In 2007, Cossutta left the party altogether. For the 2008 general election, the PdCI formed a joint list named Rainbow Left along with the PRC, the Greens and Democratic Left under Bertinotti's leadership. SA obtained no seats. In 2008, Diliberto was re-elected secretary and proposed to the PRC a re-unification of the two parties through a "communist constituent assembly". In the run-up of the 2009 European Parliament election, the PdCI formed along with the PRC and minor groups the Anticapitalist and Communist List; the list got 3.4 % of no MEPs. In April 2009, the list was transformed into the Federation of the Left, which would be disbanded by the end of 2012 and dissolved in 2015. In the 2013 general election, the PdCI ran within Civil Revolution along with the PRC, the Greens, Italy of Values and minor groups, gaining 2.2% of the vote and no seats. The PdCI did not contest the 2014 European Parliament election, withdrawing its early support for The Other Europe electoral list. Before and after the 2009 European election, the PdCI lost its right- and left-wings, respectively.
In February, Unite the Left, led by Katia Belillo and Umberto Guidoni, left the party in order to participate in the election with the Left and Freedom list and would merge into Left Ecology Freedom. In June, Marco Rizzo was expelled and would form the hard-line Communist Party. In July 2013, Diliberto stepped down from secretary after thirteen years and was replaced by Cesare Procaccini, a 65-year-old former metalworker from Marche. In December 2014, the PdCI was transformed into Communist Party of Italy, taking the name of the late Communist Party of Italy. Secretary: Armando Cossutta, Oliviero Diliberto, Cesare Procaccini Coordinator: Marco Rizzo, Orazio Licandro, Alessandro Pignatiello President: Armando Cossutta, Antonino Cuffaro, Manuela Palermi Honorary President: Antonino Cuffaro Party Leader in the Chamber of Deputies: Oliviero Diliberto, Tullio Grimaldi, Marco Rizzo, Pino Sgobio Party Leader in the Senate: Luigi Marino, Manuela Palermi Party Leader in the European Parliament: Lucio Manisco, Marco Rizzo Media related to Partito dei Comunisti Italiani at Wikimedia Commons Official website
The centre-right coalition is a political alliance of political parties in Italy, active—under several forms and names—since 1994, when Silvio Berlusconi entered politics and formed his Forza Italia party. In the 1994 general election, under the leadership of Berlusconi, the centre-right ran with two coalitions, the Pole of Freedoms in northern Italy and Tuscany and the Pole of Good Government in central and southern Italy. In the 1996 general election, after the Northern League had left in late 1994, the centre-right coalition took the name of Pole for Freedoms; the Northern League returned in 2000, the coalition was re-formed as the House of Freedoms. Since 2008, when Forza Italia and National Alliance merged into The People of Freedom, the coalition has not had official names; the new Forza Italia was formed in late 2013. In 2018, the Lega Nord formed a government coalition with the Five Star Movement and without its centre-right allies, which entered the opposition; this led to a deterioration of the centre-right coalition at a national level, although the coalition is still active at the level of local elections.
In 1994, the media magnate Silvio Berlusconi very close to the Socialist Prime Minister Bettino Craxi and having appeared in commercials for the Italian Socialist Party, was studying the possibility of making a political party of his own to avoid what seemed to be the unavoidable victory of the left wing at the next elections. Only three months before the election, he presented, with a televised announcement, his new party, Forza Italia. Supporters believe he wanted to avert a communist victory, opponents that he was defending the ancién regime by rebranding it. Whatever his motives, he employed his power in communication and advanced communication techniques he and his allies knew well, as his fortune was based on advertisement. Berlusconi managed, in a surprise move, to ally himself both to National Alliance and Northern League, without these being allied with each other. Forza Italia teamed up with the League in the North, where they competed against National Alliance, with National Alliance in the rest of Italy, where the League was not present.
This unusual coalition configuration was caused by the deep hate between the League, which wanted to separate Italy and held Rome in deep contempt, the nationalist post-fascists. In the 1994 general election, Berlusconi's coalition won a decisive victory over Occhetto's one, becoming the first center-right coalition to win general election since the Second World War. In the popular vote, Berlusconi's coalition outpolled the Alliance of Progressives by over 5.1 million votes. Pole of Freedoms won in the main regions of Italy. Pole for Freedoms was formed as a continuation of the Pole of Freedoms and Pole of Good Government coalitions, which had both supported the leadership of Silvio Berlusconi at the 1994 general election: the Pole of Freedom was constituted by Forza Italia and Northern League, the Pole of Good Government by Forza Italia and the National Alliance. After that, Lega Nord left the coalition at the end of 1994, the centre-right was forced to reform itself: in 1995, in occasion of the regional elections, an organic alliance was formed.
In 1996 it was named "Pole for Freedoms" and debuted in the 1996 general election. The House of Freedoms was the successor of the Pole of Freedoms/Pole of Good Government and the Pole for Freedoms. In the run-up of the 2001 general election, after a six-year spell in opposition, which Berlusconi called "the crossing of the desert", he managed to re-unite the coalition under the "House of Freedoms" banner. According to its leader, the alliance was a "broad democratic arch, composed of the democratic right, namely AN, the great democratic centre, namely Forza Italia, CCD and CDU, the democratic left represented by the League, the New PSI, the Italian Republican Party; the CdL won the 2001 general election by a landslide and the Berlusconi II Cabinet was formed. In government, FI, whose strongholds included Lombardy as well as Sicily, the LN, active only in the Centre-North, formed the so-called "axis of the North", through the special relationship between three Lombards leaders, Giulio Tremonti and Umberto Bossi.
In 2003 the CdL was routed in local elections by The Olive Tree and the LN threatened to pull out. The 2004 European Parliament election were disappointing for FI and the coalition as a whole though AN, the UDC and the LN did better than five years before; as a result, Berlusconi and FI were weaker within the CdL. In 2005 the coalition lost in regional elections, losing six of the eight regions it controlled; the defeat was damaging in the South, while the only two regions which the coalition managed to keep and Veneto, were in the North, where the LN was decisive. This led to a government crisis after the UDC pulled its ministers out
The Letta Cabinet was the 62nd cabinet of the Italian Republic. In office from 28 April 2013 to 22 January 2014, it comprised ministers of the Democratic Party, The People of Freedom, Civic Choice, the Union of the Centre, one of the Italian Radicals and three non-party independents; the government was referred to by journalists as a grand coalition and/or government of broad agreements. At formation, the cabinet benefited from a supermajority in the Italian Parliament, one of the largest in the history of the Italian Republic; the cabinet was the youngest government so far, with a median age of 53. It was sworn in on 28 April 2013 and won the confidence vote in both the Chamber of Deputies on 29 April and the Senate on 30 April; the 2013 general election, held on 24–25 February, saw the rise of the Five Star Movement and the lack of a common majority in both houses of Parliament. More the centre-left coalition was ahead of the centre-right coalition, but controlled a majority only in the Chamber of Deputies.
The election was followed by weeks of deadlock, including various failed attempts either to elect a President to succeed Giorgio Napolitano and form a government, the establishment of a panel of experts by the President himself in order to outline priorities and formulate an agenda to deal with the persistent economic hardship and growing unemployment, the resignation of Pier Luigi Bersani from secretary of the Democratic Party. On 22 April 2013 Napolitano, after being re-elected for an unprecedented second term started consultations. Two days the President gave Enrico Letta, deputy-secretary of the PD, the task of forming a government, having determined that Bersani could not. Letta succeeded Mario Monti, who had resigned on 21 December 2012, but whose government remained in charge for ordinary administration until 28 April 2013, the day the new government was sworn in. During the ceremony, a man fired shots outside wounded two Carabinieri; the cabinet was composed by four parties: the PD, The People of Freedom, Civic Choice and the Union of the Centre.
The fact that the new Prime Minister was a nephew of Gianni Letta, one of the most trusted advisors to Silvio Berlusconi, the leader of the PdL, was perceived as a way of overcoming the bitter hostility between the two opposing camps. However, on 28 September, Berlusconi asked his party's five ministers to resign from the government over a tax hike. On 15 November 2013, who would be soon stripped of his seat in the Senate with PD's votes due to his conviction for tax fraud, announced the re-foundation of Forza Italia, in opposition to the government, the PdL split. In fact, all five PdL ministers, led by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Angelino Alfano, joined the New Centre-Right party; the same week SC suffered a split, with its minister Mario Mauro leaving the party, founding the Populars for Italy and keeping his post. The Letta Cabinet lasted until 22 February 2014; the government fell apart. Since December 2013 the party had been led by Matteo Renzi, the 39-year-old mayor of Florence nicknamed "the scrapper".
Renzi formed the Renzi Cabinet. Democratic Party: Prime minister, 9 ministers, 5 deputy ministers, 12 undersecretaries The People of Freedom: 5 ministers, 2 deputy ministers, 10 undersecretaries Independents: 3 ministers, 2 deputy ministers, 5 undersecretaries Civic Choice: 2 ministers, 1 deputy minister, 2 undersecretaries Union of the Centre: 1 minister, 1 undersecretary Italian Radicals: 1 minister Great South: 1 undersecretary Moderates in Revolution: 1 undersecretary Democratic Party: Prime minister, 8 ministers, 4 deputy ministers, 12 undersecretaries New Centre-Right: 4 ministers, 1 deputy minister, 7 undersecretaries Independents: 3 ministers, 2 deputy ministers, 5 undersecretaries Civic Choice: 1 minister, 1 deputy minister, 1 undersecretary Populars for Italy: 1 minister, 1 undersecretary Union of the Centre: 1 minister, 1 undersecretary Italian Radicals: 1 minister Media related to Letta Cabinet at Wikimedia Commons
Italian Liberal Party
The Italian Liberal Party was a liberal and conservative political party in Italy. The PLI, the heir of the liberal currents of both the Historical Right and the Historical Left, was a minor party after World War II, but a frequent junior party in government since 1979; the origins of liberalism in Italy are in the Historical Right, a parliamentary group formed by Camillo Benso di Cavour in the Parliament of the Kingdom of Sardinia following the 1848 revolution. The group was moderately conservative and supported centralised government, restricted suffrage, regressive taxation, free trade, they dominated politics following Italian unification in 1861 but never formed a party, basing their power on census suffrage and first-past-the-post voting system. The Right was opposed by the more progressive Historical Left, which overthrew Marco Minghetti's government during the so-called "Parliamentary Revolution" of 1876, which brought Agostino Depretis to become Prime Minister. However, Depretis began to look for support among Rightists MPs, who changed their positions, in a context of widespread corruption.
This phenomenon, known in Italian as trasformismo removed political differences in Parliament, dominated by an undistinguished liberal bloc with a landslide majority until World War I. Two parliamentary factions alternated in government, one led by Sidney Sonnino and the other, by far the largest of the two, by Giovanni Giolitti; the latter was known as Liberal Union since 1913 and was re-joined by Sonnino. At that time the Liberals governed in alliance with the Radicals, the Democrats and the Reformist Socialists. At the end of World War I, universal suffrage and proportional representation were introduced; these reforms caused big problems to the Liberals, which found themselves unable to stop the rise of two mass parties, the Italian Socialist Party and the Italian People's Party, which had taken the control of many local authorities in northern Italy before the war. The Catholic PPI opposed the PSI, but the Liberals and the Right, under the consequences of the capture of Rome and the struggles between the Holy See and the Italian state which the Liberals had ruled for more than fifty years.
The Parliament was thus divided in three different blocks with huge instability, while the Socialists and the rising Fascists instigators of political violence on opposite sides. In this chaotic situation, the Liberals founded the Italian Liberal Party in 1922, which joined an alliance led by Fascists and formed with them a joint list for the 1924 general election, transforming the Fascists from a small political force into an absolute-majority party; the PLI was banned by Benito Mussolini in 1925, while many old Liberal politicians were given prestigious, but not influential, political posts, such as seats in the Senate, stripped of any real power by Fascist reforms. The PLI was re-founded in 1943 by Benedetto Croce, a prominent intellectual and senator whose international recognition allowed him to remain a free man during the Fascist regime, despite being an anti-fascist himself. After the end of World War II, Enrico De Nicola, a Liberal, became "Provisional Head of State" and another one, Luigi Einaudi, who as Minister of Economy and Governor of the Bank of Italy between 1945 and 1948 had reshaped Italian economy, succeeded him as President of Italy.
In the 1946 general election the PLI, part of the National Democratic Union, won 6.8% of the vote, somewhat below expectations. Indeed, the party was supported by all the survivors of the Italian political class before the rise of Fascism, from Vittorio Emanuele Orlando to Francesco Saverio Nitti. In the first years, the party was led by Leone Cattani, member of the internal left, by Roberto Lucifero, a monarchist-conservative; this fact caused the exit of the group of Cattani and Bruno Villabruna, a moderate, was elected secretary in 1948 in order to re-unite all the Liberals under a single banner. Under the leadership of Giovanni Malagodi the party moved further to the right on economic issues; this caused in 1956 the exit of the party's left-wing, including Bruno Villabruna, Eugenio Scalfari and Marco Pannella, who founded the Radical Party. In particular, the PLI opposed the new centre-left coalition that included the Italian Socialist Party and presented itself as the main conservative party in Italy.
Malagodi managed to draw some votes from the Italian Social Movement, the Monarchist National Party and Christian Democracy, whose electoral base was composed by conservatives suspicious of the Socialists, increasing the party's share to a historical record of 7.0% in the 1963 general election. After Malagodi's resignation from the party's leadership, the PLI was defeated with a humiliating 1.3% in 1976, but tried to re-gain strength by supporting social reforms such as divorce. After Valerio Zanone took over as secretary in 1976, the PLI adopted a more centrist and, to some extent, social-liberal approach; the new secretary opened to the Socialists, hoping to put in action a sort of Lib–Lab cooperation, similar to that experimented in the United Kingdom from 1977 to 1979 between the Labour Party and the Liberals. In 1983 the PLI joined the pentapartito coalition composed of the Christian Democracy, the Italian Socialist Party, the Italian Democratic Socialist Party and the Italian Republican Party.
In the 1980s the party was led by Alfredo Biondi. With the uncovering of the corruption system nicknamed Tangentopoli by the
Christian Democracy (Italy)
Christian Democracy was a Christian democratic political party in Italy. The DC was founded in 1943 as the ideal successor of the Italian People's Party, which had the same symbol, a crossed shield. A Catholic-inspired, catch-all party comprising both right- and left-leaning political factions, the DC played a dominant role in the politics of Italy for fifty years, from its inception in 1944 until its final demise in 1994 amid the Tangentopoli scandals; the party was nicknamed the White Whale, due to party's huge organization and to its official color. From 1946 until 1994 the DC was the largest party in Parliament, governing in successive coalitions, it supported governments based on liberal-conservative political positions, before moving to centre-left coalitions. The party was succeeded by a string of smaller parties, including the Italian People's Party, the Christian Democratic Centre, the United Christian Democrats, the still active Union of the Centre. Former Christian Democrats are spread among other parties, including the centre-right Forza Italia and the centre-left Democratic Party.
The DC was a founding member of the European People's Party in 1976. The party was founded as the revival of the Italian People's Party, a political party created in 1919 by Luigi Sturzo, a Catholic priest; the PPI won over 20% of the votes in the 1919 and 1921 general elections, but was declared illegal by the Fascist dictatorship in 1925 despite the presence of some Popolari in Benito Mussolini's first government. As World War II was ending, the Christian Democrats started organizing post-Fascist Italy in coalition with all the other mainstream parties, including the Italian Communist Party, the Italian Socialist Party, the Italian Liberal Party, the Italian Republican Party, the Action Party and the Labour Democratic Party. In December 1945 Christian Democrat Alcide De Gasperi was appointed Prime Minister of Italy. In the 1946 general election the DC won 35.2% of the vote. In May 1947 De Gasperi broke decisively with his Communist and Socialist coalition partners under pressure from U. S. President Harry Truman.
This opened the way for a centrist coalition that included the Italian Workers' Socialist Party, a centrist break-away from the PSI, as well as its usual allies, the PLI and the PRI. In the 1948 general election the DC went on to win a decisive victory, with the support of the Catholic Church and the United States, obtained 48.5% of the vote, its best result ever. Despite his party's absolute majority in the Italian Parliament, De Gasperi continued to govern at the head of the centrist coalition, successively abandoned by the Liberals, who hoped for more right-wing policies, in 1950 and the Democratic Socialists, who hoped for more leftist policies, in 1951. Under De Gasperi, major land reforms were carried out in the poorer rural regions in the early postwar years, with farms appropriated from the large landowners and parcelled out to the peasants. In addition, during its years in office, Christian Democrats passed a number of laws safeguarding employees from exploitation, established a national health service, initiated low-cost housing in Italy’s major cities.
De Gasperi would die a year later. No Christian Democrat would match his longevity in office and, despite the fact that DC's share of vote was always between 38 and 43% from 1953 to 1979, the party was more and more fractious; as a result, Prime Ministers changed more frequently. From 1954 the DC was led by progressive Christian Democrats, such as Amintore Fanfani, Aldo Moro and Benigno Zaccagnini, supported by the influential left-wing factions. In the 1950s the party formed centrist or moderately centre-left coalitions, a short-lived government led by Fernando Tambroni relying on parliamentary support from the Italian Social Movement, the post-fascist party. In 1963 the party, under Prime Minister Aldo Moro, formed a coalition with the PSI, which returned to ministerial roles after 16 years, the PSDI and the PRI. Similar "Organic Centre-left" governments became usual through the 1970s. From 1976 to 1979 the DC governed with the external support of the PCI, through the Historic Compromise. Moro, the party main leader and who had inspired the Compromise, was abducted and murdered by the Red Brigades.
The event was a shock for the party. When Moro was abducted, the government, at the time led by Giulio Andreotti took a hardline position stating that the "State must not bend" on terrorist demands; this was a different position from the one kept in similar cases before. It was however supported by all the mainstream parties, including the PCI, with the two notable exceptions of the PSI and the Radicals. In the trial for Mafia allegations against Andreotti, it was said that he took the chance of getting rid of a dangerous political competitor by sabotaging all of the rescue options and leaving the captors with no option but killing him. During his captivity Moro wrote a series of letters, at times critical of Andreotti; the memorial written by Moro during his imprisonment was subject to several plots, including the assassination of journalist Mino Pecorelli and general Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa. At the beginning of the 1980s the DC had lost part of its support over Italian voters. In 1981 Giovanni Spadolini of the PRI was the first non-Christian Democrat to lead a government since 1944, at the head of a coalition comprising the DC, the PSI, the PSDI, the PRI and the PLI, the so
Fanfani I Cabinet
The Fanfani I Cabinet was the cabinet of the Italian government which held office from 19 January 1954 until 10 February 1954, for a total of 23 days. After failing to win a confidence vote in parliament, the cabinet was dissolved and succeeded by the Scelba Cabinet; this was the shortest-lived cabinet in the history of the Italian Republic. The government was composed by the following parties
Forza Italia was a centre-right political party in Italy with liberal-conservative, Christian-democratic, social-democratic and populist tendencies. Its leader was four times Prime Minister of Italy; the party was founded in December 1993 and won its first general election soon afterwards in March 1994. It was the main member of the Pole of Freedoms/Pole of Good Government, Pole for Freedoms and House of Freedoms coalitions. Throughout its existence, the party was characterised by a strong reliance on the personal image and charisma of its leader—it has therefore been called a "personality party" or Berlusconi's "personal party"—and the skillful use of media campaigns via television; the party's organisation and ideology depended on its leader. Its appeal to voters was based on Berlusconi's personality more than on its programme. In November 2008 the national council of the party, presided by Alfredo Biondi, voted to merge Forza Italia into The People of Freedom, Berlusconi's new political vehicle, whose official foundation took place in March 2009.
Forza Italia was formed in 1993 by Silvio Berlusconi, a successful businessman and owner of four of the main private television stations in Italy, along with Antonio Martino, Mario Valducci, Antonio Tajani, Marcello Dell'Utri, Cesare Previti and Giuliano Urbani. Italy was shaken by a series of corruption scandals known as Tangentopoli and the subsequent police investigation, called Mani pulite; this led to the disappearance of the five parties which governed Italy from 1947: DC, PSI, PSDI, PLI and PRI and to the end of the so-called First Republic. Forza Italia's aim was to attract moderate voters who were "disoriented, political orphans and who risked being unrepresented" if the Democratic Party of the Left had been able to win the next election and enter in government for the first time since 1947; the establishment of Forza Italia was supported in terms of finance and logistics by Berlusconi's Fininvest corporation: The area managers of its advertisement branch Publitalia'80 organised the selection of FI candidates, its marketing network staffed the opinion research centre Diakron that surveyed the "market potential" of the new party and the financial intermediaries of Fininvest subsidiary Programma Italia encouraged the launch of Forza Italia clubs.
The new party's campaigning was dependent on Fininvest's TV stations and PR resources. This earned Forza Italia labels like "virtual", "plastic" or "business-firm party". In her 2001 study of the party, political scientist Emanuela Poli described Forza Italia as "a mere diversification of Fininvest in the political market"; the case of Forza Italia was unprecedented as never before had a large political party been launched by a business corporation. Only it transformed into a mass-membership organisation, it took. To extend its representation in different regions, FI recruited established politicians of the "old" parties DC and PSI, who defected to the new party, bringing their local clientele with them. FI's political programme was influenced by the manifesto "In Search of Good Government" authored in late 1993 by Giuliano Urbani, a political science professor at Milan's private Bocconi University and an occasional collaborator of Fininvest, it denounced corruption, dominance of political parties and remnants of communism as Italy's ills, while advocating market economy, the assertion of civil society and more efficient politics as the solutions.
A few months after its creation, Forza Italia came to national power after the 1994 general election as the head of a political coalition called Pole of Freedoms/Pole of Good Government, composed of Lega Nord, National Alliance, Christian Democratic Centre and Union of the Centre. Silvio Berlusconi was sworn in May 1994 as Prime Minister of Italy in a government in which the most important cabinet posts were held by fellow Forza Italia members: Antonio Martino was Foreign Minister, Cesare Previti Defence Minister, Alfredo Biondi Justice Minister and Giulio Tremonti Finance Minister. In the 1994 European Parliament election held in June, Forza Italia was placed first nationally, with 30.6% of the vote, electing 27 MEPs. The party did not join an existing group in the European Parliament, instead forming the new group Forza Europa, composed of Forza Italia MEPs; the first Berlusconi-led government had a short life and fell in December, when Lega Nord left the coalition, after disagreements over pension reform and the first avviso di garanzia for Berlusconi, passed by Milan prosecutors.
Forza Italia's leader was replaced as Prime Minister by Lamberto Dini, an independent politician, the administration's Treasury Minister. No members of Forza Italia joined the new government and the party leader was relegated to opposition. In 1996 the Pole for Freedoms coalition led by Forza Italia lost that year's general election and began what Berlusconi called "the crossing of the desert", something that could have proved fatal for such a young and unstructured party. Between 1996 and 1998, the party started to strengthen its organisation under Claudio Scajola, a former Christian Democrat who served as national coordinator of Forza Italia from 1996 to 2001. In December 1999, Forza Italia gained full membership in the European People's Party, of whic