To reshape Europe, Italy wants to join forces with Poland to build a new continent.
“Poland and Italy will be part of the new spring of Europe, the renaissance of European values,” Italy’s far-right Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini told a press conference in Warsaw with Poland’s Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski.
As reported by the Reuters news agency, the meeting was initiated by Brudzinski, who said the two men discussed migration and EU border security.
“The Europe that will come to form in June (after May’s European Parliament elections) will lead us all rather than the one that exists today and is run by bureaucrats,” said Salvini, who heads Italy’s far-right League Party. He has repeatedly criticized the EU and says the May elections are vital for creating a “reformist” bloc that can overhaul Brussels institutions from within.
Poland’s government, run by the euroskeptic Law and Justice (PiS) party, has also demanded the EU offer more sovereignty to member countries and meddle less in national affairs.
In a separate report, The Guardian noted that Brudziński praised Salvini’s hard-line immigration strategy, which has included closing off Italian ports to migrant boats, adding that the two countries shared common goals such as “strengthening borders” and helping to improve conditions in migrants’ home countries.
As for Salvini’s coalition partner, Luigi Di Maio, he is preparing an election manifesto with European populist groups that are in coherence with his M5S. He held a meeting in Brussels on January 8 with Paweł Kukiz, a former rock star who heads up Poland’s Kukiz’15; Ivan Sincic, of Croatia’s Living Wall and Karolina Kähönen, the co-founder of Liike Nyt, which describes itself as a liberal political movement in Finland.
“They are young, but they have an ever-increasing consensus,” Di Maio wrote on Facebook. “They are the coolest and most beautiful energies in Europe. Our dream is a Europe with more social rights, more innovation and less privileges. A Europe that puts the needs of its citizens first.”