2:30 pm EDT - 4:00 pm EDT

Past Event

Italy on the Eve of General Elections: A Turning Point or Business as Usual?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

2:30 pm - 4:00 pm EDT

The Brookings Institution
Stein Room

1775 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC

The Italian parliamentary election on April 9-10, 2006 was a crucial test for the future of Italy’s domestic and foreign policy. For the last five years Italy has enjoyed nearly unprecedented political stability under the rule of a center-right coalition led by Silvio Berlusconi. Yet, the economy’s poor performance has caused widespread discontent, especially with Italy’s current growth rate, the lowest in Europe.

On the international scene, Italy has been a major contributor to peacekeeping and crisis management, and has been able to foster particularly close relations with the United States. Critics, however, say this pro-U.S. stance, coupled with the emergence of an increasingly vocal Euro-skepticism within the ruling coalition, has weakened Italy’s role within the European Union. Because of this, the outcome of the election remains highly uncertain.

To preview the election and discuss the recent evolution of Italian politics and foreign policy, Philip Gordon, director of the Brookings Center on the United States and Europe will moderate a discussion with two Italian political experts: Ettore Greco, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and Gianfranco Pasquino, professor of political science, the University of Bologna.

After remarks there will be an audience question and answer session.