Action
Azione
SecretaryCarlo Calenda
PresidentMatteo Richetti
Founded18 January 2019 (2019-01-18)
(We Are Europeans)
21 November 2019 (2019-11-21)
(Action)
Split fromDemocratic Party
HeadquartersVia Poli 3, Rome
Membership (2020)17,000[1]
IdeologyLiberalism
Progressivism
Pro-Europeanism
Political positionCentre[2] to centre-left[6]
European Parliament groupSocialists and Democrats (2019–2021)
Renew Europe (since 2021)
Colours  Blue   Green
Chamber of Deputies
5 / 630
Senate
3 / 315
European Parliament
1 / 73
Regional Councils
5 / 897
Website
www.azione.it

Action (Italian: Azione, abbr. A or Az) is a liberal[7][8][9] and progressive political party in Italy. Its leader is Carlo Calenda, a member of the European Parliament within the group of Renew Europe and former minister of Economic Development.[10]

Originally launched as We Are Europeans (Siamo Europei, SE), it adopted its current name in November 2019 upon becoming a fully-fledged party. Calenda has described his party as "anti-populist" and "anti-souverainist".[11][12][13] He also explained that the party's name is a historical reference to the short-lived post-World War II Action Party and an alusion to Carlo Rosselli's "liberal socialism".[14] According to Calenda, the party is home to "pure liberals, but also liberal progressives (i.e. social liberals, like the leader himself) and Catholic democrats (i.e. Christian democrats)".[15]

History

Background

Carlo Calenda, who had been active within Luca Cordero di Montezemolo's Future Italy, was an unsuccessful candidate for the centrist Civic Choice (SC) party in the 2013 general election. However, he served in various capacities (deputy minister, ambassador and minister) in the three governments of the 2013–2018 legislative term. In the aftermath of the 2018 general election, he officially joined the centre-left Democratic Party (PD).[16]

We Are Europeans

In January 2019 Calenda launched a political manifesto named We Are Europeans (Siamo Europei), with the aim of creating a joint list composed of the PD and other progressive and pro-Europeanist parties for the upcoming European Parliament election.[17] His proposal was welcomed by Nicola Zingaretti, then leader of the PD, but rejected by other parties within the centre-left coalition, including More Europe (+Eu) and Italia in Comune.[18] In the run-up to the election, Zingaretti and Calenda presented a logo for their joint electoral list including a reference to We Are Europeans and the symbol of the Party of European Socialists.[19] Additionally, they also joined with Article One, a left-wing party established in 2017 by splinters from the PD, led by former PD secretary Pier Luigi Bersani.[20] The PD–SE joint list gained 22.7% of the vote, coming second after the League.[21] Calenda, who ran in the North-East constituency, received more than 270,000 votes, thus becoming the most voted candidate of the list,[22] and joined the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group.

In August 2019, tensions grew within the coalition supporting the first government of Giuseppe Conte, leading to the issuing of a motion of no-confidence by the League.[23] During the following government crisis, the PD national board officially endorsed the possibility of forming a new cabinet in a coalition with the Five Star Movement (M5S),[24] based on pro-Europeanism, green economy, sustainable development, fight against economic inequality and a new immigration policy.[25] The party also agreed to keep Conte as the head of the new government,[26] and on 29 August, President Sergio Mattarella re-appointed Conte as Prime Minister, this time at the head of a centre-left coalition.[27] Calenda strongly opposed the new government, stating that the PD had renounced any representation of the "reformists",[28] and that therefore it became necessary to establish a "liberal-progressive" movement.[29] Calenda left the PD and on 5 September 2019, while Conte's second government was sworn in, announced the transformation of SE into a full-fledged party.[30]

On 10 September 2019, Matteo Richetti, a prominent PD senator with a Catholic political upbringing[31] and a close associate of former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, abstained in the vote of confidence on the new government, and subsequently exited the party.[32] He stated that he would join forces with Calenda.[33]

Road to the new party

Carlo Calenda in 2019
Carlo Calenda in 2019

In November 2019, SE was officially transformed into a new party named Action (Azione),[34][35] which was organised also at the local level through the so-called "Action Groups" (Gruppi d'Azione).[36] Calenda explained Action's "reformist" nature, while Richetti that "Action would not be a centrist party, but the true progressive pole of the country".[37] Early donors of the party included Alberto Bombassei and Luciano Cimmino,[38][39] both former MPs elected with SC.

In August 2020, two members of the Chamber of Deputies joined Action: former minister Enrico Costa, who had earlier left Forza Italia (FI)[40] and a long-time advocate of reforms of the judiciary,[41] and Nunzio Angiola, university professor and former member of the M5S.[42]

In November 2020, deputies and senators affiliated with Action formed joint sub-groups in the Mixed Groups together with +Eu both in the Chamber and in the Senate. The sub-group in the Chamber counted four deputies, the one in the Senate three senators.[43][44]

In March 2021, Carlo Cottarelli, a former director of the International Monetary Fund, was chosen by Az, +Eu, the Italian Republican Party (PRI), the Liberal Democratic Alliance for Italy (ALI) and The Liberals to head of a scientific committee designed to elaborate of a joint political program.[45][46][47]

In the 2021 municipal election in Rome Calenda came third with 19.8% of the vote and the "Calenda for Mayor" list, comprising Az, +Eu, the PRI, Italia Viva (IV) and other minor liberal and centrist groups, won 19.1% of the vote, becoming the most voted list, ahead of the PD (whose candidate, Roberto Gualtieri, had launched a parallel "Gualtieri for Mayor" list and was elected at in the run-off).

In November 2021, Calenda left the S&D group in the European Parliament, after that it was hinted that the M5S might have joined it, and switched to Renew Europe.[48][49]

In January 2022, the party formed a federation with +Eu.[50]

Founding congress

On 19–20 February 2022, the party held its first congress,[51] during which Calenda was elected secretary, Richetti president, Emma Fattorini (a former senator of the PD) and Giulia Pastorella vice presidents.[15] The assembly welcomed several guest speakers, notably including Stéphane Séjourné of Renew Europe, Enrico Letta of the PD, Giancarlo Giorgetti of the League, Antonio Tajani of FI and Ettore Rosato of IV, as well as Benedetto Della Vedova of +Eu and the representatives of the other liberal parties with which Action had been cooperating.[52][53] Calenda explained that Action would dialogue with all main parties, except the M5S and the Brothers of Italy (FdI),[54][55][56] whose leaders were not invited to participate in the congress.

A few days before the congress, Barbara Masini had switched from FI.[57][58] In the coming weeks, senator Leonardo Grimani (ex-PD and ex-IV)[59] and deputies Claudio Pedrazzini, Osvaldo Napoli and Daniela Ruffino (all three ex-FI and ex-Cambiamo!)[60][61] joined the party.

Notable members

Other than Carlo Calenda, leader and MEP, leading members of the party include senators Matteo Richetti (ex-Democratic Party), Leonardo Grimani (ex-Democratic Party and ex-Italia Viva) and Barbara Masini (ex-Forza Italia), as well as deputies Nunzio Angiola (ex-Five Star Movement), Enrico Costa (ex-FI), Claudio Pedrazzini (ex-FI and ex-Cambiamo!), Osvaldo Napoli (ex-FI and ex-C!) and Daniela Ruffino (ex-FI and ex-C!). The party's national board includes Raffaele Bonanni (former secretary-general of the Italian Confederation of Workers' Trade Unions), Vincenzo Camporini (former Chief of the Defence Staff), Mario Raffaelli (former long-time deputy and under-secretary for the Italian Socialist Party), Walter Ricciardi (former president of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità) and Ugo Rossi (former President of Trentino).[62]

Electoral results

Regional Councils

Region Election year Votes % Seats +/−
Emilia-Romagna 2020 into BP list
1 / 50

Leadership

Symbols

References

  1. ^ "Questo partito di Carlo Calenda". Il Post (in Italian). 12 September 2020. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  2. ^ "Questo partito di Carlo Calenda". Il Post. September 12, 2020.
  3. ^ Calenda lancia 'Azione', il nuovo partito di centrosinistra e riformista, AGR Press
  4. ^ I sondaggisti: «Azione» di Calenda parte dal 2%, Il Sole 24 Ore
  5. ^ https://europeelects.eu/italy/
  6. ^ [3][4][5]
  7. ^ Johnson, Miles (6 April 2020). "Coronavirus: Is Europe losing Italy?". Financial Times.
  8. ^ "Is Rome mayor election death-knell for 5-Star Movement?".
  9. ^ "Wild boar on streets of Rome are being used against me, says mayor". TheGuardian.com. 23 September 2021.
  10. ^ "Calenda lancia nuovo movimento politico - Politica". Agenzia ANSA. September 5, 2019.
  11. ^ "Carlo Calenda lancia Azione contro populisti e sovranisti". rainews.
  12. ^ "Calenda lancia Azione, contro i populisti - Politica". Agenzia ANSA. November 21, 2019.
  13. ^ politica, Redazione (November 22, 2019). "Calenda presenta Azione, il suo nuovo partito: "Ecco il nostro fronte anti-populista"". Corriere della Sera.
  14. ^ @CarloCalenda (3 September 2021). ".@azione_it non si chiama così per una scelta di marketing ma per un riferimento storico preciso: il Partito d'Azio…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  15. ^ a b "Calenda proclamato segretario di Azione: "Al prossimo congresso una donna mi cacci"".
  16. ^ "Calenda prende la tessera del Pd: "Abbiamo dato sensazione di essere élite"". Il Sole 24 ORE. 6 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Calenda lancia Manifesto "Siamo Europei", Aderiscono Martina e Gentiloni, diversi governatori e sindaci dem". L'HuffPost. January 18, 2019.
  18. ^ "Elezioni europee 2019, Pd e PiùEuropa correranno separati. Zingaretti: "Faremo due liste aperte alla società civile"". Il Fatto Quotidiano. March 12, 2019.
  19. ^ "Simbolo di unità. Nicola Zingaretti svela il logo Pd-SiamoEuropei". L'HuffPost. March 30, 2019.
  20. ^ "Il simbolo c'è, l'intesa con Mdp quasi (di R. F. Calvo)". L'HuffPost. March 29, 2019.
  21. ^ Online, Redazione (May 27, 2019). "Europee: chi ha vinto, chi ha perso e cosa succederà al governo italiano". Corriere della Sera.
  22. ^ "Europee, i candidati acchiappavoti. Calenda e Pisapia campioni di preferenze. Alla Lega 29 seggi, al Pd 19". Repubblica.it. May 27, 2019.
  23. ^ Horowitz, Jason (20 August 2019). "Italy's Government Collapses, Turning Chaos Into Crisis". The New York Times.
  24. ^ Giuffrida, Angela (20 August 2019). "Italian PM resigns with attack on 'opportunist' Salvini" – via www.theguardian.com.
  25. ^ "Governo, Zingaretti: "I 5 punti per trattare con il M5S. No accordicchi, governo di svolta"". Repubblica.it. 21 August 2019.
  26. ^ "Conte wins crucial support for new Italian govt coalition". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2019-08-28.
  27. ^ "Il Presidente Mattarella ha conferito l'incarico al Prof. Conte di formare il Governo". Quirinale (in Italian). Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  28. ^ Bordi, Roberto (5 September 2019). "Nasce il partito di Calenda: "Sarà un movimento aperto a tutti"". ilGiornale.it.
  29. ^ "Calenda lancia il suo "movimento liberal-progressista": "Tesseramento al via da dicembre"". September 5, 2019.
  30. ^ "Calenda anticipa Renzi e apre la scissione nel Pd: "Nuovo movimento liberal-progressista"". Today.
  31. ^ "Matteo Richetti lascia il Pd. Scatta una battaglia legale per i contributi non versati al partito".
  32. ^ "Richetti verso l'addio al Pd, il senatore andrà nel Gruppo Misto". Tgcom24.
  33. ^ "Richetti dice No al governo, lascia il Pd e guarda a Calenda" (in Italian). Globalist. 10 September 2019. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  34. ^ "Carlo Calenda fonda Azione e punta al 10 per cento: "Pd e renziani riformisti rammolliti. Errore fare il governo"". 21 November 2019.
  35. ^ "Calenda lascia il Pd e fonda il suo Movimento: "Serve una casa riformista"". Globalist. 5 September 2019.
  36. ^ Azione – Gruppi d'Azione, azione.it
  37. ^ "Matteo Richetti: "Azione non sarà un partito di centro, ma il vero polo progressista del Paese"".
  38. ^ "Carlo Calenda da record: Pioggia di donazioni dal mondo delle imprese". 6 December 2021.
  39. ^ "Carlo Calenda, Azione è il partito preferito: In poco tempo vanta cifre da capogiro".
  40. ^ "Il deputato Enrico Costa ha lasciato Forza Italia e si è unito ad Azione" (in Italian). Il Post. 4 August 2020. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  41. ^ "Intervista a Enrico Costa: "I magistrati stiano fuori dalla politica"". 6 November 2021.
  42. ^ Nunzio Angiola archivia M5s e passa con Calenda: è il secondo parlamentare per Azione, la Repubblica
  43. ^ "Nasce gruppo parlamentare comune Più Europa-Azione - Ultima Ora". Agenzia ANSA. November 17, 2020.
  44. ^ "Azione e Più Europa, centro di questi giorni". www.ilfoglio.it.
  45. ^ "Calenda, Bonino e Cottarelli: "La politica non finisce con Draghi"". 10 March 2021.
  46. ^ "Programma per l'Italia | Cosa farà il comitato di Cottarelli che mette insieme (Quasi) tutti i partiti liberaldemocratici". 11 March 2021.
  47. ^ "Le forze Libdem insieme per il "Programma per l'Italia": Il comitato presieduto da Cottarelli". 9 March 2021.
  48. ^ "[Ticker] Italian MEP quits S&D for liberal Renew Europe".
  49. ^ Calenda lascia gli S&D, 'oggi chiederò ingresso in Renew'
  50. ^ "Nasce la federazione fra Azione e +Europa. Calenda: "Per il Colle Bonino è il nostro nome di riferimento".Lei: "Ora è tardi"". la Repubblica (in Italian). 12 January 2022. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
  51. ^ Al via il primo congresso di Azione. Letta: 'insieme vinceremo al voto del 2023', ANSA
  52. ^ "Il primo Congresso di Azione - l'Italia, sul serio".
  53. ^ "Al via il primo congresso di Azione. Calenda, non dialogo con M5s e FdI | ANSA.it".
  54. ^ "Al via il primo congresso di Azione. Calenda, non dialogo con M5s e FdI - Politica". 19 February 2022.
  55. ^ "La terza via di Calenda: "Discutiamo con tutti, tranne Cinquestelle e Fratelli d'Italia"".
  56. ^ "Calenda disegna la mappa delle sue alleanze: "Col Pd solo se non c'è il M5s. Lega? Sì al dialogo se diventa europeista"". 19 February 2022.
  57. ^ "La senatrice Masini lascia Forza Italia: "Il mio coming out? Ho fatto un favore al centrodestra"".
  58. ^ "Azione: Calenda, 'benvenuta a Masini, protagonista battaglie su diritti'".
  59. ^ "Leonardo Grimani, il senatore fuoriuscito da Italia Viva passa ad Azione". 23 February 2022.
  60. ^ https://www.azione.it/benvenuto_claudio_pedrazzini
  61. ^ https://www.repubblica.it/politica/2022/03/17/news/calenda_forza_italia_osvaldo_napoli-341733938[bare URL]
  62. ^ "Direzione".