Brussels, – Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s new prime minister, is expected in Brussels on Thursday to meet the European Union’s top officials on her first trip abroad.
The far-right politician has been scheduled to meet European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel separately.
Meloni has often been critical of the EU and its institutions in the past but the fact that a visit to Brussels would be her first foreign trip in office.
This could be seen as a pro-EU signal.
Since taking office in October she said that her government would abide by the EU’s rules but that Italy should take a more assertive role within the bloc.
Von der Leyen previously said she looked forward “to constructive cooperation’’ with the new Italian government after causing a stir in Italy before the elections.
Leyen said the EU had tools in place to deal with violations of its rules.
Meloni leads a right-wing alliance of her far-right Brothers of Italy party, the conservative Forza Italia of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and the right-wing Lega of Matteo Salvini.
The three parties clearly won the parliamentary elections held on Sept. 25.
During her election campaign, Meloni promised to defend Italy’s interests internationally.
Italy however is economically dependent on EU funding with the largest amount from an EU fund for reconstruction measures after the COVID-19 pandemic being earmarked for the country. (dpa/NAN)