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Italy: Wavering Between Europhilia and Euroscepticism


Italy has gone from one of the most pro-EU country to a rather euro-critical one. The crisis has dimmed hopes that the EU membership was a stimulator for economic growth. Moreover, Italians believed that the EU would be able to correct the shortcomings of national institutions. Phenomena, such as corruption, however, remain acutely perceived in Italy.
There is a cultural attachment to the EU in Italy but EU actions are too little advertised. There is room for more communication. It would help that decision makers cooperate more with their European counterparts to trigger a feeling of belonging to a European sphere, which could trickle down to the citizens-level.
Italians’ lukewarm attitude vis-à-vis the EU is mostly the result of the economic crisis and the subsequent austerity measures. They, however, remain committed to further integration in a variety of fields, including in foreign and defence policies. But at this stage, the most pressing need for Italians is that the EU helps restore growth and competitiveness.

Report of the project “Building Bridges between National Perspectives on the European Union”. Published also in the "Building Bridges Paper Series".