Forza Italia (2013)
|Political Counselor||Giovanni Toti|
|Chief of Staff||Mariarosaria Rossi|
|Founded||18 September 2013
16 November 2013
|Preceded by||The People of Freedom|
|Headquarters||Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina 4, Rome|
|Student wing||Studenti per la Libertà|
|Youth wing||Forza Italia Giovani|
|Women's wing||Donne Azzurre|
|European Parliament group||European People's Party|
|Chamber of Deputies|
|Politics of Italy
The party, consisting of the former People of Freedom (PdL) party, is a revival of the defunct Forza Italia (FI), active from 1994 to 2009, when it was merged with National Alliance (AN) and several minor parties to form the PdL. Forza Italia's leading members include Giovanni Toti, Antonio Tajani, Renato Brunetta, Paolo Romani, Maurizio Gasparri, Mariastella Gelmini, Antonio Martino, Giancarlo Galan, Daniela Santanchè, Sandro Bondi and Raffaele Fitto.
The new FI, announced in June 2013, was launched on 18 September and the PdL was formally dissolved into the new FI on 16 November. The day before a group of dissidents (mainly Christian democrats), led by Berlusconi's protégé Angelino Alfano, had broke by announcing the foundation of the alternative New Centre-Right (NCD) party. Another group of PdL members, led by former mayor of Rome Gianni Alemanno, had left to form Italy First and are discussing a merger with Brothers of Italy. According to Berlusconi, the PdL would become a coalition of centre-right parties, including the new FI, NCD, the new conservative outfit, possibly Lega Nord, etc.
The symbol of FI made its return in the 2013 provincial elections in Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, although in a regional fashion: "Forza Trentino" and "Forza Alto Adige" (in list with Lega Nord Alto Adige/Südtirol).
As of the end of December, Berlusconi was set to appoint three vice-presidents: Antonio Tajani (European Commissioner and vice-president of the European People's Party), Giovanni Toti (former editor of Studio Aperto and TG4, two news programs of Berlusconi's Mediaset). As a result of the resentement by the party's old guard on the alleged appointment of Toti as coordinator-at-large, Berlusconi appointed him merely "political counselor" to the party.
In the 2014 European Parliament election the party obtained 16.8% of the vote and 13 seats.
FI's ideology is similar to that of its predecessor, the PdL, a big tent centre-right party including Christian democrats, liberals, conservatives and social democrats. However, the split occurred between FI and NCD left the former with a more liberal base. According to an article from Corriere della Sera, on the so-called "ethical issues" (abortion, LGBT rights, etc.), the party, which aims at returning to its 1994's original values (including "liberalism, the socialist roots, even the radical component"), respects its MPs' "freedom of conscience" and is open to civil unions (some members go further and even propose same-sex marriage), while NCD's positions are "closer to those of the European traditionalist right".
Generally speaking, with the long-prepared return to FI, Berlusconi aimed at returning to the party's "liberal roots": in doing that, he reinforced his ties with those liberals, like Antonio Martino, who had been marginalised in the PdL.
Factions and associated parties
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (July 2014)|
Forza Italia is a plural party, including several distinct ideological trends but not recognizeds, some formed during the final months of The People of Freedom. However, since its foundation in 2013, had holded various minor parties, mainly centrists or right-wing, that began informal factions in the party.
- Union of Popular Movements (Unione dei Movimenti Popolari): founded in 2014 by Gianfranco Rotondi, is a large Christian democrat and conservative faction within FI who want start a Shadow Cabinet (Governo Ombra) opposite to Renzi Cabinet. Rotondi is well-supported by the Christian democrats of FI, as Raffaele Fitto.
- Christian Democracy (Democrazia Cristiana): formerly a small Christian democrat party, it's merged in The People of Freedom in 2009 and today is a branch of FI.
- Apulia First of All (La Puglia Prima di Tutto): a regionalist party in Apulia, who run in the election as the local branch of Fi. He's leaded by Raffaele Fitto, a Silvio Berlusconi's loyalist.
- Liberamente (Liberamente): a centrist-liberal faction led by Paolo Romani and composed by Stefania Prestigiacomo, Mara Carfagna, Raffaele Fitto, Mariastella Gelmini, Giancarlo Galan and Denis Verdini.
- Free Foundation (Free Foundation): a classical liberal faction led by Renato Brunetta.
- Christopher Columbus Foundation (Fondazione Cristoforo Colombo): This faction is a conservative-liberal and Christian democrat group led by Claudio Scajola, and composed by Antonio Martino, Guglielmo Picchi and other liberal politician. It was weakened after the Angelino Alfano's faction split in 2013.
- The Right (La Destra): Until the 2014, The Right was a independent right-wing political parties, but after the fall of rightiest parties, it was merged in FI some time until the 2014 European Parliament elections.
- Popular Construction (Cantiere Popolare): Initially a centrist political coalition, led by The Populars of Italy Tomorrow of Francesco Saverio Romano, allied with the PdL in 2011-2013, Popular Construction is merged in FI in late 2013. This faction is very supported in Sicily.
- Populars–UDEUR (Popolari–UDEUR): The party, led by Clemente Mastella, was very active in Campania in 2005-2008, but afterly the election has lost its seats, started an alliance with the PdL. In 2014, also this party is merged in to FI.
- Great South (Grande Sud): This faction was an alliance by Southern Italian political parties, but after in 2013, its leader Gianfranco Micciché is merged in FI, while his allied I South is marged in Brothers of Italy.
- New Italian Socialist Party (Nuovo Partito Socialista Italiano): Led by Stefano Caldoro, this party is de facto the only social democrat faction within FI. It's only faction positioned in the centre-left of FI.
- Club Forza Silvio: the new grassroots formed by Silvio Berlusconi as youth and popular faction, composed by normal people who manifest pro-Berlusconi agreement. There are around 8.000 clubs in all Italy.
- President: Silvio Berlusconi (2013–present)
- Political Counselor: Giovanni Toti (2014–present)
- Chief of Staff: Mariarosaria Rossi (2014–present)
- Spokesperson: Deborah Bergamini (2014–present)
- Party Leader in the Chamber of Deputies: Renato Brunetta (2013–present)
- Party Leader in the Senate: Paolo Romani (2013–present)
- Party Leader in the European Parliament: Raffaele Baldassarre (2013–present)
|Election year||# of
| % of
overall seats won
- Official website (in Italian)
- Voglia di Forza Italia: ecco la vera storia del simbolo che fa sognare tutti i moderati, il Giornale, July 7, 2013
- Italy, Parties and Election in Europe, 2013
- Dinmore, Guy (15 May 2014). "Lacklustre Berlusconi campaign has risks for Renzi". FT.com.
- Agnew, Paddy (16 May 2014). "Silvio Berlusconi likens himself to Pope Francis". The Irish Times.
- Seven senators of FI sit in the "Great Autonomies and Freedom" Group.
- Jane L. Chapman; Nick Nuttall (21 March 2011). Journalism Today: A Themed History. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 113–. ISBN 978-1-4443-9536-5.
- Barbara Pezzotti (14 September 2012). The Importance of Place in Contemporary Italian Crime Fiction: A Bloody Journey. Fairleigh Dickinson. pp. 36–. ISBN 978-1-61147-553-1.
- Thomas Jansen; Steven Van Hecke (19 May 2011). At Europe's Service: The Origins and Evolution of the European People's Party. Springer. pp. 63–. ISBN 978-3-642-19414-6.
- "Berlusconi al Tg1: torna Forza Italia e sarò io a guidarla" (in Italian). Il Sole 24 Ore. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
- "Berlusconi annuncia ritorno di Forza Italia. "Temo che sarò ancora il numero uno"" (in Italian). la Repubblica. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
- "Berlusconi Revives Forza Italia in Plea for Help Against Trials". Bloomberg News. 18 September 2013.
- "Silvio Berlusconi Relaunches Forza Italia on Senate Ousting Vote". International Business Times. 18 September 2013.
- "Berlusconi Vows to Stay in Politics if Ousted From Senate". The Wall Street Journal. 18 September 2013.
- "Berlusconi Stakes a Claim for Relevance, but Avoids Threats". The New York Times. 18 September 2013.
- "Berlusconi breaks away from Italian government after party splits". Reuters. 16 November 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
- "È rottura tra Berlusconi e Alfano Il vicepremier annuncia i nuovi gruppi" (in Italian). Corriere della Sera. 16 November 2013.
- "Alemanno lancia "Prima l'Italia": "La priorità è portare il Paese fuori dalla crisi"" (in Italian). Il Messaggero. 13 October 2013.
- "L’addio al Pdl (in frantumi), rinasce Forza Italia" (in Italian). Corriere della Sera. 16 November 2013.
- "Nasce Forza Trentino: ultimo pressing su Mosna" (in Italian). Trentino. 11 September 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Biancofiore candida l’Artioli capolista" (in Italian). Alto Adige. 14 September 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Alle 17.42 l'annuncio dopo il voto palese L'ira di Forza Italia sui Cinquestelle" (in Italian). Corriere della Sera. 28 November 2013.
- "Forza Italia esce dalla maggioranza Alfano: "Un errore sabotare Letta"" (in Italian). Corriere della Sera. 26 November 2013.
- "Mediaset, cambio ai vertici Al posto di Giovanni Toti arrivano Giordano e Broggiato" (in Italian). il Giornale. 24 January 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- ""Forza Italia via dai palazzi romani" Si riparte da Milano (e dalla Brianza)" (in Italian). Corriere della Sera. 29 November 2013.
- "Berlusconi taps newsman as party advisor". Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata. 24 January 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- "Pd-azzurri: asse sui diritti (senza Ncd)" (in Italian). Corriere della Sera. 4 January 2014.
- "Berlusconi seeks return to liberal roots". Financial Times. 22 July 2012.
- "Quegli economisti euroscettici (proprio come Berlusconi)" (in Italian). Il Foglio. 31 October 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
- "Can Berlusconi make a eurosceptic comeback?". la Repubblica/The Guardian. Presseurop. 26 June 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
- "Berlusconi turns Eurosceptic in bid to return to power". City A.M. 18 July 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
- http://www.liberoquotidiano.it/news/politica/1325297/Pdl--le-correnti--nomi-e-cognomi.html Pdl, le correnti: nomi e cognomi], Libero Quotidiano, October 7, 2013
- Forza Italia, i dirigenti del Pid aderiscono al partito di Berlusconi, Giornale di Sicilia, October 30, 2013
- Gianfranco Rotondi sfida Matteo Renzi e lancia l'Unione dei Movimenti Popolari: "Lui rottamatore, io restauratore", Huffington Post, March 1, 2014