Network Italy (Rete Italia) is a Christian-democratic faction within New Centre-Right (NCD), a political party in Italy. Most of its members, including its leader Roberto Formigoni, are members of the Catholic lay movement Communion and Liberation (CL).
The political involvement of large chunks of CL dates back to the Seventies. In 1975 Formigoni organized the Popular Movement (MP) as a faction within Christian Democracy (DC). In January 1994 its members joined the Italian People's Party (PPI) and, a year later, they founded the United Christian Democrats (CDU), along with Rocco Buttiglione. Formigoni, who had been elected President of Lombardy in April 1995 thanks to the support of Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia, was appointed president of the CDU at the party's founding congress in July. In 1998, when Buttiglione temporarily aligned his party with the centre-left in support of D'Alema I Cabinet (through the Democratic Union for the Republic, UDR), Formigoni and his followers (known as Formigoniani) formed the Christian Democrats for Freedom (Cristiani Democratici per la Libertà, CDL). When Buttiglione re-established CDU and re-positioned it in the centre-right, joining the House of Freedoms coalition in 2000, Formigoni, his Formigoniani and many regional deputies from Northern regions had already joined Forza Italia.
In 2006 Network Italy was organized as a faction within Forza Italia. Leading members of the faction, which has its power base in Lombardy, has included Maurizio Lupi, Mario Mauro, Giancarlo Abelli, Adriano Paroli, Maurizio Bernardo, Mario Malossini, Raffaello Vignali, Aldo Brandirali and Mario Sala.
In 2009 the faction, along with Forza Italia, joined The People of Freedom (PdL) party.
In November 2010, during a convention in Milan, Formigoni formed an alliance with other two party bigwigs, Raffaele Fitto and Angelino Alfano. The aim of the initiative was to reinforce the Catholic image of the party. The ties with Franco Frattini's Liberamente and Gianni Alemanno's New Italy were reinforced too.
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