|Founded||15 November 2013|
|Split from||The People of Freedom|
|Headquarters||Via Arcione 71
|Youth wing||Youth NCD|
|National affiliation||Popular Area|
|European affiliation||European People's Party|
|European Parliament group||European People's Party|
|Chamber of Deputies||
24 / 630
26 / 315
1 / 73
The party was launched on 15 November 2013 by a group of dissidents of The People of Freedom (PdL) who opposed the party's transformation into Forza Italia (FI), which would take place the day after. The NCD leader is Angelino Alfano, who had been Silvio Berlusconi's protégé and national secretary of the PdL from 2011 to 2013.
Background and foundation
The party was formed by splinters from the PdL on 15 November 2013. Its founders, lately known as "doves" in the party, were strong supporters of Enrico Letta's government and refused to join the new Forza Italia (FI), founded upon the dissolution of the PdL. All five PdL ministers, three under-secretaries, 30 senators and 27 deputies immediately joined the NCD. Most were Christian democrats and many came from the southern regions of Calabria and Sicily.
Besides Alfano (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior), leading members included Maurizio Lupi (Minister of Infrastructure and Transport), Nunzia De Girolamo (Minister of Agriculture), Beatrice Lorenzin (Minister of Health), Gaetano Quagliariello (Minister of Constitutional Reforms), Giuseppe Scopelliti (President of Calabria), Roberto Formigoni (former President of Lombardy), Renato Schifani (former President of the Senate and PdL floor leader until November 2013), Fabrizio Cicchitto (former PdL leader in the Chamber in 2008–2013) and Carlo Giovanardi (a former minister for the UDC).
Support to Renzi and Popular Area
In February 2014, after the fall of Letta's government, the NCD joined a new coalition government led by Matteo Renzi, who had been elected secretary of the Democratic Party (PD) in December 2013. In the new government the NCD retained three ministers: Alfano at the Interior, Lupi at Infrastrctures and Transports, and Lorenzin at Health. Quagliariello, who had not been confirmed as minister of Institutional Reforms, was elected national coordinator by the assembly of the parliamentary groups. The party also started to structure itself at the local level.
The party ran in the 2014 European Parliament election on a joint list with the Union of the Centre (UdC). The list obtained 4.4% of the vote and three MEPs, two for the NCD and one for the UdC. The list did especially well in the South: 7.1% in Apulia, 11.4% in Calabria and 9.1% in Sicily.
In December 2014 the NCD formed joint parliamentary groups with the UdC in both the Chamber of Deputies and Senate. The two groups, a step toward a complete merger of the two parties, were named Popular Area, where "popular" was a reference to popolarismo, the Italian variety of Christian democracy.
Internal squabbles and splits
Following Alfano's decision to support Sergio Mattarella's bid to become President of Italy during the 2015 presidential election (Matteralla was effectively elected on 31 January), the NCD experienced an internal crisis. Most notably, Barbara Saltamartini and Maurizio Sacconi resigned from party's spokesperson and leader in the Senate, respectively. Schifani was unanimously elected to succeed to Sacconi, while Saltamartini left the party altogether.
In March Lupi was hit by a minor corruption scandal and resigned from minister of Infrastrctures and Transports. As result, the party was left with only two ministers. In April De Girolamo, a frequent critic of the government since Mattarella's election, was replaced as leader in the Chamber by Lupi.
A bigger blow to Alfano came in October, when Quaglieriello resigned from coordinator and threatened to led a splinter group out of the party if the NCD were to continue its support to Renzi. In the following weeks, Quaglieriello deserted a meeting of the party's national board and made clear he was leaving the party. Two deputies (Vincenso Piso and Eugenia Roccella) and two collagues of Quaglieriello (Andrea Augello and Giovanardi) in the Senate followed suit. These, along with a fourth senator (Luigi Compagna, a former Liberal) finally launched Identity and Action (IDEA).
In February 2016, during a government reshuffle, NCD's Enrico Costa was appointed minister of Regional Affairs and Autonomies. Shortly afterwards, it was announced by Lorenzin that the party would soon change its name, dropping the word "right", or take part to the formation of an entirely new party.
After NCD's dismal results in the 2016 local elections, several MPs, mainly senators, started weighing on leaving the party. In July 2016 Schifani, who criticised the party's permanence in the government and aimed at re-unifying the Italian fractured centre-right, stepped down from leader in the Senate and was replaced by Laura Bianconi, a close ally of Alfano. Schifani, Sacconi, Formigoni and other three senators might soon leave the party.
Ideology and factions
Despite being home to some social democrats (We Reformers, Reformers and Freedom), the party is mainly a Christian-democratic party with a social-conservative streak. According to Corriere della Sera, differently from FI, NCD's stances on the "so-called ethical issues" (abortion, gay rights, etc.) are "closer to those of the European traditionalist right" and "thus not very compatible with those of the EPP's parties in big countries such as Germany".
Former PdL-affiliated factions or think tanks which joined the NCD include:
- Network Italy (Rete Italia) – ideology: Christian democracy; leader: Roberto Formigoni;
- Liberal Populars (Popolari Liberali) – ideology: Christian democracy; leader: Carlo Giovanardi;
- Christian Populars (Cristiano Popolari) – ideology: Christian democracy; leader: Mario Baccini;
- Christian Reformists (Cristiano Riformisti) – ideology: Christian democracy; leader: Antonio Mazzocchi;
- Magna Carta (Magna Carta) – ideology: Liberal conservatism; leader: Gaetano Quagliariello;
- Reformism and Freedom (Riformismo e Libertà) – ideology: Social democracy; leader: Fabrizio Cicchitto;
- We Reformers (Noi Riformatori) – ideology: Social democracy; leader: Francesco Colucci.
In January 2014 three bigwigs of the party (Gaetano Quagliariello, Eugenia Roccella and Maurizio Sacconi) published a book titled Moderati. Per un nuovo umanesimo politico ("Moderates: For a new political humanism"), a sort of manifesto of the party. The book, whose key words are "person", "family", "enterprise" and "tradition", emphasises institutional reforms (including direct election of the President and federalism), ethical issues (marriage, opposition to abortion, limits to assisted reproductive technology, etc.) and the need for a smaller state ("less public law, more private rights"). According to Benedetto Ippolito, a university professor of history of philosophy, while NCD members insist that their party is "moderate", it is in fact "conservative" and "anti-progressive", albeit not "berlusconiano".
In February 2014 the NCD unveiled a platform on labour, including a universal protection system safety net for the unemployed, a tax relief for entrepreneurs hiring the young, the reduction of the tax wedge on labour and the overcoming of article 18 of the "Statute of Workers", making easier for entrepreneurs to hire and fire employees.
|Election year||# of
| % of
overall seats won
2 / 73
|Region||Latest election||# of
| % of
overall seats won
1 / 31
4 / 51
3 / 30
1 / 51
0 / 50
1 / 31
1 / 31
0 / 50
0 / 41
0 / 20
1 / 51
- President: Renato Schifani (acting, 2013–2014), Angelino Alfano (2014–present)
- Party Leader in the Chamber of Deputies: Enrico Costa (2013–2014), Nunzia De Girolamo (2014–2015), Maurizio Lupi (2015–present)
- Party Leader in the Senate: Maurizio Sacconi (2013–2015), Renato Schifani (2015–2016), Laura Bianconi (2016–present)
- Party Leader in the European Parliament: Giovanni La Via (2013–present)
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- Walter Kickert; Tiina Randma-Liiv (2015). Europe Managing the Crisis: The Politics of Fiscal Consolidation. Routledge. p. 263. ISBN 978-1-317-52570-7.
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- "Lupi nuovo capogruppo di Area Popolare alla Camera, De Girolamo si dimette in polemica". LaStampa.it. 8 April 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
- F. Q. "Ncd, Lupi capogruppo Camera al posto di De Girolamo. Lei: 'Come Grande Fratello' - Il Fatto Quotidiano". Il Fatto Quotidiano. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
- "Pd-azzurri: asse sui diritti (senza Ncd)". Archiviostorico.corriere.it. Retrieved 2014-02-20.
- "Il clan politico di Cl si attovaglia per spartirsi la torta dell’Expo". Mentiinformatiche.com. 2014-01-21. Retrieved 2014-02-20.
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- Schifani's full title was "President of the Promoting Committee".