Union of Democrats for Europe

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Union of Democrats for Europe

Unione Democratici per l'Europa
LeaderClemente Mastella
Founded23 May 1999 (1999-05-23)
Preceded byDemocratic Union for the Republic
Merged intoForza Italia
HeadquartersLargo Arenula, 34
00186 Rome
NewspaperIl Campanile
Membershipunknown
IdeologyChristian democracy
Political positionCentre
National affiliationForza Italia
Centre-right coalition
European affiliationEuropean People's Party
(1998–2015)
International affiliationCentrist Democrat International
(1998–2015)
European Parliament groupEuropean People's Party
(1998–2014)
Website
http://www.popolariudeur.it

The Union of Democrats for Europe (Italian: Unione Democratici per l'Europa, UDEUR), also known as UDEUR Populars (Popolari UDEUR),[1][2] is a centrist and Christian-democratic political party in Italy.

Led by Clemente Mastella, minister of Labour in Berlusconi I Cabinet (1994–1995), minister of Justice in Prodi II Cabinet (2006–2008) and current mayor of Benevento (since 2016), the party has been at times very strong in Southern Italy, but almost irrelevant in Northern Italy. After a decline in terms of popularity in 2007–2008, the party resisted only in Campania, Mastella's heartland, and few other regions. The party was revived in the run-up of the 2018 general election.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

The UDEUR emerged in May 1999 at the breakup of the Democratic Union for the Republic (UDR). This party had been founded in June 1998, under the leadership of Francesco Cossiga, by the merger of Rocco Buttiglione's United Christian Democrats, Mastella's Christian Democrats for the Republic (a splinter group from the Christian Democratic Centre), the Segni Pact and splinters from Forza Italia, National Alliance and Lega Nord. At its foundation, the UDEUR included a minister in Massimo D'Alema's government, Salvatore Cardinale at the ministry of Communications.

At its electoral debut at the 1999 European Parliament election, the party received 1.6% of the vote, having its strongholds in the South (5.1% in Campania, 3.4% in Basilicata, 4.4% in Calabria and 7.1% in Sicily).

In 2000, along with the Italian People's Party, The Democrats and Italian Renewal, the UDEUR joined the Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy (DL) electoral list, which gained 14.6% at the 2001 general election and had Francesco Rutelli, leader of The Olive Tree centre-left coalition, as its frontman. When DL was transformed into a party in 2002, Mastella refused to join and the UDEUR remained an independent party within the centre-left.

Heyday[edit]

In 2004 the party changed its official name to UDEUR Populars and amended its symbol accordingly (it would later go back to its original name).

At the 2004 European Parliament election UDEUR achieved 1.3% of the national vote (5.4% in Campania, 4.0% in Basilicata, 3.8% in Calabria and 2.7% in Sicily), enough to elect an MEP, who sat in the European People's Party – European Democrats (EPP–ED) group.

At the 2005 regional elections the party had its best result ever, having scored 10.3% in Campania, 11.1% in Basilicata and 8.7% in Calabria.

Toward the end of the 2001–06 parliamentary term, Mastella decided to continue the alliance with the centre-left, although he and his party were in conflict with the secularist policies proposed by the new coalition partner Rose in the Fist and despite the presence of far-left parties such as the Communist Refoundation Party. At the 2006 general election the UDEUR was part of The Union centre-left coalition in support of Romano Prodi. It obtained 1.4% of the vote, electing 14 deputies (4 in The Olive Tree's list) and 3 senators. The Union won the election, and Mastella was appointed Minister of Justice in Romano Prodi's second government.

The fall[edit]

On 16 January 2008 Clemente Mastella, who was under investigation by prosecutor Luigi de Magistris, resigned as Minister of Justice and on 21 January decided to withdraw his party's support to Romano Prodi, who himself resigned after a vote of confidence in the Senate on 24 January, clearing the way toward a snap election.

In the following weeks the party suffered several splits leading to several regional parties, notably the Democratic Populars[3] in Campania, the United Populars[4] in Basilicata and the Sardinian Autonomist Populars[5][6] in Sardinia, while the Umbrian regional section joined Christian Democracy. Most leading members, including Antonio Satta (who would later launch the Christian Popular Union), Stefano Cusumano, Mauro Fabris, Armando Veneto and Tommaso Barbato, left.

At the 2008 general election both The People of Freedom (PdL) and the Union of the Centre (UdC) refused the UDEUR as coalition partner. The party was thus reduced to a regional party in Campania. The party chose not to present any list in the election and even Mastella decided not to run for re-election.[7]

After the fall[edit]

In February 2009 the UDEUR formed an alliance with the PdL in Campania; under the agreement, the UDEUR supported centre-right candidates in the 2009 provincial and municipal elections in the region[8] and Mastella was elected to the 2009 European Parliament election in the PdL list.

After being almost disbanded in 2008, the party tried to recover and broaden its base. Some former UDEUR members came back[9] and new members joined. The latter included Giulio Di Donato, a former leading figure of the Italian Socialist Party, who was appointed regional secretary in Campania.[10] In 2010 the party was briefly known as Populars for the South,[2][11] as it was active only in the South by that time. In 2011 Mastella ran for mayor of Naples and gained just 2.5% of the vote.[12]

In 2013, the UDEUR became an associate party of Forza Italia (FI).[13][14] At the 2014 European Parliament election Mastella, a candidate with FI, was not re-elected.

Re-foundation[edit]

The party was revived in the run-up of the 2018 general election, in alliance with the Union of the Centre (UdC), and re-styled once again its symbol.[15][16][17][18] However, Mastella later formerd a new pact with FI, under which his wife would run in the election, and in February 2018 they officially joined FI.[19][20]

Electoral results[edit]

Italian Parliament[edit]

Chamber of Deputies
Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Leader
2001 with The Daisy
7 / 630
Clemente Mastella
2006 534,088 (#11) 1.4
10 / 630
Increase 3 Clemente Mastella
Senate of the Republic
Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Leader
2001 with The Olive Tree
4 / 315
Clemente Mastella
2006 477,226 (#11) 1.4
3 / 315
Decrease 1 Clemente Mastella

European Parliament[edit]

Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Leader
1999 498,742 (#14) 1.6
1 / 87
Clemente Mastella
2004 419,173 (#12) 1.3
1 / 78
Clemente Mastella
2009 with People of Freedom
1 / 72
Clemente Mastella
2014 with Forza Italia
0 / 73
Decrease 1 Clemente Mastella

Leadership[edit]

Symbols[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Statuto
  2. ^ a b Thomas Jansen; Steven Van Hecke (19 May 2011). At Europe's Service: The Origins and Evolution of the European People's Party. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 65. ISBN 978-3-642-19414-6.
  3. ^ Caserta Sette - informazione - news - attualitŕ - cronaca - sport - turismo - musica e arte - reggia di caserta - giornalisti - giornalismop - attualitŕ - omicidi - rapine - s...
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 15, 2008. Retrieved March 11, 2008.
  5. ^ http://notizie.alice.it/notizie/politica/2008/03_marzo/01/sardegna_udeur_sardo_abbandona_mastella_nasce_il_pas,14186035.html[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ «Con Mastella chiuso ogni contatto»E l'ex ministro: «Udeur sola in tutt'Italia» Corriere della Sera
  7. ^ La resa di Mastella "Non mi presento" - Politica - Repubblica.it
  8. ^ Mastella candidato alle europee con il Pdl Pronto il ribaltone Udeur in Campania
  9. ^ Del Mese: «Ho lasciato Pionati per tornare da Mastella» - Corriere del Mezzogiorno
  10. ^ Mastella nomina Giulio Di Donato segretario regionale del Campanile - Corriere del Mezzogiorno
  11. ^ «Rinuncio all' Isola dei famosi»
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 18, 2011. Retrieved May 20, 2011.
  13. ^ «Con Forza Italia da moderati» Il sì dell’Udeur a Berlusconi Archived December 6, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ Mastella: «Voli di Stato, Boldrini linciata come me quando andai a Monza» - Corriere del Mezzogiorno
  15. ^ http://www.ansa.it/campania/notizie/2017/12/16/a-napoli-mastella-presenta-udeur-2_0684a7dc-45aa-448f-ad29-36f9667703b9.html
  16. ^ http://www.adnkronos.com/fatti/politica/2017/12/16/mastella-riprova-nasce-udeur_DKfvcKox7ShNehqAjXOaLL.html
  17. ^ https://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2017/12/16/elezioni-mastella-resuscita-ludeur-con-pomicino-e-cesa-senza-di-noi-il-centrodestra-non-arriva-al-40/4043340
  18. ^ http://www.ilgiornale.it/news/politica/e-mastella-fa-risorgere-ludeur-1474867.html
  19. ^ http://napoli.repubblica.it/cronaca/2018/02/03/news/napoli_mastella_aderisce_a_forza_italia-187942606
  20. ^ http://www.ilgiornale.it/news/politica/mastella-entra-ufficialmente-forza-italia-1490588.html

External links[edit]