Is there trouble in store between Rome and Brussels?

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The election in September of the far-right Giorgia Meloni as Italian premier has sent shockwaves around Europe, not least in Brussels. Meloni has raised fears that she’ll roll back reforms put in place by her predecessor, encourage a harsher climate when it comes to dealing with asylum seekers and even renegotiate the conditions of the EU’s post-Covid Recovery Plan.

In this look at the EU’s “levelling up” – efforts aimed at making life more equal across Europe’s many and diverse regions – we travel to Italy, where the conservative government in Rome is pushing back against Brussels on rule-of- law issues. We explore what this stance could mean for EU cohesion funds as well as for the EU’s post-Covid Recovery and Resilience programme.

In Italy, we meet Rome Mayor Roberto Gualtieri, former Italian foreign minister Emma Bonino and MEP Vincenzo Sofo from the ruling Brothers of Italy party. Our reporter Luke Brown also travels to the south of the country, where NGOs working with migrants say they’re concerned about the potential for backsliding on human rights.

This show is part of FRANCE 24’s new series of Europe Now programmes. We examine both national efforts to level up, and the role that EU funding plays in those attempts. EU structural and cohesion funds have become even more important in the light of the war in Ukraine and the ensuing energy crisis, which threatens to increase unequal living standards around Europe.

>> Watch our Europe Now programme on Hungary

Show presented by Armen Georgian, produced by Johan Bodin, filmed on location by Johan Bodin and Stéphane Bodenne, with Luke Brown.

Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the DG Regional and Urban Policy. Neither the European Union nor the DG Regional and Urban Policy can be held responsible for them.

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