Note: this country-based report is part of the broader study that measured the influence of MEPs from all 28 EU Members States. To consult the methodology and cross-country comparisons read the full “Who holds the power in the European Parliament?” study.
Not surprisingly, our algorithm put Gianni Pittella, the chair of the Socialist & Democrats group, at the top of the Italian ranking. S&D is the second largest group in the Parliament and its leader holds a considerable amount of clout on the shaping of EU policies. Gianni Pittella is a member of the Democratic Party, which is the largest Italian party in the EP. With a background in medicine, Pittella has been working in the European Parliament since 1999 and already held political positions in the group in the past, as he was the head of the Italian delegation within the S&D group in the previous terms. In addition to his position within the Social Democratic group, Pittella also played an important role as Vice-President of the European Parliament over the 7th Term.
The 2nd place is assigned to a politician with a different profile, Giovanni la Via. Despite being a member of a relatively small party, the New Centre-Right (EPP), Giovanni La Via played an important role because of his chairmanship of one of the busiest committees of the European Parliament: the Committee on Environment, Health and Public Safety. La Via started his career in the academia, as a professor of Agricultural Politics and Economics. His expertise in the field might account for the high number of reports drafted by the Sicilian politician, usually related to food issues. In particular, he was the rapporteur on the controversial proposal by the Commission on the possibility for the Member States to restrict or prohibit the use of genetically modified food and feed on their territory, which has been eventually rejected by the European Parliament.
Two members of Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party are tied at the third place. Ms. Patrizia Toia is the head of the Italian delegation within S&D (the largest in the group). As in the case of Pittella, Toia can boast more than a decade of experience in the European Parliament as she was firstly elected to the EU institution in 2004. Apart from her position in S&D group, she has been the vice-chair of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy since 2009. She is currently rapporteur on the use of the 470-790 MHz frequency band in the Union.
Finally, we find Roberto Gualtieri at the third place of our list. He is the Chair of one of the most important committees of the EP, namely the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee. Before becoming MEP in 2009, he wrote several books about European history. In addition to the chairmanship of ECON, he was also the rapporteur on the annual report on the Banking Union in 2015. In the previous term, Gualtieri was appointed as a member of the negotiating team for the Parliament on key policy initiatives, such as the creation of the European External Action Service and the establishment of the European Fiscal Compact.
For more information about the methodology and the rest of the assessment, contact us at [email protected].
Also read the other assessments by country:
Austria – Belgium – Bulgaria – Croatia – Cyprus – Czechia – Denmark – Estonia – Finland – France – Germany – Greece – Hungary – Ireland – Latvia –Lithuania – Luxembourg – Malta – Netherlands – Poland – Portugal – Romania – Slovakia – Slovenia –Spain – Sweden – United Kingdom