On the occasion of the elections in Italy FNF Madrid held a Human Rights Lunch Talk in Rome on the 25th of September. Representatives of liberal partner think tanks of FNF gathered to discuss the implications and consequences of a possible victory and formation of a government of the far right for the human rights situation and women, migrant and the LGBTI community in particular.

Michael G. Link, MP and European policy spokesperson of the Free Democrats' parliamentary group in the Bundestag gave an input on the German-Italian relations. Nicole Westig, MP for the FDP and and member of the parliamentary group on Italy shared her view on human rights politics. Present from the Italian side at the event were Eva Vittoria Cammerino, Councilor in Rome and founder of "Prime Minister", a school of politics for young women in Italy, Claudio Uberti, President Associazione Radicale Certi Diritti, Lenoardo Monaco, LGBTIQ+ human rights activist and former President of Associazione Radicale Certi Diritti, Antonio Biasi, lawyer and President of the Association of Friends for Continental Law Italy, Tommaso Martelli, activist, Lucrezia Conti, from Fondazione Luigi Einaudi,  Marco Perduca, former senator (Radicali Italiani), human rights activist and founder of the "Science for Democracy" initiative and board member of Associazione Luca Coscioni and Andrea Bitetto, Fellow of the Centro Einaudi in Turin.

Italy is one of the most important partners in the EU - economically, politically and culturally. The shift to the right in Italy underlines the need to monitor civil rights carefully and the promotion of European exchange and dialogue becomes ever more important. FNF Madrid plans to do their share by organizing in different formats as a platform for dialogue.

A ray of hope was considered the expected good result of the liberal parties, such as PiuEuropa, and the so-called Third Pole of Azione-Italia Viva, which together achieved well over 10 percent. The hope is that the centre alliance will endure and attract other liberal forces of the centre. "Tra il dire e il fare c'è di mezzo il mare" - "Between saying and doing -there lies the sea" is what they say in Italy. This is true not only of the fluid Italian political world, but needs to be seen also in the case of the upcoming first female president of Italy from the far right party Fratelli d’Italia, Giorgia Meloni, and the ministers she will nominate.

The question is, what is shrill election campaign rhetoric and what will be the real deeds of the right-wing coalition in the areas of the budget, civil rights, Europe and sanctions. We will keep supporting our partners to fight for civil rights and against shrinking spaces of freedom.