Italy and France, the two great powers of Europe: the founders of the EU, the Union’s second and third largest economies, the largest populations, the strongest armies… The political parties and figures that came to power recently found or manufactured many reasons to base the conflict of the two countries. As a result, these two neighbors started to come face to face in many areas as each other’s rivals.
The 5-Star Movement (Movimento 5 Stelle) and the Northern League (Lega Nord per l’Indipendenza della Padania), which won the majority in the 2018 elections in Italy, adopted Euroseptic, anti-globalization and anti-immigrant movements with their populist right-wing politics. Nationalist discourse sharpened with the economic and immigrant crises. In France, Emmanuel Macron, who came to the Presidency in 2017, and his party The Republic Forward (La République En Marche) adopted European supporter and liberal policies with the tradition of central politics. But Macron’s style of politics, whose rhetoric has always been harsh, is a new approach. He has positioned himself in the center enough to say that Europe needs French power and that France’s influence should increase with a reform, otherwise they may even leave the union.