On Monday I have published this article on the LSE – EUROPP blog: The Italian troublemaker: How Renzi’s European strategy is putting him at odds with Angela Merkel. I wrote the article because I felt there is a wide misperception of the Italian position in Europe. Several political analysts have reasoned that Renzi’s recent European quarrels are essentially a reaction to the rise of populism in the country. But this is only a part of the picture: Renzi has repeatedly said that he is not be happy with how Europe is currently run, but he always stressed that he not dismiss Europe altogether. In fact, the government is trying to turn Italy’s European destiny into a specific mission: to make Europe a little bit less German and a little bit more Italian. Italy has long been an important member of the European Community, but it has rarely been influential. To change this by becoming the counterweight of German might be a tricky game to play.
Update, 13/5: the article has been translated in German and published on Makronom: Matteo Renzi, Der italienische Troublemaker.