On 16 April the ECR Group had the pleasure of announcing a recent addition to the growing ECR family. Elisabetta Gardini, a high-profile politician in the EPP Group and Forza Italia leader in the European Parliament, published the news on her personal website during the Strasbourg plenary. She stressed that it was with great sorrow, and after long reflection, that she had come to the decision that the political path taken by Forza Italia in recent times – putting the interests of the EU ahead of those of Italian voters – was one that was destructive for the nation. And for this reason she had to choose another path.
Elisabetta Gardini is a veteran politician who first ran for office in the general election of 1994. Even before this, however, she was a successful and well-respected television host and actress, appearing on the popular television shows Unomattina and Europa, Europa, and starring in the leading role of the series Una donna per amico as Laura Andrei.
In 2004 Berlusconi selected Gardini as spokesperson of Forza Italia. Gardini was elected to the Regional Council of Veneto in 2005 and to the Chamber of Deputies in 2006. In 2008 she replaced Renato Brunetta as MEP, and the year after she was elected for full term with The People of Freedom. In the 2014 European elections Gardini was not only re-elected, but also appointed leader of the new Forza Italia in the European Parliament.
As a member of the EPP group, Gardini fought passionately for national sovereignty, defending Hungary in the debate on Article 7. Gardini rightly pointed out the political agenda in the debate, and highlighted the hypocrisy of the fact that several other Member States’ severe wrongdoings had been passing without consequence. The Conservative and ACRE are delighted to welcome Elisabetta Gardini to the ECR family.