Federation of the Greens

The Federation of the Greens (Italian: Federazione dei Verdi, FdV), frequently referred to as Greens (Verdi), is a green[2] political party in Italy. It was formed in 1990 by the merger of the Federation of Green Lists and the Rainbow Greens.[3]

Federation of the Greens

Federazione dei Verdi
SpokespersonsMatteo Badiali
Elena Grandi
CoordinatorAngelo Bonelli
Founded9 December 1990
Merger ofFederation of Green Lists and
Rainbow Greens
HeadquartersVia Salandra 6, Rome
NewspaperNotizie Verdi
Membership (2004)31,000[1]
IdeologyGreen politics[2]
Political positionLeft-wing
National affiliationAlliance of Progressives (1994–1995)
The Olive Tree (1996–2004)
The Sunflower (2001)
The Union (2005–2008)
Together with the Union (2006)
The Left – The Rainbow (2007–2008)
Left and Freedom (2009)
Ecologists and Civic Networks (2011–2013)
Civil Revolution (2013)
Green Italy – European Greens (2014)
Together (2017–2018)
Green Europe (2019–)
European affiliationEuropean Green Party
International affiliationGlobal Greens
European Parliament groupGreens/EFA (1994–2009)
Colors     Green
Chamber of Deputies
0 / 630
0 / 315
European Parliament
0 / 73
2 / 897

Currently, Matteo Badiali and Elena Grandi serve as the party's two spokespersons, while Angelo Bonelli, a former president, spokesperson and member of the Chamber of Deputies, is its national coordinator.

The FdV is part of the European Green Party and the Global Greens.


Background and foundation

The Federation of Green Lists was formed in 1984 by leading environmentalists and anti-nuclear activists, notably including Gianni Mattioli, Gianfranco Amendola, Massimo Scalia and Alexander Langer.

The party made its debut at the 1987 general election and obtained 2.6% of the vote, gaining 13 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and two Senators.[4] Later that year, the Greens successfully campaigned for three referendums aimed at stopping nuclear power in Italy, which had been proposed by the left-liberal Radical Party and was eventually supported by the country's three main parties (Christian Democrats, Communists and Socialists).

At the 1989 European Parliament election there were two competing green parties: the LV and the Rainbow Greens (VA), formed mainly by Radicals, including Adelaide Aglietta, Franco Corleone, Adele Faccio, Marco Taradash and Francesco Rutelli, as well as splinters from Proletarian Democracy, including Mario Capanna, Guido Pollice, Gianni Tamino and Edo Ronchi. The two lists obtained a combined 6.2% of the vote, of which 3.8% for the LV and 2.4% for the VA, and 5 MEPs.

In 1990 the two parties joined forces to form the Federation of the Greens, which inherited from the LV the Smiling Sun symbol of the northern European anti-nuclear movement, designed by Danish activist Anne Lund in 1975. In the 1992 general election the new party won 2.8% of the vote, returning 16 deputies and 4 senators.[4] The party was briefly a member of the Ciampi Cabinet formed 28 April 1993, its sole minister resigning a day after the cabinet's swearing-in ceremony.

Centre-left coalitions

In 1993 the party entered into an alliance with the Democratic Party of the Left (PDS), within the Alliance of Progressives, and Rutelli, who was among its leading members, was elected mayor of Rome.[3][4] The party was also joined by Carlo Ripa di Meana, a former Socialist member of the European Commission and minister of the Environment, who became the party's leader.

In the 1994 European Parliament election won 3.2% of the vote and three MEPs, its best result as a joint party.[4]

In 1995 the Greens were a founding member of The Olive Tree coalition and in the 1996 general election,[3] thanks to this alliance and several candidates in single-seat constituencies, they obtained 14 deputies and 14 senators, their highest number ever. Following the election, the Greens the centre-left governments led by Romano Prodi, Massimo D'Alema and Giuliano Amato. Ronchi was minister of the Environment (1996–2000) and Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio minister of Agriculture (2000–2001).

In the 1999 European Parliament election the party was reduced to 1.8% and two MEPs, prompting the resignation of Luigi Manconi, who had led the party since 1996.[3] The party suffered the competition of several centre-left parties, some of them new as The Democrats, whose leading members included Rutelli, who had left the Greens in 1997, soon after his re-election as mayor of Rome. Ripa di Meana had deserted the party in 1998.[5] The party was thus re-organised under Grazia Francescato, a former president of the Italy's section of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).[3]

At the 2001 general election the Greens formed a joint list with the Italian Democratic Socialists (SDI): The Sunflower. The combination scored 2.2%, thus failing to surpass the 4% threshold.[4] The Greens elected seven deputies and ten senators in single-member constituencies, as part of The Olive Tree coalition.

Shift to the far left

After the alliance with the SDI, a relatively centrist party, the Greens shifted far to the left, prompting the exit of leading members as Ronchi, Mattioli, Scalia, Corleone and Manconi. The Greens were since part of the so-called "radical left", along with the Communist Refoundation Party (PRC) and the Party of Italian Communists (PdCI).

At the 2004 European Parliament election the Greens obtained 2.5% of the vote and two MEPs.[4]

In February 2005 the Greens joined The Union, the new successor alliance to The Olive Tree, with party secretary Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio receiving 2.2% of the vote in the open primary election for the coalition's leader.[3]

At the 2006 general election the party was part of the winning coalition The Union, and scored 2.1%, obtained 15 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. The Together with the Union list, an alliance of Greens, Communists and Consumers polled 4.2% in the election for the Senate, electing 11 senators, 5 of whom were Greens.[4] In 2006–2008 Pecoraro Scanio served as minister of the Environment, while Paolo Cento, national coordinator of the party and leader of the no global faction, was undersecretary of Economy and Finances.

In November 2006 Pecoraro Scanio's political line was confirmed in a party congress, but the Greens also tried to re-open the doors to all former members. The attempt of re-uniting the Italian Greens failed as soon as in January 2007, when Mattioli, Scalia and Corleone finally left the party again, citing that it was drifting too much the far left, and announced their intention to participate to the foundation of the Democratic Party (PD). Within the PD, they joined the Democratic Ecologists' faction, which already included several former Greens (Manconi, Ronchi, Lino De Benetti, Stefano Semenzato, Ermete Realacci, Gianni Vernetti, Franco Piro, Francesco Ferrante, Carla Rocchi, etc.). As a result, Legambiente, the largest environmentalist association of Italy, showed more support for the PD than the Greens themselves.

Out of Parliament

In the run-up of the 2008 general election, the Greens participated in the foundation of The Left – The Rainbow electoral list with the PRC, the PdCI and Democratic Left (SD). The coalition obtained just 3.1% of the vote and the Greens lost their parliamentary representation.

In the summer of 2008 Grazia Francescato, who had been leader before, represented the party's establishment and in the event was supported by Cento's left-wing, was elected at the helm of the party, by defeating two modernizers, Marco Boato and Fabio Roggiolani.[6]

For the 2009 election the Greens formed a joint list with the Movement for the Left (MpS) – a moderate split from the PRC –, the Socialist Party (PS) – successor of the SDI –, SD and Unite the Left (UlS): Left and Freedom (SL).[7] The list received just 3.1% of the vote and failed to return any MEPs. After the election, it was decided to transform SL into a permanent federation, that would eventually evolve into the joint party named Left Ecology Freedom (SEL), and Francescato wanted the Greens to join it.

However, during a party congress in October 2009 the party rejected the proposal by narrowly electing Angelo Bonelli, candidate of the liberal faction led by Boato, instead of Francescato's candidate, Loredana De Petris.[8][9] After his election, which marked the end of the dominance of the internal left wing over the party, Bonelli announced that the party will pursue an independent course from SL, and will try to coalesce a new "ecologist constituent assembly" on the model of the French Europe Écologie.[10] Francescato, De Petris and Cento continued to support SL as the Ecologists Association and would eventually leave the Greens.[11]

New coalitions

In September 2010 the Greens launched a Ecologist Constituent Assembly. In Bonelli's view the new political force would take inspiration both from the French Verts and the German Grünen and would be open to the contribution of movements and associations, notably including Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement (M5S).[12] Other than the Greens, participants of the new political force included, among others, Massimo Scalia (a former leading Green), Bruno Mellano (president of the Italian Radicals), movie maker Mario Monicelli, writer Dacia Maraini, geologist Mario Tozzi and comedian Giobbe Covatta.[13] As a result, in November 2011 the Ecologists and Civic Networks (Ecologisti e Reti Civiche, ERC) coalition was officially launched,[14][15] but it would be just a short-lived experiment.

In 2012 Bonelli stood as candidate for mayor of Taranto, garnering 11.9% of the vote.[16]

In the 2013 general election the Greens were part of the Civil Revolution coalition, which obtained a mere 2.2% of the vote and no seats.[17] In May the ERC was disbanded and in November, during a party congress, Luana Zanella was elected to serve as co-spokesperson along with Bonelli.[18]

The Greens contested the 2014 European Parliament election with Green Italy (GI), a green party established in 2013 and led by Monica Frassoni and Fabio Granata, within the joint list Green Italy – European Greens.[19] The electoral list received 0.9% of the vote and did not return any MEPs.[20]

In January 2015 senator Bartolomeo Pepe, a former member of the M5S, joined the party,[21] giving it parliamentary representation after seven years. In June another former senator of the M5S, Paola De Pin, joined the Greens[22][23] and sat with senator Pepe within the Great Autonomies and Freedom group.[24] Both Pepe and De Pin would soon leave the party. Another former M5S senator, Cristina De Pietro, would join the Greens in November 2016[24] and leave next year.[25]

In November 2015, during a party congress, Covatta was elected spokesperson, succeeding to Bonelli and Zanella.[26] However, Covatta's role was soon transformed into that of a testimonial. In February 2017 the party appointed Bonelli and Fiorella Zabatta to serve as day-to-day coordinators and Zanella as international secretary.[27] Later that year, the coordinators were three: Bonelli, Zanella and, representing the party's minority, Gianluca Carrabs.[28]

Return to the centre-left

In December 2017, in an internal referendum, 73% of Green members voted in favour of their party's return to the moderate centre-left coalition led by the PD.[29][30][31] Consequently, the Greens formed, along with the Italian Socialist Party and Civic Area, the Together electoral list for the 2018 general election.[32][33][34] When the results came in, the list had obtained a mere 0.6% of the vote and no seats; additionally, no Green was elected in single-seat constituencies. After the election, Bonelli resigned from the executive and the remaining two coordinators, Zanella and Carrabs, led the transition.[35]

In December 2018, during a party congress, Matteo Badiali and Elena Grandi, supported by Bonelli and Zanella, were elected co-spokespersons of the party.[36]

In the run-up to the 2019 European Parliament election the party formed a joint list with Italy in Common (IiC) and GI.[37][38] The alliance was reinforced by Marco Affronte, who had been elected with the M5S in 2014 and had joined as an independent the Greens–European Free Alliance group and the European Green Party, and eventually announced on Facebook that he had joined the FdV.[39] However, IiC soon left the Greens in order to form an alternative alliance with More Europe, a liberal party.[40][41]

In their history the Greens were never able to reach the electoral success of many green parties all around Europe. They have a stable share of vote around 2% and experienced a slight decline in the last decade. Their characterization as party of the far left did not help them in Northern Italy, where they had their best results at the beginning (for instance 7.1% in the 1990 Venetian regional election).

The Greens are stronger in cities and urban areas (Milan, Venice, Rome, Naples, etc.), in northern mountain regions, such as Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol (especially in South Tyrol, where they are organised in the local Greens, a broader left-wing party) and Aosta Valley (where the local section, the Alternative Greens, were merged into Autonomy Liberty Participation Ecology in 2010), and in some southern regions, such as Basilicata and Campania.

Election results

Italian Parliament

Chamber of Deputies
Election year Votes % Seats +/− Leader
1987 969,218 2.5
13 / 630
Gianni Mattioli
1992 1,093,995 2.8
16 / 630
Carlo Ripa di Meana
1994 1,047,268 2.7
11 / 630
Carlo Ripa di Meana
1996 938,665 2.5
14 / 630
Carlo Ripa di Meana
2001 805.340 (with SDI) 2.2
8 / 630
Grazia Francescato
2006 783,944 2.1
15 / 630
Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio
2008 into SA
0 / 630
Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio
2013 into RC
0 / 630
Angelo Bonelli
2018 into Together
0 / 630
Angelo Bonelli
Senate of the Republic
Election year Votes % Seats +/− Leader
1987 634,182 1.9
1 / 315
Gianni Mattioli
1992 1,022,558 3.0
4 / 315
Carlo Ripa di Meana
1994 into the AdP
7 / 315
Carlo Ripa di Meana
1996 into Ulivo
14 / 315
Carlo Ripa di Meana
2001 into Ulivo
8 / 315
Grazia Francescato
2006 1,423,226 (with PdCI) 4.2
11 / 315
Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio
2008 into SA
0 / 315
Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio
2013 into RC
0 / 315
Angelo Bonelli
2018 into Together
0 / 315
Angelo Bonelli

European Parliament

European Parliament
Election year Votes % Seats +/− Leader
1994 1,055,797 3.2
3 / 87
Carlo Ripa di Meana
1999 548,908 1.8
2 / 87
Grazia Francescato
2004 803,356 2.5
2 / 78
Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio
2009 958,458 (with SeL) 3.1
0 / 72
Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio
2014 250,102 (with GI) 0.9
0 / 73
Angelo Bonelli
2019 621,492 (as EV) 2.3
0 / 73
Angelo Bonelli

Regional Councils

Region Election year Votes % Seats +/−
Aosta Valley 2018 N/A N/A
0 / 35
Piedmont 2019 into Free, Equal, Greens
0 / 50
Lombardy 2018 into Together
0 / 80
South Tyrol 2018 N/A N/A
0 / 35
Trentino 2018 into Futura 2018
1 / 35
Veneto 2015 into New Veneto
0 / 51
Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2018 N/A N/A
0 / 49
Emilia-Romagna 2014 into Civic Emilia-Romagna
0 / 50
Liguria 2015 N/A N/A
0 / 31
Lazio 2018 into Together
0 / 51
Tuscany 2015 N/A N/A
0 / 41
Marche 2015 into United for Marche
0 / 31
Umbria 2015 N/A N/A
0 / 20
Abruzzo 2019 N/A N/A
0 / 31
Molise 2018 N/A N/A
0 / 21
Campania 2015 26,401 1.2
1 / 51
Apulia 2015 6,278 0.4
0 / 51
Basilicata 2019 5,492 1.90
0 / 21
Calabria 2014 N/A N/A
0 / 30
Sicily 2017 into 100 Steps for Sicily
0 / 70
Sardinia 2019 into Sardinia in Common
0 / 60


The party was successively led by spokespersons, presidents and coordinators. Bold indicates the real leader/s of the time.


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