Partito Democratico

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Partito Democratico
Nicola Zingaretti - Festa Unità Roma 2012
Party leader Nicola Zingaretti
founding October 14, 2007 (emerged from: Democratici di Sinistra and La Margherita )
ideology social democratic
International connections Progressive Alliance
European party SPE
EP Group S&D
Headquarters ItalyItaly Rome ,
Largo del Nazareno-via S. Andrea delle Fratte 16
Party newspaper L'Unità (discontinued in 2017)
Democratica (online only)

The Democratic Party ( Italian Partito Democratico , PD for short ) is a party in the Italian center-left spectrum. It has a social democratic , left-liberal and Christian-social orientation. At European level, she is a full member of the Party of European Socialists (PES). Measured by the number of MPs, it is one of the political parties with the highest number of seats in the European Parliament , where it belongs to the S&D group. Internationally, it is a member of the Progressive Alliance .



The “ historic compromise ” of the 1970s is often cited as the earliest conceptual forerunner of the Democratic Party . This included the idea that the Communist Party (PCI) and Christian Democrats (DC) should overcome their ideological conflict and work together for the good of the country. In fact, a DC government was tolerated by the PCI in 1976-79, but a real coalition did not materialize. At that time, the PCI, as a representative of " Eurocommunism " , turned away from a revolutionary course and came to terms with parliamentary democracy, EU and finally even NATO membership of Italy. Most of the founding members of the PD who were politically active before 1991 began their careers with either the PCI or the DC. In this respect, the PD can be described as a “historical compromise” of post-communists and post-Christian democrats that has become a party.

At the beginning of the 1990s, the Italian party landscape was completely redesigned: the PCI decided to finally turn away from communism, renamed itself Partito Democratico della Sinistra (PDS; Democratic Left Party) and adopted a social democratic orientation. The previously dominant DC and its social democratic and liberal coalition partners ( PSI , PSDI , PRI , PLI ) were severely shaken by the Tangentopoli corruption scandal and "imploded". The Partito Popolare Italiano (PPI) emerged from the rump of the DC , and after several splits it was mainly the left wing of the Christian Democrats that remained.

The party alliance L'Ulivo can be described as the immediate forerunner of the PD , to which the PDS, PPI and a large number of smaller parties of the center-left spectrum came together in 1996 under the leadership of the economics professor and later EU Commission President Romano Prodi , and the government until 2001 posed. The PDS and smaller left parties merged in 1998 to form the Democratici di Sinistra (DS; Left Democrats). Arturo Parisi , chairman of I Democratici , a social-liberal party of Prodi supporters within L'Ulivo, suggested that the left-wing Democrats merge into a large center-left party in early 2000, which was, however, still rejected. I Democratici and PPI merged in 2001 in the Democrazia è Libertà - La Margherita party .

In April 2003, the DS MP Michele Salvati called in newspaper articles for the establishment of a Partito Democratico as an all-inclusive party of the center-left spectrum. Left-wing democrats and La Margherita continued the L'Ulivo alliance until the PD was founded in 2007 and intensified it by running a joint L'Ulivo list for the 2004 European elections and the 2006 parliamentary elections . After five years of opposition to Silvio Berlusconi and his center-right coalition, the center-left alliance was back in government in 2006. It formed the Prodi II cabinet , in which the L'Ulivo parties DS and Margherita were significantly involved.

Founded as a collecting party of the Italian center-left camp

On May 23, 2007, a 45-member founding committee of the Democratic Party was formed. This mainly included politicians from the Democratici di Sinistra (DS) and La Margherita, but also Marco Follini from the small party Italia di Mezzo (a split from the Christian Democratic UDC ), the regional president of Abruzzo Ottaviano Del Turco from the Alleanza dei Riformisti (split from the SDI ), as well as the previously independent journalist Gad Lerner , the founder of the Slow Food movement Carlo Petrini and Tullia Zevi from the Union of Jewish Congregations in Italy. In addition to the parties mentioned, the groups Movimento Repubblicani Europei , Partito Democratico Meridionale , Progetto Sardegna , Socialisti Liberali per il Partito Democratico , and Repubblicani Democratici joined the new party.

October 14, 2007 was set as the foundation date. In order to determine the first party leader (Segretario) , the PD held a primary election that day, which was open to all Italian citizens - not just party members - and in which, according to the organizers, 3.5 million voters participated. The Roman mayor Walter Veltroni (formerly DS) prevailed with 75.8% against Rosy Bindi (12.9%) and Enrico Letta (11.1%), both former Christian Democrats from the Margherita party, and three other candidates . The support groups of the candidates did not split along the lines of the predecessor parties: Numerous former Margherita members supported Veltroni, while Letta also had supporters from the former DS.

The official founding assembly (Assemblea Costituente) on October 27, 2007 in Milan finally elected Romano Prodi as the representative office of the party president (Presidente) and Dario Franceschini as deputy party chairman. At the regional and provincial level, too, the party's governing bodies were determined for the first time in November and December 2007 by means of basic elections (primary) .

Election defeats in the parliamentary and regional elections in 2008 and 2009

PD election campaign event in Trento with top candidate Walter Veltroni on the occasion of the 2008 parliamentary elections

After Romano Prodi lost his parliamentary majority as incumbent Prime Minister in January 2008, there were early parliamentary elections in April 2008 , in which the Partito Democratico ran with Walter Veltroni as the leading candidate. The expanded center-left alliance was formed by the Italia dei Valori party and candidates from the Partito Radicale , who were running on the PD's list. The parties of the extreme left, on the other hand, rallied in these elections under the alliance symbol La Sinistra - L'Arcobaleno , but failed to make it into parliament. Not least because of the exclusion of the extreme left, the PD coalition was only able to collect 37.5% of the votes; the PD came alone to 33.2%, while Silvio Berlusconi's coalition emerged as the election winner with a clear majority.

In the regional elections in Friuli Venezia Giulia, too, the Democratic Party suffered a serious election failure and handed over the office of regional president to Berlusconi's Popolo della Libertà . This was followed by further defeats in the regional elections in Abruzzo in December 2008, as well as in the regional elections in February 2009 in Sardinia , whereupon Walter Veltroni announced his resignation as party chairman. Veltroni's previous deputy Dario Franceschini subsequently took over the leadership of the party on an interim basis.

In opposition to the Berlusconi IV government and in support of the Monti transitional government

On October 25, 2009, the PD again used the strike ballot mode to elect a new party leadership, with the former minister of the Prodi government, Pier Luigi Bersani , prevailing with an absolute majority among the approximately 3 million voters. At the same time, Bersani's election led to the first internal tendencies to split. a. the former Margherita exponent Francesco Rutelli withdrew from the PD and called a new, more center-oriented small party under the name Alleanza per l'Italia into being. Under Bersani's leadership, however, the PD also increasingly sought contact with those center parties that had left the government coalition around Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi during the current legislative period . After the final collapse of the fourth Berlusconi government in November 2011, the PD supported the technocratic government under Mario Monti , which was formed at short notice , in order to prepare for upcoming elections at the same time.

Modest success in parliamentary elections in 2013 and grand coalition under Letta

In December 2012, Pier Luigi Bersani was again able to prevail in the basic elections (this time to nominate the top candidate for the upcoming parliamentary elections) against party-internal opponents (especially against the young hopeful Matteo Renzi ). Bersani led the PD in a three-month election campaign on the occasion of the parliamentary elections of February 2013, which were scheduled at short notice .

On the election weekend, the PD, in alliance with the left-wing group Sinistra Ecologia Libertà , was able to achieve an absolute majority in the Chamber of Deputies and a relative majority in the Senate; With around 25% of the vote, the party fell short of its 2008 result and the positive election forecasts that Bersani had previously predicted a certain victory. Especially the young protest movement MoVimento 5 Stelle had been able to poach former PD voters successfully.

In the two months that followed, Bersani's consultations on the formation of a government were unsuccessful. When the PD finally failed in April 2013 to secure the required majority of votes in the decisive vote for two candidates from its own camp ( Franco Marini , then Romano Prodi ) in the election of the President , Bersani announced his resignation from the office of party chairman . On May 11, 2013, the delegates at the party congress elected the CGIL trade unionist Guglielmo Epifani as interim party chairman with 85.8% . Epifani led the party up to the ballot scheduled for December 8, 2013 to elect a new party leader.

The re-election of Giorgio Napolitano for a second term as President (as a compromise candidate for PD and Berlusconi's Popolo della Libertà) in April 2013, after two-month coalition negotiations, paved the way for the formation of a grand coalition between the PD and Popolo della Libertà, with the PD- Exponent Enrico Letta was designated Prime Minister (see Letta cabinet ). In Italy's political culture, a similarly broad coalition variant has only been used twice, in times of marked crisis: in the immediate (post) war years from 1943 to 1947 and as a historical compromise against right-wing and left-wing extremist terrorist activities in the 1970s.

Government reshuffle in 2014: Matteo Renzi replaces Gianni Letta

Marianna Madia taking her swearing-in ceremony with President Giorgio Napolitano and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi .

The planned ballot took place on December 8, 2013, in which the mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi , prevailed among around three million voters with 68% of the votes. After a power struggle within the party, Letta was replaced by Renzi on February 22, 2014 after less than a year in office. Renzi continued the ruling coalition with the participation of the center-right group Nuovo Centrodestra , which had split off from Berlusconi's Il Popolo della Libertà during the last government. Berlusconi and his remaining followers had already gone into opposition under Letta with the re-established Forza Italia , which led the ministers from Berlusconi's party, including close confidants, to continue supporting the government and founding their own party.

Matteo Renzi, who refers to himself as “rottamatore” (from Italian rottamare “to scrap”) in relation to the “old” elites , is the youngest prime minister in Italian history and initiated a generation change at the head of the government. He also occupied half of his cabinet with women. Renzi's modernization course was confirmed in the European elections on May 25, 2014 . The PD received 40.81% of the vote (with a turnout of 57.22%). For the first time in 56 years, a party managed to win over 40% of the vote in elections across Italy. The last time the Democrazia Cristiana succeeded in doing this was in the parliamentary elections in 1958 , albeit with a turnout of 93.83%.

Government reshuffle in 2017: Paolo Gentiloni replaces Matteo Renzi

On December 4, 2016, a constitutional amendment initiated by the Renzi government failed in a referendum . Some PD politicians, including the former Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema and former Chairman Pier Luigi Bersani , had called in advance to vote against the constitutional amendment.

Renzi resigned as head of government after the defeat in the referendum, but initially remained chairman of the PD. His successor as Prime Minister was Paolo Gentiloni . On February 19, 2017, Renzi also resigned as party chairman.

At the end of February 2017, the left wing of the PD split into the Articolo 1 - Movimento Democratico e Progressista (MDP; "Article 1, Movement of Democrats and Progressives "); it comprised about 40 MPs and about 10 senators. However, the new party announced that it would continue to support the Gentiloni government in parliament.

In the primary election for party chairmanship on April 30, 2017, Matteo Renzi ran again and, with around 70 percent of the vote, clearly opposed Justice Minister Andrea Orlando (19.5 percent) and Michele Emiliano , President of the Apulia region (10.5 percent) by.

Defeat in the 2018 parliamentary elections and renewed opposition

In the Italian parliamentary elections on March 4, 2018 , the PD received 18.7 percent of the vote in the Chamber of Deputies (2013: 25.4); the center-left coalition ( Renzi cabinet ) led by Prime Minister and PD top candidate Matteo Renzi clearly missed a government majority. Renzi then resigned from the PD party leadership. On March 3, 2019, around 1.7 million Italian citizens cast their votes in a primary election ; an absolute majority elected Nicola Zingaretti as the new PD party chairman.

Coalition partner in the Conte II government from September 2019

After Matteo Salvini broke the coalition between the Lega and the Five Star Movement , the PD and the Five Stars founded a new coalition capable of governing under the leadership of the previous Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte A few days later, Matteo Renzi and his group of supporters left the PD and founded the Party Italia Viva . This was followed by 25 deputies and 15 senators. Like the PD, the new party supports the Conte II cabinet and is represented in it by ministers.

The PD at the international level

The Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann and Matteo Renzi .

European Parliament: The original founding parties of the PD belonged to different European parties at EU level : While the La Margherita party was part of the centrist European Democratic Party (EDP), the left-wing democrats belonged to the Party of European Socialists (PES). The membership of the PD in one of these European parties was therefore initially controversial within the party. In December 2008, Walter Veltroni finally announced that the PD would not join the PES, but would cooperate closely with it. In the 2009 European elections , the PD won 26.13% and then joined the PES Group, which renamed itself the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (S&D) for this purpose . On March 1, 2014, the PD finally joined the PES at Martin Schulz's nomination party convention for the top candidate for the 2014 European elections . In the elections, the PD received 40.81% of the Italian vote and 31 seats. This makes the PD not only the strongest member of the PES, but also the largest party represented in the European Parliament by number of seats, ahead of the German CDU with 29 seats.

International: Since 2013, the PD has been a member of the global Progressive Alliance network , a party association that was founded on the decisive initiative of the German SPD . The establishment of the Progressive Alliance goes hand in hand with the withdrawal of European social democratic parties from the Socialist International (SI). In addition to the PD, important founding members are the American Democratic Party , the Indian National Congress , the British Labor Party and the Social Democratic Party of Austria .

Important representatives

Party leader

Election results

Results in the regional elections
year region be right proportion of Mandates space
2019 Abruzzo 66,796 11.1%
2018 Aosta Valley 3,436 5.4%
2015 Apulia 316.876 19.8%
2019 Basilicata 22,423 7.7%
2020 Emilia-Romagna 749.976 34.7%
2018 Friuli Venezia Giulia 76,423 18.1%
2020 Calabria 118,249 15.2%
2015 Campania 443.722 19.5%
2018 Lazio 539.131 21.2%
2015 Liguria 138.190 25.6%
2018 Lombardy 1,008,496 19.2%
2015 Brands 186.357 35.8%
2018 Molise 13,122 9.2%
2019 Piedmont 430.902 22.4%
2019 Sardinia 96,235 13.5%
2017 Sicily 250,633 13.0%
2018 South-Tirol 10,806 3.8%
2015 Tuscany 614,869 46.3%
2018 Trentino 35,530 13.9%
2019 Umbria 93,296 22.3%
2015 Veneto 308,438 16.7%
Results in the parliamentary elections
year be right proportion of Mandates space
2008 12,434,260 33.1%
2013 8,934,009 25.5%
2018 6,161,896 18.8%
Results in the Senate elections
year be right proportion of Mandates space
2008 11,052,577 33.1%
2013 8,400,255 27.4%
2018 5,783,360 19.1%
Results in the European elections
year be right proportion of Mandates space
2009 8.008.203 26.1%
2014 11.203.231 40.8%
2019 6,089,853 22.7%

See also


Web links

Commons : Partito Democratico  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Hartmut Ullrich: The political system of Italy. In: Wolfgang Ismayr: The political systems of Western Europe. 4th edition, VS Verlag, Wiesbaden 2009, pp. 643-712, p. 681.
  2. ^ John Foot: Modern Italy. 2nd edition, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke (Hamps) / New York 2014, Chapter 4 Politics , Section The Democratic Party ( Partito Democratico , PD), 2007– .
  3. Michele Simone: Il Primo Congresso dei Democratici di Sinistra. In: La Civiltà cattolica , issue 3591, February 5, 2000, pp. 280–289, at pp. 285, 287.
  4. Michele Salvati: Appello per il Partito Democratico. In: Il Foglio , April 10, 2003.
    The same: Perché voglio il Partito democratico. In: La Repubblica , April 15, 2003.
  5. Veltroni: “Da soli anche al Senato” La Repubblica , February 6, 2008
  6. Intesa nella notte, dai radicali sì a Veltroni Corriere della Sera , February 21, 2008
  7. Il Cavaliere is purified , Spiegel Online , April 15, 2008
  8. Italy's opposition leader resigns
  9. ^ Corriere della Sera, February 21, 2009
  11., November 11th
  12. Presidential election in Italy: Prodi fails - Bersani resigns., April 20, 2013, archived from the original on April 20, 2013 ; Retrieved April 20, 2013 .
  13. Guglielmo Epifani is the new PD chief. Südtirol News, May 11, 2013, archived from the original on August 1, 2013 ; Retrieved June 13, 2013 .
  14. Center-left: A new beginning with Matteo Renzi (country report of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung from Rome)
  15. See the book title Matteo Renzi: Il rottamatore del Pd ( Memento of February 22, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  16. Italian Ministry of the Interior:
  17. PD: No party has achieved such a good result since 1958 , Corriere della Sera , online edition, May 26, 2014
  18. Renzi announces resignation. In: December 5, 2016, accessed April 3, 2017 .
  19. ^ Regina Kerner: Italy's left is competing with itself. In: Frankfurter Rundschau (online). February 27, 2016, accessed April 3, 2017 .
  20. ^ Gentiloni is to become head of government. In: December 11, 2016, accessed April 3, 2017 .
  21. Renzi resigns from party leadership. In: Handelsblatt (online). February 19, 2017. Retrieved April 3, 2017 .
  22. Oliver Meiler: Back to Los. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung (online). February 26, 2017. Retrieved April 3, 2017 .
  23. Oliver Meiler: Matteo Renzi's short break. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung (online). May 1, 2017, Retrieved May 1, 2017 .
  24. (May 3, 2018)
  25. Hans-Jürgen Schlamp / March 4, 2019: Signs of life from the left
  26. Consultazioni, Mattarella convoca Conte per giovedì mattina: il premier al Colle all 09:30 .
  27. ^ Angela Giuffrida: Italian PM announces resignation in speech , The Guardian . 20th August 2019. 
  28. ^ Report on the PD homepage ( Memento of January 3, 2009 in the Internet Archive ), December 1, 2008 (in Italian).
  29. “I will be the first president who has not been disguised” , Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , March 2, 2014