Partito Radicale

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Partito Radicale
Party executive Marco Pannella (1963–67, 1981–83),
Francesco Rutelli (1980–81) (Segretatio)
Elio Vittorini (1962–64),
Marco Pannella (1967–75, 1976–81, 1986–89) (Presidente)
founding 1955
resolution 1989
ideology Left liberalism ,
radicalism ,
libertarianism ,
EP Group CDI (1979-84)
NI (1984-89)
Party newspaper Il Mondo (related)

The Partito Radicale ( Italian for Radical Party , PR for short ) was an Italian party with a radical-liberal orientation that existed from 1955 to 1989. She campaigned for the greatest possible freedom of the individual, against prohibitions and violence and fought as a decidedly secular party against the great influence of the Catholic Church.


Marco Pannella collecting signatures for the right to divorce (1974)

The party emerged in 1955 as a left-wing split from the bourgeois-liberal Partito Liberale Italiano under the name Partito Radicale dei Liberali e Democratici Italiani (PRLDI, Radical Party of Italian Liberals and Democrats). In addition to the left wing of the PLI, former members of the liberal-socialist Partito d'Azione, which was dissolved in 1946, also joined the new party. Its founders included Ernesto Rossi , Marco Pannella and Sergio Stanzani . The bulky name was shortened to Partito Radicale in 1958. In the same year the party ran for parliamentary elections in alliance with the left-wing liberal PRI . It received 1.4% of the vote and the PR got six seats in the House of Representatives . In the 1960s and early 1970s, on the other hand, it refrained from voting and was only active outside parliament.

In the 1970s and 80s, it was mainly involved in referendums , e. B. on divorce (1974) and against nuclear energy (1987), successfully. Her campaign to completely liberalize abortion (1981) also attracted attention, but was clearly rejected. In February 1976, Radio Radicale went on the air, which became the main medium of the party. In the same year she ran again for elections and entered parliament with four members. The party peaked in popularity in 1979 when it received 3.45 % of the vote ( 18 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, 2 Senators) in the Italian parliamentary election and 3.7% of the vote (3 seats in the European Parliament) in the European elections , which is over Corresponded to 1.2 million voters.

During this time, the radicals assumed the role of an alternative and environmental party, analogous to the green parties in other Western European countries. It thus became a reservoir for (former) activists from the undogmatic left and the new social movements . During this time the PR was an associate member of War Resisters International (WRI) when the French total objector Jean Fabre was Secretary General of the PR. In 1979, PR was one of the founding members of the European Ecological Action (ECOROPA) and then the coordination of green and radical parties , the earliest forerunners of today's European Green Party . The “pure” green parties pushed the radicals (and their Dutch “relatives” from the Politieke Partij radicals ) out of the association in 1983 , and they were no longer involved in the European coordination of green parties (from 1984). Until 1984 the European parliamentarians of the PR sat in the technical group of the independents (CDI). They were not invited to found the Rainbow Group because some of the parties involved had had bad experiences with Marco Pannella. Therefore, they were subsequently non-attached.

Ilona Staller at an anti-prohibition demonstration in Rome (1989)

Within Italy, the PR, which mainly ran in national elections, continued to cooperate with the Green Lists, which were created from 1982/83 and initially only ran for candidates at local and regional level. It was only when Lista Verde ran for national parliamentary elections in 1987 that they became competitors. In this election and in the legislative period up to 1992, the PR MP Ilona Staller , known as the porn actress Cicciolina , caused a sensation. A number of members switched to the Verdi Arcobaleno (Rainbow Greens) in 1989 , including Francesco Rutelli and Maria Adelaide Aglietta .

In 1989 the Partito Radicale was renamed the Transnational Radical Party (TRP) and restructured as a transnational movement . In 1995 it was recognized by the United Nations as a non-governmental organization . According to the rules for NGOs, the TRP could not participate in elections. However, its members competed with formally independent lists named after the respective top candidate: Lista Pannella until 1999 , then Lista Bonino . In 2001 the Radicali Italiani were founded , which are formally registered as a party again.


The party's principles included the preservation of democracy , the rule of law and civil rights , nonviolence , pacifism , anti-militarism and anti- authoritarianism , anti-clericalism , the defense of religious freedom and the advocacy of secularism , a liberal drug policy , environmental protection and European federalism .

The political scientist Stefan Köppl describes it as an “eccentric thorn in the flesh of the established parties, whose positions lay across all fronts” and as a “radical left-liberal collecting tank of progressive intellectuals”.

Known members


  • Lorenza Ponzone: Il partito radicale nella politica italiana 1962–1989. Schena Editore, Fasano (Brindisi) 1993.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Gerardo Nicolosi: Introduzione ai testi. Una storiografia in movimento. In: I partiti politici nell'Italia repubblicana. Rubbettino, Soveria Mannelli (Catanzaro) 2006, pp. 21–47, on p. 42.
  2. Elena Savino: La diaspora azionista. Dalla resistance alla nascita del Partito radicale. FrancoAngeli, Milan 2010, pp. 11, 288-299.
  3. a b c d Stefan Köppl: The political system of Italy. An introduction. VS Verlag, Wiesbaden 2007, p. 60.
  4. ^ A b Ferdinand Müller-Rommel : Green parties in Western Europe. Development phases and conditions for success. Westdeutscher Verlag, Opladen 1993, p. 79.
  5. Jean Fabre: Strategies of Change, in: Antimilitarismus-Information (ami) No. 11 ami-paper, documentation of the disarmament trip Brussels-Warsaw (August 1–10, 1979), edited by Wolfram Beyer , Berlin 1979
  6. ^ Andreas von Gehlen: European party democracy? Dissertation, FU Berlin 2005, pp. 293-294.
  7. ^ Elizabeth Bomberg: Green Parties and Politics in the European Union. Routledge, London / New York 2005, p. 70.
  8. ^ Thomas Dietz: The cross-border interaction of green parties in Europe. Westdeutscher Verlag, Opladen 1997, p. 181.
  9. ^ Bernard A. Cook (ed.): Europe Since 1945. An Encyclopedia. Volume 2. Garland, New York / London 2001, p. 1190. Entry: Staller, Ilona (1952–) , edited by Wendy A. Pojmann.
  10. Giuseppe Vatinno: Ecologia Politica. La fine del nucleare. Armando, Rome 2011, p. 61.
  11. ^ Giovanni Negri: L'Illuminato. Vita e morte di Marco Pannella e dei radicali. Feltrinelli, Milan 2017.