Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni has repeatedly surprised her European counterparts with her alignment with the Western community. But as Italy begins its G7 presidency, she faces the daunting task of maintaining this unity amid rising tensions and challenges
This week Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni travelled to Tokyo to formally take over the G7 presidency from Japan. During their meeting, Meloni and Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida confirmed that they would cooperate closely to ensure a successful G7 summit in June. But with a multitude of approaching tests, maintaining this sense of unity and cooperation among the G7 allies will be Meloni’s biggest challenge.
The summit in June will likely focus on the G7 responses to the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, as well as policies towards Africa and migration, and multilateral cooperation on AI. While Western support for Ukraine has generally been strong for the last two years since Russia’s full-scale invasion, over the last couple of months cracks have emerged, with the European Union struggling to agree on military aid and the US Congress still paralysed over it. Meloni’s commitment to supporting Ukraine is firm: her defence minister Guido Crosetto has emphasised the importance of European and international unity on the issue, saying that allowing it to falter would be a strategic and political mistake that would call the West’s strategy into question.