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More than ever, the European Union needs unity to assert its values and interests in an age when U.S. global leadership is on the verge of collapse, China is ascendant, and Russia wavers yet again between cooperation and confrontation with the EU. Divided, the EU is a mere helpless spectator to geopolitical upheaval.Italy stands also at the political divide, with an insurgent new party, the Five Star Movement (M5S), sharing the political stage with the right-wing, anti-immigrant, and anti-EU League party and the pro-EU, but greatly weakened, center-left Democratic Party.Throughout the EU, traditional center-left and center-right pro-EU parties are losing votes. Just as in Italy, anti-EU nationalist parties like the League are gaining votes, and anti-establishment insurgencies like M5S – for example, Podemos in Spain, and Syriza in Greece – are either winning power outright or holding the balance of power between traditional pro-EU mainstream parties and anti-EU nationalist parties.The M5S was triumphant especially in Italy's stagnating south.
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