«Recent electoral successes of populists in Europe have created a nervous atmosphere in the political arena. Politicians (and their staff) must talk to voters and confront their position with opposing ones to make political competition visible. Debates need to represent pluralism – and politicians need to endorse it.»
To get an overview of the stance different political parties have on Europe and the extent to which European integration was politicised in the run-up to the 2018 elections, we followed Italy’s election campaign on Twitter from February 19th up to election day. The Democratic Party (PD) presented itself as the ‘only alternative’ to the anti-European populism and the sovereignist closure that characterizes its competitors.