Paolo Gentiloni Silveri (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpaːolo
dʒentiˈloːni]; born 22 November 1954) is an Italian politician
serving as the 57th and current
Prime Minister of Italy
Prime Minister of Italy since 12
December 2016. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as
Minister of Foreign Affairs from 31 October 2014 until December 2016,
Sergio Mattarella asked him to form a new
government. Previously, he was Minister of Communications from 2006
to 2008, during the second government of Romano Prodi.
1 Early life and family
2 Early political career
Rome City Council
Member of Parliament and Minister
3 Minister of Foreign Affairs
4 Prime Minister of Italy
4.2 Labour policies
4.3 Social policies
4.4 Electoral law
4.5 2018 election
4.6 Foreign policies
5 Public image
7 Electoral history
9 External links
Early life and family
A descendant of
Count Gentiloni Silveri,
Paolo Gentiloni is related to
the Italian politician Vincenzo Ottorino Gentiloni, who was the leader
of the conservative Catholic Electoral Union and a key ally of the
long-time Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti. Gentiloni has the
titles of Nobile of Filottrano, Nobile of Cingoli, and Nobile of
Gentiloni was born in
Rome in 1954, during his childhood he attended a
Montessori institute, where he became a friend of Agnese Moro, the
daughter of Aldo Moro, a Christian democratic leader and Prime
Minister. During early 1970s he attended the Classical Lyceum Torquato
Tasso in Rome; he graduated in political sciences at the La
Sapienza University. Gentiloni was a professional journalist before
In 1989 he married Emanuela Mauro, an architect; they have no
children. Gentiloni speaks fluently English, French and German.
Early political career
Paolo Gentiloni was a member of the Student Movement
(Movimento Studentesco), an extreme left-wing youth organization led
by Mario Capanna; when Capanna founded the Proletarian Democracy
party, Gentiloni did not follow him, and joined the Workers' Movement
for Socialism, a far-left maoist group, of whom he became the regional
secretary for Lazio.
During those years he became a close friend of
Chicco Testa who helped
Gentiloni to become director of La Nuova Ecologia ("The New Ecology"),
the official newspaper of Legambiente. As director of this ecological
newspaper he met the young leader of Federation of the Greens,
Francesco Rutelli and became, along with Roberto Giachetti, Michele
Anzaldi and Filippo Sensi, a member of the so-called "Rutelli boys", a
group formed by Rutelli's closest advisors and supporters.
Rome City Council
Paolo Gentiloni with
Francesco Rutelli in 1993.
In 1993 he became Rutelli’s spokesman during his campaign to become
Mayor of Rome; after the election, which saw a strong victory by
Rutelli against Gianfranco Fini, leader of the neo-fascist Italian
Social Movement, Gentiloni was appointed Jubilee and Tourism
Councillor in the
Rome City Council. Gentiloni held this office
until January 2001, when Rutelli resigned to become the centre-left
candidate to the premiership in the 2001 general election. However
Rutelli was soundly defeated by former Prime Minister Silvio
Berlusconi with 35.1% of votes against 49.6%.
Member of Parliament and Minister
In the 2001 general election, Gentiloni was elected as a Member of
Parliament and started his national political career. In 2002 he was a
founding member of the Christian leftist
The Daisy party, being the
party’s communications spokesman for five years. From 2005 until
2006, he was Chairman of the Broadcasting Services Watchdog Committee;
the committee oversees the activity of state broadcaster RAI, which is
publicly funded. He was reelected in the 2006 election as a member
of The Olive Tree, the political coalition led by the Bolognese
economist Romano Prodi. After the centre-left's victory, Gentiloni
served as Minister for Communications in Prodi's second government
from 2006 until 2008.
Paolo Gentiloni as a member of the Chamber of Deputies in 2006.
As minister Gentiloni planned to reform the
Italian television system,
with the overcome of the Gasparri Law, the previous reform proposed by
the centre-right lawmaker Maurizio Gasparri. The reform provided,
between other things, the reduction of advertising. However, in
2007, the government suffered a crisis and lost its majority, so the
reform had never been approved.
He was one of the 45 members of the national founding committee of the
Democratic Party in 2007, formed by the union of the democratic
Democrats of the Left
Democrats of the Left and the Christian leftist The
Daisy. Gentiloni was re-elected in the 2008 general election,
which saw the victory of the conservative coalition led by Silvio
Berlusconi. In this legislature he was a member of the Committee
regarding Transports and Telecommunications.
On 6 April 2013 he ran in the primary election to select the
center-left candidate for Mayor of Rome, placing third after Ignazio
Marino, who became Mayor, and the journalist David Sassoli.
Gentiloni was elected again to the Chamber of Deputies in the 2013
general election, as part of the centre-left coalition Italy. Common
Good led by Pier Luigi Bersani, Secretary of the PD. In 2013, after
Bersani's resignation as Secretary, Gentiloni supported the Mayor of
Florence, Matteo Renzi, in the Democratic Party leadership
Minister of Foreign Affairs
United States Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State
John Kerry in
On 31 October 2014 Gentiloni was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs
by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi; Gentiloni succeeded Federica
Mogherini, who became High Representative of the Union for Foreign
Affairs and Security Policy. He took office two months before
Italy's rotating presidency of the Council of the
European Union ended
in December 2014. At the time of his appointment, Gentiloni had
not been mentioned in political circles as a candidate. Renzi had
reportedly wanted to replace Mogherini with another woman, to preserve
gender parity in his 16-member cabinet. Also, Gentiloni was not known
as a specialist in international diplomacy.
On 13 February 2015, during an interview on Sky TG24, Gentiloni stated
that "if needed,
Italy will be ready to fight in
Libya against the
Islamic State, because the Italian government can not accept the idea
that there is an active terrorist threat only a few hours from Italy
by boat." The following day Gentiloni was threatened by ISIL,
which accused him of being a crusader, minister of an enemy
In March 2015 Gentiloni visited
Cuba and met Cuban
President Raúl Castro, ensuring the Italian support for the
normalization of relations between
Cuba and the United States.
On 11 July 2015, a car bomb exploded outside the Italian consulate in
the Egyptian capital Cairo, resulting in at least one death and four
people injured; the Islamic State claimed responsibility.
On the same day Gentiloni stated that "
Italy will be not intimidated"
and would continue the fight against terrorism.
Boris Johnson and
Federica Mogherini in September 2016.
In December 2015, Gentiloni hosted a peace conference in
Rome with the
representatives from both governments of
Libya involved in the civil
war, but also from the United Nations, the
United States and
As Foreign Minister, Gentiloni had to confront various abductions of
Italian citizens. In January 2015, he negotiated the release of
Vanessa Marzullo and Greta Ramelli after they had been held hostage by
Syrian terrorists for 168 days. Another high-profile case was the
murder of Giulio Regeni, an Italian
Cambridge University graduate
student killed in
Cairo following his abduction on January 25,
2016; Regeni was a Ph.D. student researching Egypt's
independent trade unions.
In the 2016
United Nations Security Council election, Gentiloni and
his Dutch counterpart
Bert Koenders agreed on splitting a two-year
term on the
United Nations Security Council after the United Nations
General Assembly was deadlocked on whether to choose
Italy or the
Netherlands following five rounds of voting for the last remaining
Prime Minister of Italy
Main article: Gentiloni Cabinet
Matteo Renzi during the swearing-in ceremony.
On 7 December 2016, Prime Minister
Matteo Renzi announced his
resignation, following the rejection of his proposals to overhaul the
Italian Senate in the 2016 Italian constitutional referendum. A few
days later, on 11 December 2016, Gentiloni was asked by President
Mattarella to form a new government. On the following day
Gentiloni was officially sworn in as the new head of the
He led a coalition government supported by his own Democratic Party
and the Christian democratic Popular Area, composed of the New
Centre-Right and the Centrists for Italy. This was the same majority
that had supported Renzi's government for almost three years.
Meanwhile, the centrist
Liberal Popular Alliance
Liberal Popular Alliance (ALA), led by Denis
Verdini, did not support the new cabinet because no member of the ALA
was appointed as a minister.
On 13 December his cabinet won a confidence vote in the Chamber of
Deputies, with 368 votes for and 105 against, while the deputies of
Five Star Movement
Five Star Movement and the
Lega Nord left the chamber. On the
following day the government also won a confidence vote in the Senate
of the Republic, with 169 votes for and 99 against.
On 29 December deputy ministers of the Democratic Party, New
Centre-Right, as well as the Italian Socialist Party and Solidary
Democracy, were appointed. After the split of the Democrats and
Progressives from the Democratic Party, that party was presented by
one deputy minister in the government.
On 19 July 2017 Gentiloni became Minister of Regional Affairs ad
interim, after the resignation of Enrico Costa, member of Popular
Alternative, who often criticized Gentiloni's views and ideas,
especially regarding immigration and birthright citizenship.
On 24 March 2018, following the elections of the presidents of the two
houses of the Italian Parliament,
Roberto Fico (M5S) and Maria
Elisabetta Alberti Casellati (FI), Gentiloni resigned his post to
President Mattarella; however he will remain in office until a new
cabinet will be formed.
Paolo Gentiloni with French President
Emmanuel Macron in May 2017.
A major problem faced by Gentiloni upon becoming Prime Minister in
2016 was the high levels of illegal immigration to Italy. On 2
February 2017, Gentiloni reached a deal in
Rome with Libyan Chairman
of the Presidential Council
Fayez al-Sarraj on halting migration.
Libya agreed to try to stop migrants from setting out to cross the
Mediterranean Sea. On 9 February, Gentiloni signed a similar deal
with President of
Tunisia Beji Caid Essebsi, to prevent the migration
across the Mediterranean.
In December 2017, the Gentiloni announced the peacekeeping mission
which consists in the sending of 450 soldiers in Niger, to help the
local forces in the fight against migrants' traffickers and Islamic
terrorism. The deal was reached along with French President
Emmanuel Macron, who stated that French troops, which were already in
the area, will cooperate with Italian ones.
In March 2017 the government abolished the use of labour vouchers,
bonds of the redeemable transaction type which are worth a certain
monetary value and which may be spent only for specific reasons or on
specific goods, commonly one-off labour services. The government
decided to promote this law after a referendum that was called by
Italy's main trade union CGIL. Gentiloni stated that he decided to
abolish them, because he did not want to split the country in another
referendum, after the December 2016 constitutional one.
On 19 May 2017, the Council of Ministers, on the proposal of Prime
Minishter Gentiloni and Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin, approved a
decree law containing urgent vaccine prevention measures that
reintroduces the mandatory vaccination, bringing the number of
mandatory vaccines from 4 to 12 and not allowing those who have not
been vaccinated to attend school.
On 14 December 2017, the Parliament officially approved a law
concerning the advance healthcare directive, better known as "living
will", a legal document in which a person specifies what actions
should be taken for their health if they are no longer able to make
decisions for themselves because of illness or incapacity. With this
law, living will has become legal in Italy. The law also provided
the refusal of end-of-life cares. The bill was harshly opposed by
many Christian democratic and social conservative politicians of Forza
Italia, Lega Nord, Brothers of
Italy and even PD's ally Popular
Alternative, while it was supported by PD, Five Star Movement,
Democratic and Progressive Movement and Italian Left.
The Catholic Church, led by Pope Francis, did not put up major
objections to the living will law, saying that a balance needed to be
struck with the prevention of excessive treatment or therapeutic
After the rejection of the constitutional reform, the Parliament had
to change the electoral law proposed by Renzi's government; in fact
the so-called Italicum regulates only the election of the Chamber of
Deputies, and not the one of the Senate, which, if the reform passed,
would be indirectly elected by citizens. The PD proposed a new
electoral law called
Mattarellum bis, better known as Rosatellum,
from the name of his main proponent Ettore Rosato, Democratic leader
in the Chamber of Deputies. This electoral law was similar to the
one which was applied in
Italy from 1993 to 2005.
The Rosatellum used an additional member system, which act as a mixed
system, with 36% of seats allocated using a first past the post
electoral system and 64% using a proportional method, with one round
of voting. The Senate and the Chamber of Deputies did not differ in
the way they allocated the proportional seats, both using the D'Hondt
method of allocating seats. The new electoral law was
supported by PD and his government ally Popular Alternative, but also
by the opposition parties Forza Italia and Lega Nord.
Despite many protests from the
Five Star Movement
Five Star Movement and the Democratic
and Progressive Movement, which accused Renzi and Gentiloni to have
used the confidence vote in order to approve the law, on 12
September the electoral law was approved by the Chamber of Deputies
with 375 votes in favor and 215 against.
On 28 December 2017 President Sergio Mattarella, after a meeting with
Gentiloni, dissolved the Parliament, calling for new elections, which
was held on March 4, 2018. Gentiloni remains in office, with all
his powers, until a new cabinet is formed. In the election the
centre-right alliance, in which Matteo Salvini's League emerged as the
main political force, won a plurality of seats in the Chamber of
Deputies and in the Senate, while the anti-establishment Five Star
Movement led by
Luigi Di Maio
Luigi Di Maio became the party with the largest number
of votes and the centre-left coalition, led by Renzi, came
third. However, due to the largely proportional electoral law,
no political group or party won an outright majority, resulting in a
In his electoral constituency in the city centre of Rome, Gentiloni
won with 42.06% of votes against the centre-right candidate Luciano
Ciocchetti (30.85%) and the Five Star, Agiolino Cirulli, who gained
Paolo Gentiloni with U.S. President
Donald Trump in April 2017.
Gentiloni strongly supports
European integration and a multispeed
Europe. During his premiership, Gentiloni faced several
challenging foreign policy situations, such as the European debt
crisis, the civil war in Libya, the insurgency of the Islamic State
(IS) in the Middle East.
Gentiloni set up good relations with Canadian Prime Minister Justin
Trudeau, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela
Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.
As Prime Minister, he hosted the
43rd G7 summit
43rd G7 summit in Taormina, Sicily.
This summit was the first one for him and also for U.S. President
Donald Trump, Prime Minister May, and President Macron. It was the
first time since 1987 that the G7 summit in
Italy was not hosted by
According to public opinion surveys in December 2017, after one year
of government, Gentiloni's approval rating was 44%, the second highest
rating after the one of President Sergio Mattarella, and far higher
than the other prominent politicians; moreover his approval rating has
increased since he came into office.
On 10 January 2017, after an official trip in
Paris to meet President
François Hollande, Gentiloni suffered an obstructed coronary artery
and received an emergency angioplasty. On the following day
Gentiloni tweeted that he felt well and would be back at work
soon. On the same day he also received the wishes from President
Sergio Mattarella, former Prime Ministers
Matteo Renzi and Silvio
Berlusconi, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
2018 general election (C): Rome’s 1st district
Five Star Movement
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^ Patto Gentiloni-Macron per il Sahel
Italy PM plans to shift military forces from Iraq to Niger
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