On 10 June 2015, the "Chamber of Deputies passed a motion obliging the Government to approve a bill regarding civil unions between same-sex couples. Previously all of the major parties in Italy had presented different motions on civil unions, which were all rejected except for the Democratic Party's, which also called for civil unions to be approved. Renzi had stated shortly before becoming Prime Minister that he favoured the introduction of civil unions for same-sex couples. In July 2015, several days after the "European Parliament passed a motion calling on all members of the "European Union to recognise same-sex relationships, the "European Court of Human Rights ruled that Italy was violating the Convention on Human Rights by not recognising same-sex couples' "right to family life".
On 7 October 2015, Renzi introduced a bill to Parliament that would establish same-sex civil unions and gender-neutral cohabitation agreements. The bill passed its first reading in the Senate a week later. Although Renzi secured the support of his Democratic Party and the main opposition "Forza Italia party, many MPs from both criticised the bill. Despite the bill being put forward on a free vote, Renzi made it clear that he would tie the civil unions bill to a vote of confidence in his Government if it did not pass.
Following months of public and parliamentary debate, on 25 February 2016 the Senate voted in favour of Renzi's proposals to legalise civil unions, with 173 votes in favour and 71 against. An amendment known as the ""stepchild adoption" provision that would have granted parental rights to a non-biological parent in a same-sex union was taken out of the bill at the last moment after it became clear a majority of senators did not support it. Although Renzi had expressed support for the amendment, the decision came after the "Five Star Movement backed out of an agreement to pass it; moreover, the amendment was opposed by the "New Centre-Right. Renzi stated that the bill's passage through the Senate was a "victory for love", although he expressed disappointment that the adoption provision was not also adopted, and raised the possibility of introducing it in a separate bill at a later date. On 11 May 2016, the Chamber of Deputies approved the final proposals, with 369 votes in favour and 163 against.
On 3 September 2014 during a press conference, Renzi announced an online consultation with students, teachers and citizens ahead of the major school reforms promoted by Education Minister "Stefania Giannini. On 9 July 2015, despite the opposition of an overwhelming majority of teachers and students alike to the actual design of the school reform, this was finally approved by the Chamber of Deputies, with 277 votes against 173.
On 15 December, during a ceremony at the "Italian National Olympic Committee, Renzi officially launched the candidacy of "Rome for the "2024 Summer Olympics. Renzi stated that, "Our country too often seems hesitant. It's unacceptable not to try or to renounce playing the game. "Sport in Italy is a way of life and a way of looking at the future. I don’t know if we’ll make it, but the Olympic candidacy is one of the most beautiful things we can do for our kids, for us, for Italy." On 21 September 2016, Mayor of Rome "Virginia Raggi, a member of the "Five Star Movement, told reporters the bid for the games would go no further. Raggi, having long been opposed to Rome hosting the games, cited ongoing financial troubles in the country as the main reason for cancelling the bid. She said hosting the games would be "irresponsible" and would only cause the city to fall into further debt.
During Renzi's premiership "Milan hosted the "Universal Exposition; the themes were technology, innovation, culture and traditions concerning food. Participants to the Expo include 145 countries, three international organisations, several civil society organisations, several corporations and "non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The participants are hosted inside "individual or grouped pavilions.
The opening of the Expo on 1 May 2015 was met with protest from anti-austerity activists, "black bloc, and anarchists caused criminal damage, resulting in the police using "tear gas.
Expo also created some tensions with the "Holy See and the Italian government; in fact "Pope Francis condemned the concept of Expo, saying that it "obeys the culture of waste and does not contribute to a model of equitable and sustainable development". As "Vatican City invested €3 million to obtain its own pavilion at the event before his appointment to the papacy, Francis said that, although it is a good thing that the Church is involved in causes that battle hunger and promote cleaner energy, he stated that too much money was wasted on the Expo itself by Vatican City.
At 03:36 "CEST on 24 August 2016, an earthquake measuring 6.2 on the "moment magnitude scale struck "Central Italy. The "epicentre was close to "Accumoli, in an area near the borders of the "Umbria, "Lazio, "Abruzzo and "Marche regions. The earthquake killed 298 people and left more than 4,500 homeless.
On 1 September, Renzi appointed the former President of "Emilia-Romagna "Vasco Errani as Special Commissioner for Reconstruction. Errani had been already a Special Commissioner during the "earthquake that struck his home region in 2012.
A magnitude 6.1 intraplate "earthquake struck 3 km (2 mi) west of "Visso on 26 October at 21:18 local time (19:18 "UTC). The earthquake, which occurred two months after "a magnitude 6.2 earthquake in August, struck about 30 km (20 mi) to the northwest of the August earthquake's epicentre. The civil protection, however, estimated the consequences less dramatically than feared. According to official data, a man died because he had suffered a heart attack as a result of the quake.
A third large, shallow earthquake of "USGS preliminary magnitude 6.6 struck 6 km (4 mi) north of "Norcia at 07:40 local time (06:40 UTC) on 30 October. This quake was the largest in Italy in 36 years, since the "1980 Irpinia earthquake. The three earhquakes caused almost 100,000 homeless.
During his premiership, Renzi faced several challenging foreign policy situations, such as the "European debt crisis, the "civil war in "Libya, the "Ukrainian Crisis and the "insurgency of the "Islamic State (IS) in the "Middle East.
Renzi formed a close relationship with "US President "Barack Obama, supporting the "2014 military intervention against IS with hundreds of Italian troops and four "Panavia Tornado aircraft, and also supporting "international sanctions against Russia after their "invasion of East Ukraine. Renzi forged a positive relationship with "Japanese Prime Minister "Shinzō Abe, who praised the economic policies of the Renzi Government. A key ally of Renzi in the "Mediterranean is "Egyptian President "Abdel Fattah el-Sisi; the two leaders held many bilateral meetings where they discussed the "problem of immigration to Italy and the increasing tensions in the "Middle East and "North Africa.
In the "European Union, Renzi has a close relationship with "French President "François Hollande and his "Prime Minister "Manuel Valls, especially with Valls, who saw Renzi as a model for his "Third Way policies.
Following the "2014 European Parliament elections, which saw the Democratic Party receive the highest number of votes of all the individual political parties contesting that election across the entire "European Union, Renzi subsequently emerged as the most prominent leader of the "European Socialists. This was in opposition to "German Chancellor "Angela Merkel, widely considered the de facto leader of the "European People's Party and, according to some "European Union analysts, the two leaders are together referred to as Merkenzi. Renzi and Merkel had many bilateral meetings, the first on 17 March 2014 in "Berlin, just a few weeks after Renzi's election as Prime Minister, where the two leaders discussed important reforms that the Italian Government planned to make both in Italy and in the EU. On 22 January 2015, Merkel visited Renzi in his home city of "Florence, where she publicly lauded the "impressive" reforms carried out by his government. On the following day the two leaders held a joint press conference in front of "Michelangelo's "David.
Renzi is seen as an ally of French President "François Hollande of the "Socialist Party. On 15 March 2014 Renzi met Hollande in "Paris, agreeing with him a common economic policy focused not only on the "austerity measures imposed by the so-called "Troika of the "European Commission, "European Central Bank and "International Monetary Fund, but also on more flexible policies to promote economic growth in the EU. Renzi is a close personal friend of French Prime Minister "Manuel Valls, with the two leaders often regarded as being heirs of the "Third Way politics espoused by the likes of "Tony Blair. On 7 January 2015, after the "Islamic terrorist attack in "Paris which caused the death of 17 people, Renzi expressed horror and dismay, offering his best wishes to the people of France and noting his close relationships with the French Prime Minister and "Paris Mayor "Anne Hidalgo. On 11 January, he joined more than 40 world leaders and three million people in the "Republican March organised by President Hollande.
Renzi built a constructive relationship with "British Prime Minister "David Cameron of the "Conservative Party. During their first meeting on 1 April 2014, Cameron stated that the reforms planned by Renzi were "ambitious" and that together the two men would be able to change the European Union. On the same day, Renzi also met former British Prime Minister "Tony Blair, whom Renzi had previously called a political inspiration to him. On 2 October 2014, Renzi held a press conference with Cameron in "10 Downing Street, with Cameron lauding their similar policies to reform the "European Union and overcome the economic crisis.
On 1 August 2014, following his party's strong showing in the European Parliament elections, Renzi nominated his Foreign Minister, "Federica Mogherini, as a candidate to be the new "High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in the incoming-"European Commission to be led by "Jean-Claude Juncker, the former "Prime Minister of Luxembourg. Mogherini was eventually successfully confirmed as the EU High Representative, ensuring that Italy controlled one of the two most senior posts in the Commission.
In September, Renzi participated in the "2014 NATO Summit in "Wales. Before the official start of the summit, he had discussions with "Ukrainian President "Petro Poroshenko, US President "Barack Obama and the other three leaders of the European "G4 to discuss the crisis with "Russia. This summit was the first held after the "Russian military intervention in "Ukraine and the "offensive by the "Islamic State of the Caliph "Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
On 3 February 2015, Renzi received newly elected "Greek Prime Minister "Alexis Tsipras of the "Coalition of the Radical Left in Rome. The two leaders held a joint press conference expressing concerns about austerity measures imposed by the "European Commission and stated that economic growth is the only way to solve the crisis. After the press conference, Renzi presented Tsipras with an Italian tie as a gift. Tsipras, who was notable for refusing to ever wear a tie, thanked Renzi and said he would wear the gift in celebration after "Greece had successfully renegotiated the austerity measures.
Similar to his predecessors, Renzi continued the long-standing Italian policy of a close relationship with the "United States, building a partnership with President "Barack Obama. Italy supported the US in the "military intervention against the "Islamic State, and participated in the "international sanctions against Russia following their invasion of East Ukraine.
Renzi met Obama for the first time on 24 March 2014, during the latter's trip to "Rome. Renzi also held a joint meeting with Obama, "Pope Francis and "Italian President "Giorgio Napolitano. Obama stated afterwards that he had been impressed by the reforms Renzi wanted to undertake. Renzi himself said that he considered Obama an example for the policies he wanted to achieve.
On 22 September, Renzi visited "Silicon Valley, "California. In San Francisco he met with young Italian emigrants who have created "startups in the USA. He also visited the headquarters of "Twitter, "Google and "Yahoo! to hold talks with chief executives. Renzi was accompanied by former "US Secretaries of State, "Condoleezza Rice and "George Shultz, and by the former American Ambassador to Italy, "Ronald P. Spogli. He later spoke at "Stanford University as the guest of University President "John L. Hennessy.
The following day, Renzi spoke at a "United Nations summit in "New York City, focusing on the problem of "climate change. Following the summit, Renzi met former US President "Bill Clinton and his wife, former Secretary of State "Hillary Clinton. At the end of his trip, Renzi participated in a reception hosted by Barack Obama.
Renzi was received at the "White House in April 2015. He and President Obama discussed many issues, including "Ukraine, "Libya and "ISIL. They discussed Europe's economy, the "Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, climate change and energy security. In October 2015, the Italian Government announced that it would prolong its military presence in "Afghanistan along with the "US Army, in order to continue its security mission and prevent the rise of "Islamist forces such as "Al-Qaeda and ISIL.
On 18 October 2016, President Obama invited Renzi and his wife "Agnese to attend an official "state dinner at the "White House. The two men held a joint press conference during which Obama, the dinner being his final state visit as President, commented that he had "saved the best for last", and the two reiterated their support for one another.
Renzi built up a close relations with "Japanese Prime Minister "Shinzō Abe; the two Prime Ministers are both against "austerity and they are reforming the constitutions of their countries. On 6 June 2014, Renzi received Prime Minister Abe in Rome. Abe publicly congratulated Renzi for the economic and constitutional reforms being delivered by Renzi's government. The two leaders also met in "Tokyo in August 2015 and discussed about relations with "China and the stability of "East Asia.
On 9 June, Renzi travelled to "Hanoi, "Vietnam to meet with "President "Trương Tấn Sang and "Prime Minister "Nguyễn Tấn Dũng, as well as "Communist Party General Secretary "Nguyễn Phú Trọng to sign economic treaties worth around 5 billion US dollars to the Italian economy. In doing so, Renzi became the first Italian Prime Minister to officially visit Vietnam since 1973, when diplomacy first began between Italy and North Vietnam. During the visit Renzi placed a wreath in the mausoleum of the former North Vietnamese President "Ho Chi Minh.
On 11 June, Renzi met "Chinese President "Xi Jinping in "Beijing, who congratulated him for the "important reforms" being undertaken by his government. Xi also stated that China would continue co-operation with Italy ahead of "Expo 2015 in "Milan. Several months later in October, Renzi met with Chinese Prime Minister "Li Keqiang in Rome to sign twenty treaties worth a total of 8 billion "euros.
On 12 June, Renzi met "Kazakh President "Nursultan Nazarbayev in "Astana, where they discussed withdrawal of "Italian troops from "Afghanistan. On 18 November, Renzi travelled to "Ashgabat, "Turkmenistan, where with Turkmen President "Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow he signed a number of economic pacts securing increased gas supply.
During his premiership, Renzi started a policy review led to the creation of the Italy-Africa initiative, which includes "renewable energy co-operation and a new package of development aid in fields stretching from health care to culture; counterterrorism has been a key part of his agenda, but the "East Africa region is also important to stop the migration flows from there to Italy through "North Africa, especially "Libya.
On 4 March, Renzi travelled to "Tunisia, where he had a meeting with "Mustapha Ben Jafar. With Jafar, Renzi discussed about the problem of "illegal immigration to "Italy from the coasts of "North Africa. The trip to Tunisia was the first official one made by Renzi as Prime Minister of Italy.
On 18 March 2015, after the "Bardo Museum attack in "Tunis, in which 28 people died and four of whom were Italians, Renzi condemned the terrorist attack and said that Italy is close to the Tunisian government and people.
On 19 July, Renzi started a major trip to "Africa, meeting the "Mozambique President "Armando Guebuza. Renzi signed economic pacts to create investments by the Italian government-owned oil company "Eni in the African country for 50 billion dollars. The following day he visited the "Republic of Congo where he met President "Denis Sassou Nguesso, with whom he signed a co-operation for the extraction of "oil in the country. Some journalists criticised the meeting with Sassou Nguesso, who is considered one of the more corrupt dictators of Africa. Renzi later met with "Angolan President "José Eduardo dos Santos in "Luanda. During the visit, Renzi placed a memorial wreath in the mausoleum of the first Angolan President, "Agostinho Neto.
On 24 July, under the direction of Foreign Minister "Federica Mogherini, the government worked for the release of "Mariam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman had been who sentenced to death for being a "Christian. Thanks largely to the good relations between "Sudan and "Italy, Ibrahim was released and permitted to fly to Italy on a government plane.
On 2 December, Renzi went to "Algiers, where he met Algerian President "Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Prime Minister "Abdelmalek Sellal. With the two leaders of the country, Renzi discussed the "Libyan crisis, immigration from "North Africa, and also about gas imports from "Algeria as an alternative to Russian imports, following the tensions between the European Union and Russia.
In January 2016, Matteo Renzi continued his policy toward Africa; the Prime Minister had a three-days trip in "Nigeria, "Ghana and "Senegal. The main tasks of this diplomatic trip was the fight against the "Islamic terrorism and the "migrant crisis in the "Mediterranean Sea; with Nigerian President "Muhammadu Buhari, Renzi signed an agreement on enhancing co-operation between the "Nigerian and "Italian Polices.
Renzi has been one of the strongest supporters of the new Libyan Prime Minister "Fayez al-Sarraj and of his government of national union. In August 2016 the newspaper "la Repubblica reported that dozens of "Italian special forces were operating in Libya, for training and intelligence activities. These special forces were operating under the direct command of the Prime Minister's office.
"Russia had previously enjoyed a privileged relationship with Italy, particularly under the leadership of "Silvio Berlusconi, who was a personal friend of "Russian President "Vladimir Putin. Following the "Russian military intervention in "Ukraine, however, relations worsened. On 2 March 2014, Renzi accused Putin of having committed "an unacceptable violation". On 19 March, during a speech to the "Chamber of Deputies, Renzi stated that the "Crimean status referendum was illegal and that the "G8 countries must start co-operating to solve the "crisis and prevent a return to the "Cold War. In June, he subsequently participated in the "G7 summit in "Brussels, the first one held after the suspension of "Russia from the "G8 following the annexation of "Crimea in March.
Renzi phoned Putin on 28 August, asking him to stop the "intolerable escalation" and to reach a peace agreement with Ukrainian President "Petro Poroshenko to stop the "pro-Russian conflict in that regions. Renzi and Putin also had a bilateral meeting on 16 October, when Renzi hosted the "Asia–Europe Meeting (ASEM) in "Milan with 53 other leaders of the world. On 15 November, during the "G-20 "summit in "Brisbane, the two leaders had another meeting, where they discussed about the "Ukrainian crisis, but also on the civil wars in "Libya and "Syria.
On 5 March 2015 Renzi met President Putin and Prime Minister "Dmitry Medvedev in "Moscow. The talks between the leaders was focused on international issues, such as settlement of the crisis in Ukraine, the situations in the "Middle East and in "Libya, as well as fighting terrorism. Putin guaranteed Russian support in case of a "UN intervention in Libya against the "Islamic State.
Ahead of the bilateral meeting, Prime Minister Renzi visited and laid flowers at the Moscow bridge, near the "Kremlin, on which the Russian opposition leader "Boris Nemtsov was murdered, a few days before.
Through 2015, Renzi became one of the main supporters of a reduction of international sanctions against Russia and the establishment of a political and military alliance between the "Western countries and Russia against the "terrorism of the Islamic State.
Renzi questioned "Nord Stream II, a new Russia-Germany natural gas pipeline, saying: "I found it surprising that the South Stream project was blocked [Balkan pipeline was cancelled by Russia in December 2014 following obstacles from EU], while now we are discussing a doubling up of Nord Stream".
On 2 August 2014, Renzi met with "Egyptian President "Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in "Cairo, holding talks about a variety of issues, including the "Israel-Gaza conflict. Renzi stated that Italy would support the Egyptian truce proposal, with the two leaders calling for an immediate cease-fire and the beginning of peace negotiations. In making the visit, Renzi became the first "Western leader to visit President el-Sisi since "his election. On 15 January 2015, after "Islamic State's conquests in "Libya, Renzi conducted a long phone call with Sisi, to discuss the terrorist threat in the Mediterranean. The two leaders agreed that the next steps should be political and diplomatic efforts through the United Nations.
On 11 July 2015, a "car bomb exploded outside the Italian consulate in Cairo, resulting in at least one death and four injured. "ISIS claimed responsibility.
The relations between Italy and Egypt dramatically worsened after the "murder of Giulio Regeni, an Italian "Cambridge University graduate student killed in "Cairo following his abduction on 25 January 2016. Giulio Regeni was a PhD student at "Girton College, Cambridge, researching Egypt's independent trade unions.
Due to Regeni's research activities and left-wing political leanings, the security services of el-Sisi's government are strongly suspected of involvement in his murder, although Egypt's media and government deny this and claim secret undercover agents belonging to the "Muslim Brotherhood carried out the crime in order to embarrass the Egyptian government and destabilise relations between Italy and Egypt.
On 20 August 2014 Renzi travelled to "Iraq, in the midst of the "insurgency led by the "Islamic State. There he met with the Head of State, "Fuad Masum, Prime Minister "Haider al-Abadi and his immediate predecessor "Nouri al-Maliki. On the same day, 20 August 2014, Renzi travelled north to "Erbil to meet the President of "Iraqi Kurdistan, "Mas'ud Barzani, and Prime Minister "Nechervan Barzani. Renzi later told an American journalist that what he witnessed during his trip to Iraq reminded him of the images of the "Srebrenica massacre that had horrified him as a child. While Renzi was in Iraq, the "Italian Parliament approved a proposal to arm the "Peshmerga soldiers fighting against the Islamic State.
On 23 September, during the 69th "General Assembly of the "United Nations, Renzi held a bilateral meeting with the "Turkish President "Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, at which they discussed "climate change and increasing tensions in the "Middle East. On 11 December Renzi travelled to Ankarafor a second meeting with Erdoğan, during which Renzi expressed his support for "Turkish accession to the "European Union. On the same day he met with "Turkish Prime Minister "Ahmet Davutoğlu.
On 8 January 2015, Renzi made his first official trip of the year, meeting with Crown Prince "Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in "Abu Dhabi to address issues of foreign and economic policy, including the "Alitalia-"Etihad deal. The two leaders discussed joint co-operation domains and enhancing trade exchange and co-operation in energy and aerospace.
Renzi has had good relations with both "Israeli Prime Minister "Benjamin Netanyahu and "Palestinian President "Mahmoud Abbas. On 21 and 22 July 2015 he visited first "Jerusalem, where he met with Netanyahu and addressed the "Knesset, and then "Ramallah, where he met with Abbas. Renzi was the first leader to visit "Israel after the "Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the deal reached between "international community and "Iran. Whereas Netanyahu heavily criticised the deal, Renzi supported it, while stressing that "Israel's security is the security of Europe and mine as well." 
In January 2016, Renzi met with Iranian President "Hassan Rouhani in Rome, the first visit to Italy by a "President of "Iran since 1999. The two leaders signed business deals worth up to 17 billion euros. They also discussed the war against the Islamic State in the "Middle East and "Libya. On 13 and 14 April 2016 he became the first Western leader to visit Iran after the international agreement on the "nuclear program of Iran. In Iran, Renzi met both President Rouhani and Supreme Leader "Ali Khamenei.
After announcing an increase of Italian investment in "Central and "South America, in October 2015 Renzi undertook a number of official trips across the continent, travelling to "Chile, "Peru and "Colombia. During his visit to "Santiago, Renzi and "Chilean President "Michelle Bachelet launched a large number of renewable energy projects promoted by the Italian multinational "Enel. Renzi also visited the "European Southern Observatory of "Paranal in the "Atacama desert. During these trips, Renzi had numerous meetings with communities of Italian-born Latin Americans in these countries.
In a surprise visit, returning from Latin America, on 28 October 2015 Renzi became the first Italian Prime Minister in history to make a state visit to "Cuba. In doing so he also became the first "G7 leader to meet "Cuban President "Raúl Castro following the "2015 normalisation "of relations between the United States and Cuba.
In February 2016 Renzi met "Argentine President "Mauricio Macri during a state visit to "Buenos Aires; Renzi became the first European leader to met Macri after the "2015 presidential election and the first Italian Prime Minister since "Romano Prodi in 1998 to visit Argentina. During his premiership, Renzi has also developed close relationship with "Mexican President "Enrique Peña Nieto.
After the premiership
Following the defeat in the constitutional referendum and the subsequent resignation as Prime Minister, Renzi remained "Secretary of the Democratic Party. As leader of the main party both in the "Chamber of Deputies and the "Senate of the Republic, he supported the new government led by his former Minister of Foreign Affairs "Paolo Gentiloni, also a Democrat.
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. On 18 December 2016, during the PD Assembly, Renzi proposed the "Mattarellum as new electoral law. This law was applied in Italy from 1993 to 2004 and used an "additional member system, which in Italy was a mixed system, with 75% of seats allocated using a "first past the post electoral system and 25% 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.
2017 leadership election and party split
On 19 February 2017, during the PD National Assembly, Renzi resigned as Secretary of the party, announcing his candidacy for the next "leadership election. A few days before he launched the movement In Cammino ("On the way") in support of his candidacy.
Contextually, a large portion of the party's internal left-wing, led by "Enrico Rossi and Roberto Speranza, who were endorsed by former party leaders "Massimo D'Alema, "Pier Luigi Bersani and "Guglielmo Epifani, left the PD and founded the "Democrats and Progressives (DP), along with splinters from the "Italian Left (SI).
On 6 March Matteo Renzi presented his electoral programme, in which he expressed his intention to renovate the party, Italy and "Europe. He also announced an electoral ticket with the Agriculture Minister "Maurizio Martina; Martina will became Deputy Secretary and will probably lead the party if Renzi becomes Prime Minister again.
From 10 to 12 March Renzi and his supporters participated in Lingotto '17, a convention based in the district of "Lingotto in "Turin, where the Democratic Party was founded ten years before under the leadership of "Walter Veltroni. During his speech he harshly condemned the "Five Star Movement (M5S), accused of being a populist party controlled by a "private company, and "Lega Nord, which uses fear to gain votes. Renzi attacked also European "bureaucrats and proposed a "primary election to appoint the "Party of European Socialists candidate for the "European Commission presidency and the direct election of the President.
Among the notable participants of the pro-Renzi convention were Prime Minister "Paolo Gentiloni, current ministers like "Pier Carlo Padoan, "Dario Franceschini, "Graziano Delrio, "Marianna Madia, "Roberta Pinotti and Secretary "Maria Elena Boschi. "Emma Bonino, historic "Radical leader and former Foreign Affairs Minister, also participated in the rally.
2014 European election
In the "European Parliament election held on 25 May 2014, the first national election Renzi had faced since becoming Prime Minister, his "Democratic Party won 40.8% of the vote with 11,203,231 votes, becoming by far the largest party in the country with 31 MEPs. The PD won the most votes of any single party across the whole of the "European Union, won the largest number of MEPs for any single party, and became the largest group in the "Socialists and Democrats European Parliament group.
The Democratic Party's vote share was the best result for an Italian party in a nationwide election since the "1958 general election, when the "Christian Democracy won 42.4% of the vote. The positive electoral result enabled Renzi to successfully nominate his Foreign Minister, "Federica Mogherini, as the new "High Representative of the Union for "Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, ensuring that an Italian would occupy one of the EU's two most powerful political positions.
2015 presidential election
"Giorgio Napolitano announced his immediate retirement as "President of Italy on 14 January 2015. Napolitano had been convinced to stand again as President following the political uncertainty generated by the "2013 general election, but had made it clear he would retire at some point before June 2015. On 29 January, during the National Assembly of the Democratic Party, Renzi officially announced that he would endorse "Sergio Mattarella, a judge on the "Constitutional Court and a former Minister of Defence, as his candidate for the "Italian presidential election to replace Napolitano.
It had been thought, due to the high threshold a candidate requires in the first three rounds of balloting in a presidential election, that Renzi would be forced to seek a compromise candidate with "Silvio Berlusconi. However, despite Berlusconi's stringent opposition to Mattarella, Renzi instructed the Democratic Party to abstain from the first three rounds of balloting in an attempt to force a fourth ballot which required a far lower threshold for victory. Despite the risk this strategy involved, centrist parties announced at the last moment that they would support Mattarella on the fourth ballot, and he subsequently won the presidential election with 665 votes out of 1009 from Senators and Deputies. Renzi was able to secure his chosen candidate's election by also unexpectedly securing last-minute support from the conservative "New Centre-Right, the socialist "Left Ecology Freedom and the liberal "Civic Choice.
2016 constitutional referendum
After constitutional reforms had passed both the "Chamber of Deputies and the "Senate multiple times, Renzi announced that he would hold a "constitutional referendum on 4 December 2016 to seek approval for the changes; whilst the reform was approved by a simple majority of the Parliament, it did not achieve the two thirds necessary to avoid a referendum, as per Article 138 of the "Italian Constitution.
Voters were asked whether they approved of amending the Constitution to transform the Senate of the Republic into a "Senate of "Regions", with 100 members made up of regional councillors and mayors of large cities, akin to Germany's "Bundesrat. The reform would diminish the size of the Italian senate from 315 to 100, making all senators indirectly elected by regional councils and mayors. In addition, the reform makes it harder for the senate to veto legislation.
Following early results which indicated that the "No" side was clearly ahead, Renzi conceded defeat and resigned.
The nature of Renzi's "progressivism is a matter of debate and has been linked both to "liberalism and "populism. According to Maria Teresa Meli of "Corriere della Sera, Renzi "pursues a precise model, borrowed from the British "Labour Party and "Bill Clinton's "Democratic Party", comprising "a strange mix (for Italy) of liberal policy in the economic sphere and populism. This means that, on one side, he will attack the privileges of trade unions, especially of the "CGIL, which defends only the already protected, while, on the other, he will sharply attack the vested powers, bankers, "Confindustria and a certain type of capitalism."
"The Telegraph referred to Renzi as "a prominent centrist voice in Europe". Renzi has occasionally been compared to former "British Prime Minister "Tony Blair for his political views. Renzi himself has previously cited Blair as an inspiration for him, and claims to be a supporter of Blair's ideology of the "Third Way, which attempts to synthesise liberal economics and left-wing social policies. In an interview with the Italian talk show, "Che tempo che fa, Renzi stated that his meeting with "Bill and "Hillary Clinton was the most interesting part of his trip to the "United States, because he considered them as models of the "progressive left-wing. In 2016, Renzi endorsed Hillary Clinton's "campaign to be elected "President of the United States, in an interview where he also expressed admiration for the policies of Bill Clinton and "Barack Obama.
Matteo Renzi is in favour of the recognition of "civil unions for "same-sex couples and "stepchild adoptions, a situation which occurs when at least one parent has children, from a previous relationship, that are not genetically related to the other parent. For this Renzi was criticised by the participants of the "Family Day", an "anti-LGBT rights demonstration which took place three times in Italy; the Prime Minister was accused of having changed his opinion about the recognition of same-sex couples. Renzi participated in the first "Family Day" in 2007, while he was President of "Florence Province and a member of the centrist "The Daisy party.
According to public opinion surveys in May 2014, just after the "European election, Renzi's approval rating was 74%, the highest ever rating for an Italian politician serving as Prime Minister (the highest absolute consensus, 84% was recorded in November 2011 by Professor "Mario Monti, who presided over a technical, bipartisan government). His lowest approval to date was in June 2015, with just over 35%.
Italy is currently undergoing a wave of populism and post-modern leadership likened to Renzi's style. As a "master of telepolitics," Renzi uses his own skills and accomplishments as evidence of his ability to lead, promotes the Internet as a platform for democracy, and uses heavy emotional appeals along with relatable, persuasive language to advocate for his positions.
In 2014, Renzi was ranked as the third "most influential person under 40 in the world by the American magazine "Fortune, and in the "Top 100 Global Thinkers by "Foreign Policy.
Both as Prime Minister and Mayor of Florence, Renzi has been renowned as an assiduous user of "social networks, especially "Twitter where he is followed by more than two million people. Renzi cited his use of social networks as a contributing factor to his victory in the Democratic Party "leadership election in 2013.
Renzi has stated that he is a fan of the American TV series "House of Cards; some journalists had noted similarities between the rise to power of the character "Francis Underwood, played by "Kevin Spacey, and the manner in which Renzi replaced "Enrico Letta as Prime Minister in 2014. This comparison surfaced in the media again when, in June 2015, a phone conversation from January 2014 between Renzi and a general of the "Finance Guard, Michele Adinolfi, was leaked to the newspaper "Il Fatto Quotidiano. During the conversation, Renzi described Letta as "incapable" and told Adinolfi that he would replace him as Prime Minister, which would happen less than a month later.
In 1999 Renzi married "Agnese Landini, a teacher, with whom he has three children. The Renzi family are regular "Mass-goers and are active in the "Association of Italian Catholic Guides and Scouts, the largest "scouting association in Italy.
Renzi is an avid football fan and supports "Fiorentina, the team of his hometown "Florence.
At the "2014 local elections, his sister Benedetta was elected a municipal councillor for the Democratic Party in "Castenaso, a small town near "Bologna. Renzi's father, Tiziano, was the city secretary of the "Democratic Party for "Rignano sull'Arno, near "Florence, until March 2017; he was previously a municipal councillor for the "Christian Democrats from 1985 to 1990.
The "Renzi Cabinet was sworn in by "President "Giorgio Napolitano on 22 February 2014, becoming the 63rd Cabinet of the "Italian Republic. The Cabinet is composed of 17 members, with eleven coming from the "Democratic Party, four from "Popular Area and two independents. The Cabinet is Italy's youngest to date, with an average age of 47. In addition, it is also the first in which the number of female ministers is equal to the number of male ministers, excluding the Prime Minister.
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- Official website of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers (Italian)
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