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UDEUR Populars
Popolari UDEUR
Secretary Clemente Mastella
President Marilina Intrieri
Founded 23 May 1999
Headquarters Largo Arenula, 34
00186 Rome
Newspaper Il Campanile
Membership unknown
Ideology Christian democracy, Centrism
International affiliation Centrist Democrat International
European affiliation European People's Party
European Parliament Group European People's Party
Politics of Italy
Political parties

UDEUR Populars (Popolari UDEUR, UDEUR) are a small centrist and Christian-democratic political party in Italy. Led by Clemente Mastella, the party is strong in Southern Italy, especially in Campania (where Mastella comes from), but is almost irrelevant in Northern Italy.

The "UDEUR" part of the name refers to "Union of Democrats for Europe" (Unione Democratici per l'Europa), which was the party's name until November 2003.




Early years

UDEUR emerged in May 1999 after the break up of the Democratic Union for the Republic. This party was founded in June 1998, under the leadership of Francesco Cossiga, by the merger of the United Christian Democrats of Rocco Buttiglione, the Christian Democrats for the Republic (a splinter group from the Christian Democratic Centre) of Mastella, the Patto Segni of Mario Segni and splinters from Forza Italia, National Alliance and Lega Nord.

In the 1999 European Parliament election the party ,at its debut, received the 1.6% of the vote (5.1% in Campania, 4.4% in Apulia and 7.1% in Sicily).

In 2001 UDEUR joined Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy, along with the Italian People's Party, The Democrats and Italian Renewal. The alliance scored 14.6% in the 2001 general election. When the new alliance became a single party, and Mastella decided not to join.

Golden age

In the 2004 European Parliamentary Election, it achieved 1.3% of the national vote, sufficient to elect an MEP, who sat in the EPP-ED Group. In the 2005 regional elections the party had its best result ever, having scored 10.3% in Campania, 11.1% in Basilicata and 8.7% in Calabria.

Mastella decided to keep the party in the centre-left, although it was in conflict with the secularist policies of the then-new political alliance Rose in the Fist and despite the presence of far left parties such as the Communist Refoundation Party. In fact the party remained in the political sphere of the centre even though its policies were not very compatible with the centre-left coalition.

In the 2006 general election, UDEUR was part of The Union coalition. It obtained 1.4% of the votes, electing 14 deputies (4 in The Olive Tree's list) and 3 senators. The Union won the election, and Mastella was appointed Minister of Justice in Romano Prodi's second government.

2008 general election

On 16 January 2008 Clemente Mastella resigned as Minister of Justice and on 21 January decided to withdraw his party's support to the government of Romano Prodi, which fell after a vote of confidence in the Senate on 24 January, clearing the way toward a snap election.

In the following weeks the party suffered several splits leading to several regional parties, notably the Democratic Populars[1] (comprising three regional deputies) in Campania, the United Populars[2] (led by regional minister Antonio Potenza) in Basilicata and the Sardinian Autonomist Populars[3][4] (led by Deputy Secretary Antonio Satta), while in Umbria most of the local leaders of the party (including a MP) joined Christian Democracy. Senator Stefano Cusumano, who decided to support Prodi's government on 24 January, switched to the Democratic Party. Also the only MEP of the party Armando Veneto, party President Federica Rossi Gasparrini and the second Deputy Secretary Marco Di Stefano quit.

At the beginning of March even Tommaso Barbato, who was a stauch supporter of Mastella as party leader in the Senate (he even attacked Cusumano on the Senate floor for having betrayed the party) left the party, citing the absence of a coherent political line[5], in order to join the Movement for Autonomy. Mauro Fabris, party leader in the Chamber of Deputies, left some days later and is now close to the Venetian People's Movement.

In the 2008 general election UDEUR was refused to join both The People of Freedom (PdL) of Silvio Berlusconi and the Union of the Centre of Pier Ferdinando Casini. and was reduced to a regional party in Campania. The party chose not to present any list in the election and even Mastella decided not to run for re-election.[6]

The People of Freedom

In February 2009 an alliance between UDEUR and the The People of Freedom in Campania was announced by the regional leaders of the two parties. Under this agreement, UDEUR supported centre-right candidates in 2009 provincial and municipal elections in Campania[7] and Mastella was elected to the 2009 European Parliament election in the PdL list.

After being almost disbanded in 2008, the party is recovering and trying to broaden its base. Somo former UDEUR members are coming back[8], other new members are coming, including Giulio Di Donato, a former leading figure of the Italian Socialist Party, is now the regional secretary of the party in Campania.[9] Part of this strategy of expansion is an alliance with the Italian Republican Party for the next regional election in Calabria and in other regions of the South, alongside with their common major ally, the PdL.[10]


  • Secretary: Clemente Mastella (1999–...)
    • Deputy Secretary: Stefano Cusumano (1999–2005), Antonio Satta (2005–2008), Marco Di Stefano (2007–2008)
    • Coordinator: Mauro Fabris (1999–2006)
  • President: Irene Pivetti (1999–2002), Ida Dentamaro (2002–2004), Mino Martinazzoli (2004–2005), Lorenzo Acquarone (2005–2006), Federica Rossi Gasparrini (2007–2008), Marilina Intrieri (2009–...)
  • Administrative Secretary: Tancredi Cimmino (1999–2006), Mauro Fabris (2006), Pier Paolo Sganga (2006–2008)


External links


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