Keywords: Italian political parties, attitudes, European Union, European elections, party platforms
Despite the European elections' second-order nature, in 2009 Italian political parties are always active in developing specific platforms that are quite detailed as regards views of the European Union and the integration process. These platforms reveal a portrait of a differentiated Europe in terms of evaluations and preferences, featuring consistency and variability with respect to European party families' positions on the same topics. The article offers a detailed description Italian parties' preferences concerning specific dimensions of European integration. An analysis of the 2009 elections is augmented by a diachronic study focusing on the evolution of such preferences over time. The article also attempts to explain attitudes toward the European Union by using the main theories stemming from comparative research, Finally, the Italian case is evaluated within a framework of pan-European patterns.