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The 5 Star Movement (M5S) is an Italian political party founded in Milan on October 4, 2009 by the comedian and political activist Beppe Grillo and the web entrepreneur Gianroberto Casaleggio in the wake of the Friends of Beppe Grillo, active since 2005, and the five-star civic lists presented for the first time in the 2009 administrative elections.

On the basis of the memorandum of association “Movimento 5 Stelle”, registered on 18 December 2012 (in view of the national political elections of 2013), the presidency and legal representation belong to Beppe Grillo. On his blog, as part of his shows and through the website of the Movement, reflections on political initiatives are conveyed and promoted with the ambition to stimulate methods of direct democracy, as opposed to representative democracy, and with a strong anti-party component. The five stars referred to in the name originally represented issues related to water, environment, transport, development and energy, subsequently modified in water, environment, transport, connectivity and development. On the occasion of the 2018 general elections, legal representation is transferred to the “political leader”, while Grillo remains “guarantor” of the Movement; the official headline becomes “The Blog of the Stars”, while Grillo’s blog “unties” more from the Movement.

The 5 Star Movement sees and promotes itself as an organization neither on the right nor on the left and post-ideological and does not define a party, preferring locutions as “free association of citizens”, “non-association” or “political force”. The militants are usually defined as Five Stars, pentastellati or grillini, although they consider this definition reductive or deliberately distorsive, preferring instead that of activists 5 Stars. Ideologically and organizationally, the Movement has been compared to the Northern European Pirate Parties, the Occupy Movement and the Spanish Indignados.

In the European Parliament he belongs to the right Euro-skeptical political group of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy, which he helped to found together with other political forces in 2014.


Meetup –  Beppe Grillo, inspirer of the movement, in 2012

On 16 July 2005 Beppe Grillo proposes on his blog the adoption of the social network Meetup to communicate and coordinate locally. Coordination of activists through Meetup had already been adopted in 2003 by Howard Dean during the campaign for the Democratic Party primaries of the United States of America.

This is how the first 40 Meetups of Beppe Grillo were born, initially with the aim, according to Grillo himself, of «having fun, being together and sharing ideas and proposals for a better world, starting from one’s own city. And discuss and develop, if you believe, my posts “. Within the meetups, thematic working groups are created on topics including “Technology and innovation”, “Press office”, “Critical consumption”, “Studio Moneta”, “No Incinerators”, etc. It is from these experiences that Grillo is asked to apply for primary elections for the choice of the prime candidate for the center-left Union, scheduled for the following October.

On three occasions – on December 17th in Turin, March 26th in Piacenza and from June 16th to 18th in Sorrento – the representatives of the Meetups “Amici di Beppe Grillo” hold national meetings in the presence of the comedian. In these circumstances, proposals are mostly discussed concerning environmental issues (eg the use of mechanical-biological waste treatment instead of the use of incinerators).

On November 15th 2006 the meetup 280 was born, which gathers citizens, organizers of the other forums with the aim of promoting concrete projects. It will be the 280 meetup that will propose the project civic lists in direct democracy and will give the creative push to build the next political subject through a series of national car-managed meetings: Lucca, Parma, Reggio Emilia and Salerno; and the use of various IT tools such as grillipedia, partecipa.infoand network of listeciviche. From this initiative will be born the first Italian civic list supported by Beppe Grillo, “Pescara in Comune” supported by the meetup “Friends of Beppe Grillo Pescara” with Stefano Murgo, former organizer of group 280, candidate for mayor. The ability to self-management will not be appreciated by other groups and above all by Grillo and Casaleggio, which in antithesis will open the 533 meetup managed by an intern of Casaleggio associati, Marco Canestrari. On October 4, 2009, group 280 brought a document asking for the birth of a democratic political movement, but this first instance accepted by Beppe Grillo was then ignored, “I am firmly determined not to gloss over this matter of the failure to read our document”, writes Roberta Lombardi.

During the fourth national gathering, held in Genoa on 3 February 2007, Beppe Grillo announces the willingness to leave the local Meetup activists a self-managed space within the shows on his tour.

On July 14, 2007 representatives of some civic lists participating in the administrative elections of the previous spring meet in Parma for the establishment of a national coordination between “associations, movements, organizations, civic lists that practice, promote, experience direct and participatory democracy” , and share a document of intent that among the priority objectives includes the establishment of referendums of a proactive and abrogative type, the direct election of the ombudsman, the establishment of the participatory budget, the binding mandate for public administrators and the open primary .

Turn of the V-Day

Magnifying glass icon mgx2.svg The same topic in detail: V-Day and V2-Day.

On 14 June 2007 Beppe Grillo launches the idea of ​​Vaffanculo Day (or V-Day), a day of public mobilization for the collection of signatures necessary to present a law of popular initiative that aimed to introduce the preferences in the current electoral law and prevent the possibility to nominate criminal convicts in Parliament or who has already completed two legislatures. [53]

The 2007 V-Day in Bologna

The V-Day, which continued the Clean Parliament initiative promoted by Beppe Grillo since 2006, was held in numerous Italian squares on September 8th, the date chosen to evoke the state of disagreement in which the State was, as on the occasion of the September 8, 1943. 336,000 signatures were collected, far exceeding the 50,000 required for the deposit of the popular initiative law. For the occasion, Michele Serra coined the term “grillismo”.

On the wave of success obtained, exceeding the expectations of the organizers themselves, for April 25, 2008 was organized the V2-Day, a second day of mobilization aimed at collecting signatures for three referendum on publishing.

On September 29th and 30th 2007 in Lucca several members of the Meetups “Friends of Beppe Grillo” and of local civic lists, on the initial push of the open discussion on the web and in the wake of the previous meeting of Perugia, define the political lines for the establishment of lists civic. On October 10 Grillo gives indications on how to create the civic lists.

On 1 December 2013, the V3-Day took place in Genoa, in which an undefined number of sympathizers of the movement took part.

Participation in the 2008 administrative elections

On January 24, 2008, while the Prodi II government falls in Parliament, Grillo announces that “from today the blog is active politics with a site dedicated to civic lists, to the citizen who takes over his own destiny, his own municipality, his own region For a New Renaissance ». Then follow the basic rules for activists to participate in the upcoming local elections with lists “certified” by the same Grillo.

From February 10 Grillo begins to coordinate the movement with political releases and in the one of February 15, the possibility of presenting a grill list already in the 2008 parliamentary elections is rejected.

In the Sicilian regional elections of April 13 and 14, the list “Friends of Beppe Grillo” gets 1.72% of the votes and the presidential candidate Sonia Alfano has a 2.44% share; at the City of Rome, the civic list Friends of Beppe Grillo gets 2.64% of the votes without electing any councilor; to the Municipality of Treviso, the Grillitreviso civic list gets 3.64% and elects a councilor.

Five Star Civic Lists

Florence Card

“Municipalities decide on the daily life of each one of us. They can poison us with an incinerator or start recycling. Make parks for children or bring for speculators. Building parking lots or kindergartens. Privatize water or keep it under their control. From the Municipalities to Cinque Stelle you have to start again to do politics with the civic lists for Water, Environment, Transport, Development and Energy.

Public water;

Mandatory sewage plants for each house that can not be connected to a sewage system, municipal contributions / funding for private water treatment plants;

Expansion of urban green;

Concessions of building permits only for demolitions and reconstructions of civil buildings or for changes in use of abandoned industrial areas;

Non-polluting public transport plan and city cycle network;

Mobility plan for the disabled;

Free connectivity for residents in the Municipality;

Creation of teleworking public points;

Zero Waste;

Development of renewable sources such as photovoltaic and wind power with municipal contributions / funding;

Energy efficiency;

Favor local productions »

On 3 December Grillo makes known the symbol of the Five Star Town Lists for the 2009 administrative. In the logo the “V” of “civics” is a reference to the V-Day. In Bologna, on February 17, a meeting of civic lists discusses the future of the movement and subsequent elections; in particular, Sonia Alfano consults with the base of the movement regarding her possible candidacy to the European Parliament as independent in the lists of Italia dei Valori.

On March 8, the First National Meeting of Five Star Town Lists is held in Florence. Here Beppe Grillo presents the Charter of Florence, a common framework in 12 points of the local program of the various civic lists; in the afternoon, about twenty local groups present their ideas and experiences. In April, Grillo will announce a letter from the Nobel Prize winner for economics, Joseph Stiglitz, in which he declares to look carefully at the experience of local civic lists promoted through the blog.

On March 26 Grillo announces that in the upcoming European elections will support Luigi de Magistris and Sonia Alfano, personalities close to the candidate movement as independent in the lists of Italia dei Valori, together with the journalist Carlo Vulpio, also close to the movement. On 11 June both De Magistris and Alfano, candidates in all 5 constituencies, are elected to the European Parliament, obtaining the first 419 000 preferences and the second 143 000. In the same electoral round, as stated by Beppe Grillo, they are elected 23 municipal councilors of five-star Civic Lists, especially in the municipalities of Emilia-Romagna and central Italy.

Application of Grillo to the secretariat of the PD

On 12 July 2009, on the basis of the program of the grill movement, Beppe Grillo announced that he wanted to run for the primary elections for the position of national secretary of the Democratic Party. A few days earlier he had applied to join the same PD. Two days after the application and the same request for registration are rejected by the party guarantee commission with the motivation: “Beppe Grillo has promoted in many municipalities of the national territory the establishment of lists that have been presented, during the last local elections, with his name in a position opposed to that of the candidates and lists attributable to the Democratic Party. He has also repeatedly expressed his opposition to the ideas and values ​​of the Democratic Party “.

Foundation of the 5 Star Movement and local elections of 2010 and 2011

According to the former partner of Casaleggio Associati, Sassoon, the idea of ​​creating a political party was Casaleggio. “The ideologically most prepared part seems to me to be that of Casaleggio, Grillo is a megaphone that reproposes elaborations that do not necessarily belong to him”.

On 9 September 2009 the launch of the “Five Star National Movement” was announced, inspired by the ideologies of the Charter of Florence. Together with Gianroberto Casaleggio at the Teatro Smeraldo in Milan, on October 4th Beppe Grillo declares the birth of the Cinque Stelle Movement and launches a program.

In 2010 the 5 Star Movement participates in the elections in five regions and ten municipalities, electing two regional councilors in Emilia-Romagna, where it collects 7% of the votes for the president and 6% of those on the list, and the same number in Piedmont, where with 4% it is decisive for the electoral outcome. In addition, eight municipal councilors are elected.

The following year the M5S is presented in 75 of the 177 177 municipalities to vote, including 18 of the 23 provincial capitals. In the first round the Movement enters its own representatives in 28 municipalities (for a total of 34 elected councilors) and is often decisive in some important ballots. The best results are in the medium and large cities of central and northern Italy, especially in Emilia-Romagna (where the list gets between 9% and 12% in Bologna, Rimini and Ravenna) and in Piedmont, while in the South it rarely exceeds 2% of the consents.

In October 2011 the M5S took part in the regional elections in Molise obtaining 2.3% of votes for the list and 5.6% for the candidate president, not electing any councilor.

Administrative elections of 2012

In the municipal elections of May 2012, the Movement presented itself in 101 [84] of the 1 012 municipalities to vote, including 21 of the 28 provincial capitals. The results decree a success superior to the expectations of most analysts. Four mayors are elected: one (the computer engineer Roberto Castiglion) in the small town of Sarego (VI) where he collects 35% of the votes, and then three more to the ballot in Comacchio, Mira and Parma, [86] where Federico states Pizzarotti. The 5 Star Movement lists also obtain significant results in numerous municipalities in the north and in the center, where they settle on percentages between 8 and 17%.

The regional elections in Sicily of 2012

At the regional elections in Sicily on 28 October 2012 the Candidate Presidential Movement was the 37-year-old Giancarlo Cancelleri, chosen with a vote among the Sicilian activists of the movement. The electoral campaign is initiated by Beppe Grillo himself, who arrived in Messina on October 10 after swimming through the Strait. With 14.90% of the preferences the list of the movement is the most voted, while the presidential candidate arrives third with 18.20% of the votes. The movement thus obtains 15 of the 90 seats of the Sicilian Regional Assembly.

The first political elections and entry into Parliament

Magnifying glass icon mgx2.svg The same topic in detail: Italian political elections of 2013.

Vito Crimi and Roberta Lombardi, presidents of parliamentary groups in the Senate and the House, after consultations with the President of the Republic on March 29, 2013

With a statement on YouTube, on October 29, 2012 Beppe Grillo dictates the rules for the formation of the lists of the movement for the 2013 general elections, limiting the possibility of competing only to the members of the movement already candidates in previous elections and unelected results. At the primaries, announced on November 30th and held online from December 3rd to 6th, they voted 20,252 members to the movement. The commentators did not fail to highlight the limited number of participants, organizational uncertainties and the absence of certification of the regularity of voting operations.

In the weeks leading up to the elections, while no member of the party participates in the televised debates, Grillo conducts a follow-up campaign in the streets, called Tsunami tour, ended February 22 in Rome with a crowded rally in Piazza San Giovanni. The line announced and then effectively followed by the M5S in Parliament would have been to decide on a case by case basis how to vote on a provision, and without foreclosing collaboration on individual issues, while in principle it is refused any possibility of alliance tout court with other political forces.

On 24 and 25 February 2013 the M5S is presented in all the districts: as head of the coalition is Beppe Grillo, although not a candidate. The particularly positive outcome of the elections is higher than the predictions of all the polls: in the Chamber it reaches 25.55% of the votes in Italy and 9.67% abroad, for a total of 8.7 million votes, and elect 109 deputies, establishing themselves as the second list in order of votes. On the other hand, Senate elects 54 senators, with 23.79% in Italy and 10.00% abroad, for a total of 7.4 million votes.

On 21 March 2013 Luigi Di Maio becomes, at twenty-six, the youngest deputy to be appointed Vice-President of the Chamber, elected with 173 votes. On 6 June Roberto Fico was elected president of the Rai Supervision Commission, renouncing totally to the additional compensation he would be entitled to as Chairman.

Fundraising for the 2013 election campaign amounted to approximately € 775,000 from 28,000 subscribers via online payments on Beppe Grillo’s blog: some 350,000 of them were spent, while the remainder was allocated to earthquake victims Mirandola for the construction of the gym in a school.

After the 2013 general elections, the division of parliamentary seats prevented the formation of a government that was not based on alliances or agreements between different parties. In the aftermath of the elections, a part of public opinion and intellectuals therefore hope for a collaboration between the movement and the center-left forces for the formation of the government. However Grillo supports the line of the “Sicily model”, that is a collaboration based on the support of the movement only to individual measures of the junta Crocetta (led by PD), but without a stable alliance. Despite rumors of fronds within the pentastellato parliamentary group, already materialized on March 16th in a five-armed aid (estimated at ten to twelve senators), sharply criticized by Grillo that allows the victory of Pietro Grasso in the election of the president of the Senate, on March 21 Grillo, along with the temporary group leaders Crimi and Lombardi, closes any hypothesis of support for a non-5-star government. This line is confirmed during the consultations (transmitted via streaming) between the 5-star group leaders and Bersani (appointed by the President of the Republic to form a government).

In the following months, journalistic interpretations tried to investigate the reasons behind the failure of those approaches: based on statements by Bersani himself, Peter Gomez highlighted the narrow margins offered by Bersani, which excluded any agreement other than external support to a minority government led by PD. However, other protagonists of those events have pointed out that it was precisely the preventive rejection of a PD-M5S government clearly stated by Beppe Grillo himself, to have left on the carpet, as the only viable path, the prospect of support from the movement to a minority government [113] [114]. At this juncture, however, according to Peter Gomez, the 5 Star Movement could not grasp the

Between February and May 2013 the M5S participates with its own candidates in the elections for the renewal of the regional councils of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Lombardy, Molise and Valle d’Aosta: all presidential candidates are defeated, but in all regions elected some advisors. In the May municipal elections, the Movement presented itself in 199 municipalities and won the ballot in the municipalities of Assemini, Pomezia and Ragusa.

At the regional elections in Trentino-Alto Adige of 2013 on 27 October, the Movement elects a councilor in the autonomous province of Bolzano and two in that of Trento. There are also three councilors elected in the regional elections in Basilicata in November 2013.

Regional and administrative elections 2014

Despite the affirmation of the 2013 elections, in February 2014 the 5 Star Movement did not take part in the Sardinian regional elections: the failure to identify a single candidate due to the disagreements between the activists led Beppe Grillo not to grant the use of the symbol . In May we vote for the regional in Piedmont and in Abruzzo: the pentastellati candidates, Davide Bono and Sara Marcozzi arrive third, both with just over 21% of the votes.

At the contemporary elections the 5 Star Movement wins the small town of Montelabbate in the Marches in the first round and arrives at the ballots in 11 municipalities, conquering Livorno with Filippo Nogarin, Civitavecchia with Antonio Cozzolino and Bagheria with Patrizio Cinque.

The results of October and November were more disappointing: both in the municipality of Reggio Calabria and the Calabria Region the M5S does not elect any councilor, while in the regional elections of Emilia-Romagna the party gets 13.30% and elects 5 councilors.

From the 2014 European elections onwards

In the European elections of May 25, 2014 5 Star Movement reaches 21.15% (equal to 5 807 362 voters) obtaining 17 seats in the European Parliament: compared to the general elections, also due to the greater abstention, the M5S loses almost 2, 5 million votes, however, according to the number of votes after the Democratic Party. The abstention at this election was equal to 42.78%, with 28 991 258 voters out of 50 662 460 entitled.

After the elections, the M5S had to decide whether or not to join a European parliamentary group (remaining in the ranks of non-members would have, however, made their votes almost irrelevant, due to the European Parliament’s electoral system). On 28 May 2014 Grillo himself met in London Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP, the British Euro-skeptic party, showing a strong interest in the establishment of a joint group. An attempt at alliance with the European Greens fails because, due to the meeting with Farage, they ask for greater clarity on the relationship between the Movement and the UKIP (they define the offer as a “cover for a decision already taken”), while the negotiation with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for the Europe ends negatively because they consider the 5 Star Movement, as “profoundly anti-European”, “incompatible” with their program. On 12 June 2014 a referendum was launched on the blog of Beppe Grillo to decide a European parliamentary group between the EFD, the ECR or that of non-members. Although the abstention among the members was very high (29 584 participants took part in over ninety thousand eligible) 78% of the voters (23 192 preferences) choose the EFD.

On 24 June the EFD name is changed to EFDD (the addition of a D stands for “[Democracy] Direct”). David Borrelli (M5S) is elected co-president together with Nigel Farage.

In November 2014, after filing the text of the draft law in the Supreme Court, the 5 Star Movement began a collection of signatures for a law of popular constitutional initiative for the call for an advisory referendum on the exit of Italy from the Euro. [ 138] [139] However, this initiative does not include the support of any other party: not even of the Lega Nord secretary Matteo Salvini (the other main Italian Eurosceptic party), which calls it “a mockery”. In June 2015 the M5S senators deposited over 200,000 signatures in the presence of Pietro Grasso for the law of popular initiative.

In November 2015, after the “Italia 5 Stelle” event in Imola in October, a web consultation takes place to change the symbol of the Movement and from the results, the word “BEPPEGRILLO.IT” at the bottom of the symbol is replaced with “MOVIMENTO5STELLE .IT “which is definitively replaced on February 15th 2016.

At the 2016 abrogative referendum to propose the repeal of the rule that extends the duration of the concessions to extract hydrocarbons in sea areas (within 12 nautical miles from the coast) until the end of the useful life of the respective fields, the Movement is in favor despite some perplexity, but the referendum is rejected for the low turnout.

Il 12 aprile 2016 muore uno dei due fondatori, Gianroberto Casaleggio. Da questo momento ad affiancare Grillo nella guida del partito c’è Davide Casaleggio.

Alle elezioni amministrative del 2016 il Movimento 5 Stelle si presenta in 251 comuni[145] su 1.363 al voto. Il Movimento vince in 4 comuni al primo turno e in altri 19 comuni su 20 al ballottaggio, tra cui Roma e Torino dove vengono elette sindaco Virginia Raggi e Chiara Appendino.

Il Movimento 5 Stelle si è schierato per il SI nel referendum abrogativo del 2011 e in quello sulle trivellazioni, e per il NO sul referendum costituzionale nel 2016.

Nel novembre 2016 viene aperta un’inchiesta giudiziaria dalla procura di Palermo sulle firme false per la lista del m5s alle elezioni comunali palermitane del 2012, a seguito di un servizio della trasmissione tv Le Iene. Due deputati all’Assemblea regionale siciliana Claudia La Rocca e Giorgio Ciaccio confermano ai magistrati la vicenda e si autosospendono dal movimento[148]. Tra i 13 indagati anche i parlamentari Riccardo Nuti, Giulia Di Vita e Claudia Mannino[149]. Il 29 novembre il collegio dei probiviri dispone la loro “sospensione cautelare dal movimento”.

On January 8, 2017 the 5 Star Movement indexed on its blog a vote to enter the European group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. The proposal passes with 31.915 votes out of 40.654 (78.5% of the votes), but the following day the same president of the ALDE (Guy Verhofstadt) declines the initiative with the following motivation: “I have come to the conclusion that there are no sufficient guarantees to carry on a common agenda to reform Europe “.

In the 2017 administrative elections, the Movement suffered a decline from the previous year in that it managed to access the run-off of 10 municipalities, of which only one provincial capital out of 23 and elects 8 mayors.

In September 2017 the 5 Star Movement’s primary elections are held to identify the candidate of the movement as president of the Council of Ministers in view of the successive political elections of 2018 as well as the new political leader of the movement: the vote is won by Luigi Di Maio with 30 936 votes, [157] equal to 82.7%.

On the occasion of the regional elections in Sicily in 2017, the movement stands as the first political force in the region with 26.7% of the votes, ahead of Forza Italia (16.4%) and the Democratic Party (13.0%) .

Political elections of 2018

On 1 March 2018 Luigi Di Maio, the new 5-star political leader, presented the government team to be presented to the head of state in case of victory.

In the political elections of March 4, 2018, the Movement is the first Italian political party, surpassing 32% of the votes both in the House and in the Senate and thus expressing 227 deputies and 112 senators. [159].

On 1 June 2018 the Movement becomes part, together with the Lega del Governo Conte.

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