The Council for the regulation of the Senate, the group of senators that has the task of establishing how to interpret the regulations of the upper house of Parliament, voted in favor of the dissolution of the Foreign Affairs Commission chaired by Vito Petrocelli.
It happened after 20 of the 22 members of the commission had resigned to protest against the pro-Russian positions of the senator of the 5 Star Movement (M5S), and the political forces had refused to replace them: for this reason, in the conference of group leaders it was decided to ask to the Giunta an opinion on how to proceed in order to renew the Commission and allow it to function. For the dissolution of the old Commission to be official, only the signature of the President of the Senate, Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, is missing.
The members of the Senate Foreign Commission had resigned specifically to bring about its dissolution given that the Senate regulations do not provide for the possibility of taking away trust from the presidency of a commission during its term. The only members who did not resign were Petrocelli himself and Emanuele Dessì, until February 2021 senator of the M5S and from the end of April member of the parliamentary group CAL (Constitution Ambiente Lavoro) – PC – IdV.
The M5S has decided to expel Petrocelli (party leader Giuseppe Conte announced this on Twitter after the senator had written a pro-Russian message on the social network), but he has not yet done so.
Petrocelli is part of the M5S current most opposed to supporting the government of Mario Draghi, whom the senator has defined as “interventionist” and “co-belligerent”. In March he had spoken out against the parliamentary resolution in favor of sending economic and military aid to Ukraine, and then he had voted against the so-called “Ukrainian decree” which provided for the sending of weapons to the Ukrainian army, on which the government had put the trust.
The act of dissolution of the Commission specifies that the Council for the regulation decided it due to the resignation of “20 members”, a precise expression that excludes that in the future the decision can be considered a precedent in similar cases but with a minor number of resignations.