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Italian election: EU can work with any democracy but has 'tools' if it gets 'difficult', VDL says

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The European Commission is willing to work with any democratic government across the bloc but has the "tools" if things go in a "difficult direction", Ursula von der Leyen has said in response to a question about Italy's upcoming elections.The latest polls available suggest a right-wing three-party coalition, led by Brothers of Italy (FDI), a Eurosceptic party that directly traces its roots to a neo-fascist movement, is poised to win a majority of seats.FDI leader Giorgia Meloni, who has repeatedly railed against what she calls Brussels bureaucrats and LGBT lobbies, is tipped to become the country's first female prime minister.Italy's much-anticipated vote comes on the heels of a razor-tight election in Sweden, which saw a surge in support for the far-right Sweden Democrats.The coincidence of events has raised the alarm in Brussels, which has for years tried to address democratic backsliding."Democracy is a constant work in progress.

We're never done, it's never safe. It's a question on how people stand up for democracy," the European Commission president said in response to a question about whether she was concerned about the Italian elections during a Q&A session at Princeton University in the US."We'll see the outcome of the elections.

We just had elections in Sweden, too. My approach is that whatever democratic government is willing to work with us, we're working together."Von der Leyen said that when heads of state and government take part in the European Council, they realise their "future and well-being" depend on all the other 26 member states, reflecting the nature of negotiation and consensus that characterises the bloc's complex decision-making."That's the beauty of democracy.

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