South Tyrol on the Verge of Forming a Center-Right Five-Party Coalition

PeopleOther ♦ Published: January 4, 2024; 23:30 ♦ (Vindobona)

In South Tyrol, the coalition negotiations of a center-right five-party coalition, consisting of the South Tyrolean People's Party (SVP), the South Tyrolean Freedom Party, Fratelli d'Italia, Lega, and La Civica, have reached a basic agreement on all substantive issues.

The autonomy of South Tyrol is a central aspect of regional politics, with both Rome and Vienna playing key roles. Italy grants autonomy to South Tyrol, and Austria supports and monitors this development as part of its historical commitment to the region. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons; Wolfgang Moroder, CC BY-SA 3.0 (

According to SVP provincial secretary Martin Pircher, talks are still pending on the size of the provincial government and the distribution of portfolios, as reported by ORF. In South Tyrol, at least a basic agreement has been reached on all substantive issues for a center-right five-party coalition consisting of the South Tyrolean People's Party (SVP), the South Tyrolean Freedom Party, Fratelli d'Italia, Lega and La Civica. According to SVP provincial secretary Martin Pircher, however, talks are still required on the size of the provincial government, the responsibilities, and the distribution of portfolios. The coalition negotiations, which lasted around a month, will only be concluded after these talks and the approval of the respective party committees.

However, this coalition, which is expected to be led by Governor Arno Kompatscher (SVP), is not without controversy, as "DerStandard" reports. The envisaged coalition has met with criticism from civil society. Over 200 academics and around 200 artists have written open letters against Fratelli d'Italia's participation in government. However, the majority of the SVP party base appears to support the course taken by Kompatscher and Philipp Achammer. Kompatscher made an effort to dispel the concerns by emphasizing that the SVP would ensure that the coalition was centrist.

An important part of the coalition agreement is a preamble in which the partners commit to values such as Europe, autonomy, sustainability, and non-discrimination. The autonomy issue, in particular the return of lost competencies from Rome, was one of the last points of negotiation.

Vienna ÖVP and South Tyrolean SVP

The South Tyrolean People's Party (SVP) and the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) have historical and ideological links. Both parties belong to the Christian Democratic and conservative spectrum. The SVP specifically represents the interests of the German and Ladin-speaking population in South Tyrol, an autonomous province in Italy, and has traditionally had close relations with the ÖVP, which is a leading conservative party in Austria. These relations are based on shared conservative, Christian-social values and the ÖVP's support for South Tyrol's aspirations for autonomy. As reported by, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer supports the SVP and Arno Kompatscher.

The formation of a center-right five-party coalition in South Tyrol has a direct impact on regional politics in South Tyrol, but the effects on Vienna and the ÖVP are more indirect. The ÖVP, as a conservative party in Austria, could closely observe the developments in South Tyrol to identify possible parallels or differences in the political currents and coalition formations. However, it should be noted that the political dynamics and contexts in South Tyrol and Vienna are different so direct conclusions for the ÖVP or Viennese politics cannot be drawn immediately.