Italy: Berlusconi seeks EU parliament seat, 'united Europe'

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Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi says he is running for the European Parliament in May's election because he wants to fight for a more united European Union faithful to the vision of the bloc's founders.

Berlusconi spoke at a weekend convention of his center-right Forza Italia party, which in recent years has seen its popularity fall as voters turn to parties on the right with anti-migrant and euroskeptic messages, especially the League party.

The League governs Italy in a coalition with the populist 5-Star Movement. It is pushing for more national autonomy and less European integration.

However, Berlusconi said on Saturday that he wants Europe "to return to the project of the founding fathers who wanted a much more united Europe, a Europe with only one foreign policy, with only one defense policy."