The EU and Italy

From Brussels, an example of the way the Italians think about the EU.

The BBC reports that the Italian Prime Minister’s nominee for Justice Commissioner, Rocco Buttiglione, has been rejected in a non-binding vote by the Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament. Mr Buttiglione had previously expressed the personal view that homosexuality is a sin.

In some countries (France and Britain spring to mind), this would be met by wounded pride and affronted dignity. In Italy, while Mr Berlusconi’s office fumed, the opposition’s reaction was to point to how Mr Berlusconi was damaging Italy’s credibility in the EU. An Italian gay rights group said:

“We are pleased and reassured by the decision: the Vatican’s backyard ends at the Alps”

Is this concern with European opinion a sign that Italy has a mature appreciation for its place in a post-nationalistic Europe? Or is it (as I believe it is) a sign that the country is still suffering from “political cringe” when it comes to the rest of the EU?