This article explores the attitudes of Italy's ruling and opposition parties towards the European Union (EU) enlargement process in Central and Eastern Europe. It shows that during both left (1996–2001) and right (2001–2006) governments there was a convergence between conservative and constructivist political platforms. In the first case, support for the Balkan countries (i.e., Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia) and Turkey was based on their economic (penetration of Italian firms) and political (stabilisation of a difficult area) potential. In the second case, support was justified for both economic (i.e., redistributive policy towards Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia) and cultural (i.e., pursuing a ‘plural’ Europe by including Turkey) reasons. Some liberal criticism based on Turkey's partial compliance with the political requirements for accession were raised by individual politicians of moderate right and left parties, and cultural biases against Islamic Turkey were stressed by the Lega Nord. Neither view, however, had a significant impact on the decision-making process.