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She was a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies for the Italian Socialist Party (PSI) from 1987 to 1992, and then of the Italian Senate from 1992 to 1994. She also served as Member of the European Parliament from 1987 to 1989. Between 1991 and 1993 she served twice as minister: Italians Abroad and Tourism.
After the disbanding of PSI, Boniver joined Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia along with many other Socialists. After having unsuccessfully run again for the Italian Senate in 2001, she was appointed and served until 2006 as undersecretary of Foreign Affairs in Berlusconi's II and III cabinets.
In 2006 she was re-elected to the Chamber of Deputies, representing the social-democratic wing of the party.