Administrative Law in Italy 2011

By Diego Agus et al.

In the year of the 150th anniversary of the Italian Unification, the
administrative system was affected by institutional instability and the economic
downturn. With a view to curbing imbalances in the public finances, three
financial laws were urgently adopted (the first one by the Monti Cabinet and
the later two by the Berlusconi Cabinet), along with the Annual Stability Law
and a governmental decree enacting more far-reaching economic reforms.
Even more than in the past, the budgetary policy triggered regulatory interventions
and adaptations, while no radical reform took place nor decisive
rulings by national courts issued. Against this background, legislative measures
were adopted mainly due to pressure from the economic crisis and to
reflect the need for immediate financial relief, without any appropriate preparation
or impact assessment being ensured. As for administrative organization
and staff-related matters, expenditure cuts and horizontal budgetary
forecasts prevailed. A similar rationale underlay the general regulatory measures issued which sought to simplify and liberalize economic activities,
measures which however appeared to be so poorly innovative as to remain
largely unenforced. In the absence of any significant reform, the process of
implementation of the main regulatory developments of the previous years