The Ongoing Constitutional and Administrative Reforms in Italy

By Bernardo Giorgio Mattarella


This text examines some important reforms currently under way: the constitutional reform, approved by Parliament in January 2016, which will be submitted to a popular referendum later in the year; the electoral law for the Chamber of Deputies, approved a few months earlier; and the reform of the administrative system, which is now being implemented. The constitutional reform bill concerns mainly the constitutional provisions relating to the Parliament and to the territorial bodies. As for the Parliament, it eliminates «perfect» bicameralism and changes the composition and functions of the Senate; with regard to the territorial bodies, it corrects the distribution of legislative power between the State and regions, granting further competences to the State. The electoral law has introduced a majoritarian system that takes into account the flaws that prompted the Constitutional Court to declare the previous legislation to be unconstitutional. The new law establishes that a majority bonus be granted to the majority party that obtains at least forty per cent of the votes in the first round, or that wins the runoff. The reform of the administrative system focuses on delegating legislation enacted in 2015, which provides for several legislative decrees to be issued on, inter alia, the following: e-government; simplification and reduction of administrative burdens; certainty in the relations between administrations and private parties; the unity of the administrative system; flexibility in the organization of administrative agencies and human resource management; and the codification of legislation.