POSTS BY Marco Goldoni

Not a Safe Place?

In an unprecedented move, the Italian government has declared Italy’s ports “unsafe” due to the COVID-19-pandemic. It did so by issuing an executive decree late Tuesday last week, seemingly in response to the rescue of 150 shipwrecked by the Sea-Eye’s Alan Kurdi. This is not the first time that the Italian government has used decrees to close its borders for sea-rescue ships. However, given the extraordinary circumstances of this case in the midst of the on-going Corona-crisis and the novel argument made by the Italian government, the decision warrants closer examination.

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The Island of Hope in a Sea of Misery

On 17 January 2020, the Italian Court of Cassation (‘Court’) ruled that Carola Rackete, captain of the Sea-Watch 3, was not criminally liable for hitting an Italian Guardia di Finanza vessel and allowing 40 shipwrecked to disembark in Lampedusa in July 2019. The judgment is remarkable for its unequivocal stance on the right to disembark.

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Once Again, a Laboratory for What Is to Come

The 1980 Constitution of Chile contained different “locks” that have entrenched some of the core social, political, legal and economic arrangements inherited from the dictatorship. While some parts of the original constitution (those most obviously connected to the authoritarian regime) have been changed in the years following its enactment, almost all the “locks” remain in place. The issue with the legitimacy of the Chilean constitution is twofold: its legitimacy is questionable both in terms of its pedigree and in terms of its capacity to keep open the space for political action.

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Mini-BOTs, complementary currencies and the European monetary malaise

On May 28th, the Italian Chamber of Deputies approved a resolution requiring the government to issue the so-called mini-BOTs. Under such a name, reference is made to Treasury bills issued in small denominations (in Euros), bearing no interest, with no expiry date, and which the Italian Exchequer would accept as a means of payment of taxes. The proposal has been predictably met with marked skepticism by European institutions and by the Italian Minister of Economy and Finance. However, the wisest move, in prudential, political and economic terms, would be that European institutions would embrace experimentation with complementary currencies, in genuine federal spirit.

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Halving the “Italicum”: The Italian Constitutional Court and the Reform of the Electoral System

The Italian electoral system is currently hotly debated. With the so called “Italicum” former PM Renzi had introduced a fundamental reform. After the 2016 Referendum on it, the Constitutional Court now literally cut the law in half.

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Italian Constitutional Referendum: Voting for Structural Reform or Constitutional Transformation?

As the distance between political elites and the population in Europe increases, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s plans of constitutional reform further impoverish political representation in Italy – both with respect to input and output of the process. That is why the opponents of the reform are gaining ever more traction among Italian voters and could in the end prevail.

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The EP 2014 Elections: Constitutional Change or Window-Dressing?

The constitutional expectations developed around the European elections of May 2014 were effectively quite high. Faced with a mounting crisis affecting their output legitimacy, European institutions had to strengthen their status through a different channel. An agreement was struck among the main European political parties for nominating a candidate to the President of the European Commission to be supported, in case of victory at the polls, before the European Council. This novelty was introduced as a two-fold opportunity: first, as a chance for enhancing the representative quality of EU lawmaking and, second, to move the relationship between Parliament and Commission toward a form of parliamentary government. Did it succeed? In hindsight, it is clear that the elections of 2014 did produce some effects, but not those of significant politicisation initially envisaged.

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