Es hat viel gedonnert, aber kaum geregnet

Mit dem Beschluss der Abgeordnetenkammer vom 8. Oktober 2019 hat das italienische Parlament entschieden, sich selbst um ein gutes Drittel der Sitze zu verkleinern. Aus 945 Parlamentariern sollen künftig 600 werden. Obwohl die von der Fünf-Sterne-Bewegung angestrebte Reform in der italienischen Verfassungsdebatte nicht neu ist, beschränkt sie sich auf eine rechnerische Verkleinerung, ohne Rolle und Kompetenzen der Volksvertretung in der Gegenwart ernsthaft zu hinterfragen.

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“Constitutional Paternalism” and the Inability to Legislate

On 25 September 2019, the Italian Constitutional Court (ICC) has made clear that assisted suicide is not punishable under specific conditions. The judgment came one year after the ICC had ordered the Italian Parliament to legislate on the matter – which it did not do. The entire story is indicative of the inability of Parliaments to respond to social demands as well as the current trend of high courts to act as shepherds of parliaments rather than as guardians of the constitution.

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Italia Viva, Party System Reform Morta

Until a decade ago or even less, Italian politics appeared a matter of its own political idiosyncrasies and was dismissed as a peculiar case which is cause more for an amused smile but serious political analysis. This is not the case anymore. The sad truth is that parliamentary regimes based on a functioning majority in Parliament do not seem to be able to deliver sufficiently stable and effective governments these days.

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Resentment, Populism and Political Strategies in Italy

After Matteo Salvini announced his plan of holding snap elections, the former Italian prime minister (Presidente del Consiglio), Matteo Renzi launched the idea to postpone elections by forming a transistional government supported by the Partito democratico and the MoVimento 5 stelle, amongst others. Renzi knows that, according to the polls, Salvini’s political party (the Lega) could win the elections and form a government with Fratelli d’Italia, a post-fascist and still far-right party or with Forza Italia, the party created by Silvio Berlusconi. But would this move prevent a populist government?

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Pre-Modern Understandings of Rule-Making

Since his entering into office a year ago, Italy’s Minister of Interior Matteo Salvini has proved to be the true leader of the governmental coalition between the Five Star Movement and the Lega, run by Salvini himself. His populist approach looks far closer to that of Orbán than to the confused ideology of the Five Star Movement. Contrary to the latter, Salvini always gives the impression of knowing exactly what he wants. Being far more predictable than his allies, he has succeeded both in seizing control of Italy’s political agenda and in gaining a huge electoral consent, not least because he knows how to fuel the popular anxiety.

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Ende einer Irrfahrt

Die deutsche Kapitänin des Rettungsschiffes „SeaWatch 3“, Carola Rackete, wird beschuldigt, sich durch die unerlaubte Einfahrt in italienische Küstengewässer, durch die Nichtbeachtung des Anlegeverbots im Hafen von Lampedusa und durch das Rammen eines „Kriegsschiffs“ bei der Einfahrt in den Hafen strafbar gemacht zu haben. Ihr drohen Freiheitsstrafen bis zu zehn Jahren. Nach italienischem Straf- und Verfassungsrecht sind die Vorwürfe indessen haltlos.

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Verbrechen der Menschlichkeit?

Carola Rackete, Kapitänin der Sea-Watch, droht ein Strafverfahren in Italien. Bei diesem Verfahren steht nicht nur für das italienische, sondern für das gesamte europäische Recht viel auf dem Spiel. Wenn ein weithin als moralisch richtig oder gar geboten angesehenes Verhalten sich als strafbar erweist, dann gefährdet das die Akzeptanz und Autorität von Recht.

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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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Not to be Pushed Aside: the Italian Constitutional Court and the European Court of Justice

A few days ago, with the decision no 20/2019, the Italian Constitutional Court (ICC) has set a new cornerstone in its relationship with EU law and, in particular, with the judicial treatment of issues covered by both national fundamental rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. In so doing, the Consulta shows the intention to act as a pivotal institution in the field of judicial protection of fundamental rights.

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