Italy flag Italy: Economic and Political Overview

The political framework of Italy

Political Outline

Current Political Leaders
President: Sergio Mattarella (since 3 February 2015 - elected for a second term in January 2022)
Prime Minister (President of the Council of Ministers): Giorgia Meloni (since 22 October 2022)
Next Election Dates
Presidential: 2029
Legislative: September 2027
Current Political Context
The government formed by politicians and technocrats led by former ECB president Mario Draghi lost its majority in July 2022 after M5S, Lega and Forza Italia withdrew their support. Snap elections were held in September.
The election saw a wide victory of the centre-right coalition which included Lega and Forza Italia and was led by the right-wing party Fratelli d’Italia. In a record-low voter turnout, Giorgia Meloni's party became the largest in Parliament with 26% of the votes, and its leader became the first female prime minister. The main opposition parties are the centre-left Partito Democratico and the Five Star Movement, who had turned down the coalition offer of the centre-left coalition.
Notwithstanding previous anti-EU rhetoric, the right-wing coalition has been avoiding confrontations with the EU over economic policy also due to the importance of EU funding in the frame of the Recovery and Resilience Facility. Delays have been recorded in Next Generation EU fund disbursements as key reforms (e.g. on tax evasion, court system efficiency, etc.) have proved to be politically challenging.
Main Political Parties
The Italian Parliament is based on a multi-party system, with the main political forces being:

- Fratelli d'Italia (FdI, Brothers of Italy): right-wing, nationalist, conservative
- Partito Democratico (PD): centre-left
- Five Star Movement (M5S): anti-establishment, centre-left, catch-all political movement
- Lega: right-wing, populist, Euro-sceptic
- Forza Italia (FI): centre-right, liberalism
- Italia Viva (IV): centre-left, liberal
- Azione (Action): centre-liberal
- Alleanza Verdi e Sinistra (Greens and Left Alliance):  left-wing political alliance, a federation of two political parties, Italian Left (SI) and Green Europe (EV)
- Liberi e Uguali (LeU, Free and Equal): left-wing
- +Europa (+Eu, More Europe): pro-European, social liberalism.

The main coalitions in the latest election were the composed of Fratelli d'Italia, Lega and Forza Italia (right/centre-right); PD, Alleanza Verdi e Sinistra and +Europa (centre-left); and the "Terzo Polo" formed by Italia Viva and Azione. The Five Star Movement did not enter any coalition.
Executive Power
Italy is a parliamentary republic, hence the President of the Republic's role is mostly cerimonial. He is the chief of state and is indirectly elected for a 7-year term.
The Prime Minister (officially the President of the Council of Ministers) is the head of the government and holds executive power, which includes the implementation of the law and the running of the everyday business of the country. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Parliament, on the basis of the support of the majority. He or she has a five year term of office. The Council of Ministers is appointed by the Prime Minister and approved by the President.
Legislative Power
Legislative power in Italy is bicameral and both chambers possess significant powers and prerogatives. The Senate (Senato della Repubblica) has 200 members (plus senators for life), while the Chamber of Deputies (Camera dei deputati) has 400members. Universal suffrage has been part of Italian elections since the writing of the Constitution in 1948, but Italian electoral law has shifted substantially over the years. The electoral system was modified in 2005, in 2015 and once again in 2017. In a 2020 referendum, voters approved a constitutional law that would amend the Constitution by reducing the number of MPs in the Parliament from 630 to 400 in the Chamber of Deputies and from 315 to 200 in the Senate (the modifications took effect with the last general election held in 2022).
The executive branch of government depends directly or indirectly on the support of parliament, often expressed by a vote of confidence. The prime minister cannot dissolve the parliament, as such power is attributed to the President. Italian citizens enjoy considerable political rights.

Indicator of Freedom of the Press


The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:

Indicator of Political Freedom


The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Political Freedom:

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House


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Latest Update: July 2024