Federalism, regionalism, and the principle of subsidiarity

What is subsidiarity in Italian constitutional law? This paper explores the mutation that the principle of subsidiarity – enshrined in Article 118 of the Italian Constitution (It. Const.) – has experimented with in the national constitutional system over the last 20 years. The principle has been redefined by the case law of the of the Italian Constitutional Court (ItCC). Indeed, soon after the entry into force of the constitutional reform, ItCC partly reshaped this principle
as we will see when analysing judgement 303/2003. My claim is that over the years, the principle of subsidiarity has, to a certain extent, lost its conceptual autonomy. The procedural understanding of this principle given by the ItCC has somehow reduced subsidiarity to a sort of ancillary instrument and has given loyal cooperation a primary role.