This paper analyses the importance of Italian regionalism in comparative federalism, trying to emphasise the elements that made it interesting to constitutional law scholars all over the world.
This paper analyses the role that constitutional courts have played in the shaping of comparative federalism in Europe, paying particular attention to the Italian and Austrian cases.
I will retrace the intellectual history of Italian regionalism, with particular emphasis on the regional model that emerged with the 1948 Constitution and on the 2001 reform of Title V and subsequent amendments.
As the term suggests, regionalism as a feature of the Italian constitutional edifice is premised on the idea of regions as political and administrative centres of power and as a compromise between federalism and centralism. Although Italian regionalism is ingrained in the 1948 Constitution, the regional state did not emerge in a vacuum, as debates on regionalism started well before then, and were particularly lively at the time of the Italian unification in 1861.
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.
This paper explores the multidimensional asymmetry of Italian regionalism, both in terms of constitutional law and of powers transferred to (and used by) the regions, with particular regard to the developments that took place after the constitutional reform of 2001.