Basic Income and Representative Democracy

The idea of providing an unconditional basic income to every individual, rich or poor, active or inactive, has become one of the most widely debated social security proposals. It is necessary to distinguish between two different concepts of basic income which have gained ground over the last few years. According to the one, a living income should be granted to all citizens in addition to any kind of earned income and independently of the quantity and quality of work actually performed. The second one is a form of social assistance. It differs from the first type in being conceived at the household level, targeted at the poor and being conditional on job search or job acceptance. The first concept of basic income that raises questions from constitutional, social and ethical point of view which require us to question the compatibility of this notion with representative democracy.

The Requisition of Property and Housing Emergency. An Unforeseen New Tool for Social Policies?

The requisition of property is an old legal tool, born in wartime: it was used by military authorities to provide houses, food, and any other kind of support for their troops. During the 20th Century this provision surprisingly extended its boundaries: from a wartime and extraordinary power, it becomes ordinary and it was accorded to any authority to face unforeseen events (for example, in Italy, it has been largely used by mayors to face natural disaster or housing emergency, e.g. La Pira). The paper is intended to discuss if, after the economic and the migratory crisis of the first two decades of 21st Century, the requisition of property may become a component of public social policies, analyzing some acts of mayors and prefects and the cases decided by Italian administrative judges.

State Capitalism and Foreign Investors: Towards a New Protectionism in Europe?

Over the past years, many European Countries have taken a significant measures that clearly fall within the traditional area of industrial policies. These include, inter alia, bailouts or the infusion of public capital into banks, support to struggling national enterprises and attempts to invest in research and development plans.
Additional mechanisms of public governance of the economy have been strengthened in many European countries in order to regulate foreign investments. This specific kind of legal tools – such as golden shares/golden power – arises however relevant issues about the compatibility between national protection of strategic assets or companies and the European principle of free movement of capital and freedom of establishment.
This paper aims at providing a critical analysis of national economic “defensive” measures, in order to understand whether their application can be considered an expression of a new stable form of “State capitalism”.

Regulation and Technology: Reducing the Digital Divide as a Legal Tool to Protect National Interests and Support Economic Growth

In the last years, several European and non-European governments implemented policies aimed at reducing the digital divide between their inner geographic areas. Digital divide is indeed a relevant source of social and economic inequalities between individuals and companies. Even if different in their own features, all these public programs aspire to facilitate economic growth, level the aforesaid gap between wealthy and underdeveloped zones and encourage private investments. Moreover, eliminating the digital divide could represent a peculiar and indirect instrument to protect National interests through a strong support to domestic businesses operating in foreign markets. This paper analyzes the competition’s ability to guarantee a uniform technologic development and tries to understand if these plans may be considered as a form of economic protectionism. For this purpose, it debates Italian “Piano BUL”, a State program aimed at building and maintaining a public broadband network.