Regions of Italy
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Politics and government of
The regions of Italy are the first-level administrative divisions of the state, constituting its second NUTS administrative level. There are twenty regions, of which five are constitutionally given a broader amount of autonomy granted by special statutes.
Administrative districts of the central state during the Kingdom of Italy, regions were granted a measure of political autonomy by the 1948 Constitution of the Italian Republic. The original draft list comprised the Salento region (which was eventually included in the Apulia). Friuli and Venezia Giulia were separate regions, and Basilicata was named Lucania. Abruzzo and Molise were identified as separate regions in the first draft. They were later merged into Abruzzo e Molise in the final constitution of 1948. They were separated in 1963.
Implementation of regional autonomy was postponed until the first Regional Elections of 1970. The ruling Christian Democracy party did not want the opposition Italian Communist Party to gain power in the regions, where it was historically rooted (the red belt of Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria and Marche).
Regions acquired a significant level of autonomy following a constitutional reform in 2001 (brought about by a centre-left government and confirmed by popular referendum), which granted them residual policy competence. A further federalist reform was proposed by the regionalist party Lega Nord and in 2005, the centre-right government led by Silvio Berlusconi proposed a new reform that would have greatly increased the power of regions.
In June 2006 the proposals, which had been particularly associated with Lega Nord, and seen by some as leading the way to a federal state, were rejected in a referendum by 61.7% to 38.3%. The results varied considerably among the regions, ranging to 55.3% in favour in Veneto to 82% against in Calabria.
List of regions
Italy is divided into 20 regions (regioni, singular regione). Five of these are autonomous. The provinces listed are updated according to the Decree "Salva Italia" (Save Italy) determined by the Government of Mario Monti, which will be implemented from 2014.
|Flag||Name||Capital city||Area (km2)||Population||Pop. density||Provinces||Communes||Metropolitan cities||Status|
|Sicily||Palermo||25,711||4,994,817||194||9||390||Catania, Messina, Palermo||Autonomous|
Every region has a statute that serves as a regional constitution, determining the form of government and the fundamental principles of the organization and the functioning of the region, as prescribed by the Constitution of Italy (Article 123). Although all the regions except Toscana define themselves in various ways as an "autonomous Region" in the first article of their Statutes, fifteen regions have ordinary statutes and five have special statutes, granting them extended autonomy.
Regions with ordinary statute
These regions, whose statutes are approved by their regional councils, were created in 1970, even though the Italian Constitution dates back to 1948. Since the constitutional reform of 2001 they have had residual legislative powers. The regions have exclusive legislative power with respect to any matters not expressly reserved to state law (Article 117). Yet their financial autonomy is quite modest: they just keep 20% of all levied taxes, mostly used to finance the region-based healthcare system.
Autonomous regions with special statute
Article 116 of the Italian Constitution grants to five regions (namely Sardinia, Sicily, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, Aosta Valley and Friuli-Venezia Giulia) home rule, acknowledging their powers in relation to legislation, administration and finance. They keep between 60% (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) and 100% (Sicily) of all levied taxes. In return they have to finance the health-care system, the school system and most public infrastructures by themselves. Sicily gets additional resources from the Italian state in order to finance all services.
These regions became autonomous in order to take into account cultural differences and protect linguistic minorities. Moreover the government wanted to prevent their secession from Italy after the end of the Second World War.
Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol constitutes a special case. The region is nearly powerless, and the powers granted by the region's statute are mostly exercised by the two autonomous provinces within the region, Trentino and South Tyrol. In this case, the regional institution plays a coordinating role.
Each region has an elected parliament, called Consiglio Regionale (Regional Council) or Assemblea Regionale (Regional Assembly) in Sicily, and a government called Giunta Regionale (Regional Junta), headed by the regional President. The latter is directly elected by the citizens of each region, with the exceptions of Aosta Valley and Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, where he is chosen by the Regional Council.
According to the electoral law of 1995, the winning coalition receives the absolute majority of the Council's seats. The President chairs the Giunta, nominates and dismisses its members, called assessori. If the direct-elected President resigns, new elections are immediately called.
In Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, the Regional Council is composed by the joint session of the two Provincial Councils of Trentino and South Tyrol and the Regional President is one of the two Provincial Presidents.
- Italian NUTS level 1 regions
- Regional Council (Italy)
- Presidents of Regions of Italy
- Flags of regions of Italy
- ISO 3166-2:IT
Other administrative divisions
- "National structures". Eurostat. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- "Speciale Referendum 2006". la Repubblica. 26 June 2006. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- http://www.istat.it/dati/dataset/20071004_00/[dead link]
- http://www.governo.it/Governo/ConsiglioMinistri/dettaglio.asp?d=69636[dead link]
- Statuti Regionali - Edizioni Simone
- The Constitution of the Italian Republic
- Report RAI - Le regioni a statuto speciale (Italian), retrieved 21st Jan 2009 [dead link], [dead link]
- Hiroko Kudo, “Autonomy and Managerial Innovation in Italian Regions after Constitutional Reform”, Chuo University, Faculty of Law and Graduate School of Public Policy (2008): p. 1. Retrieved on April 6, 2012 from http://www.med-eu.org/proceedings/MED1/Kudo.pdf.
- Regional Governments of Italy on Italia.gov.it[dead link]
- Regional Governments of Italy on Governo.it[dead link]