Italy flag Italy: Economic and Political Overview

The political framework of Italy

Political Outline

Current Political Leaders
President: Sergio Mattarella (since 3 February 2015)
Prime Minister (President of the Council of Ministers): Mario Draghi (since 13 February 2021)
Next Election Dates
Presidential: 2029
Legislative: May 2023 (Senate and Chamber of Deputies)
Current Political Context
The coalition government led by Giuseppe Conte, formed by the Five Star Movement and the Democratic Party (along with the parliamentary group Free and Equal and Italia Viva), collapsed at the beginning of 2021. Former President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi was given a mandate by President Sergio Mattarella to form a government in February. Draghi’s government enjoys broad political support in parliament, as right-wing party Lega and Berlusconi’s Forza Italia decided to join the coalition with the previously ruling parties in light of the difficult economic and social situation in the country, which was one of the first and worst hit by the Covid-19 crisis.
Meanwhile, conservative right-wing party Fratelli d’Italia opted to remain in the opposition and has been gaining momentum in electoral polls.
Main Political Parties
The Italian Parliament is based on a multi-party system, with the main political forces being:

- Five Star Movement (M5S): anti-establishment, catch-all political movement
- Partito Democratico (PD): centre-left
- Lega Nord: right-wing, populist, Euro-sceptic
- Fratelli d'Italia (FdI, Brothers of Italy): right-wing, nationalist, conservative
- Forza Italia (FI): centre-right, liberalism
- Italia Viva (IV): centre-left, liberal
- Liberi e Uguali (LeU, Free and Equal): left-wing
- Più Europa (+Eu, More Europe): pro-European, social liberalism.
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 321 members (315 elected plus six senators for life), while the Chamber of Deputies (Camera dei deputati) has 630 members. 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 shall take effect after the next general elections).
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: January 2023