Differentiated autonomy is a topic of fervent debate in Italy, highlighted by the recent approval of the bill in the Senate, which now awaits a vote in the House. This debate has been fueled by questions about its potential consequences and the regional differences that could emerge. Currently, the socio-political debate on the subject presents different opinions on the bill and on the possible social implications due to the application of the decree.

The genesis of differentiated autonomy in Italy

The differentiated autonomy of the Italian regions is a political proposal whose roots go back to the 1990s. In fact, in those years, parties began to arise that based their identity on regional autonomy, in particular that of the regions of northern Italy. Consequently, various policy proposals have sought to grant particular forms of autonomy to regions.

You too can rediscover the pleasure of staying informed!

Your support helps protect our independence so that we can continue to produce quality journalism that is open to all.

Support us

In 2001, there was the revision of Title V of the Italian Constitution. This reform strengthened the role and autonomy of regions and local authorities by more clearly identifying the different powers attributed to the regions. Other attempts regarding the situation of the regions have been made over time, through the 2015 Renzi-Boschi constitutional reform proposal and several popular referendums launched at the regional level.

The political proposal has therefore appeared several times in the history of the Italian party. It was only recently that it materialized, partially, during the session of January 23, 2024. On that date, the Senate approved the bill proposed by the government. The same is part of the maneuver concerning the implementation of differentiated autonomy for the Regions with ordinary status. Currently, the provision is being examined by the Parliamentary Chamber, which will in turn have to modify, approve or reject the bill.

The different political perspectives and possible implications

The Meloni government's bill received strong support supported and desired by the Minister of Regional Affairs. The proposal establishes the procedures by which regions will be able to request and obtain authorization to autonomously manage some of the matters currently under state jurisdiction.

Approval of the bill would not automatically result in a transfer of skills to the regions. In particular, it establishes procedures for negotiating these transfers. This process is linked to definition of essential performance levels (LEP)fundamental to avoiding regional inequalities.

The approval and implementation of this bill could therefore pave the way for a redefinition of the relationships between central and peripheral institutions, with possible significant repercussions on the Italian political and administrative system.

The example of Regions with special status

The five regions with differentiated autonomy in Italy have experienced a more precise adaptation of policies and investments to their specific needs, allowing a more efficient use of resources at the regional level, such as in the management of financial resources. This made it possible to respond more effectively to local needs, as in Friuli-Venezia Giulia with regard to linguistic minorities, and to respond to the specific challenges of each region. Indeed, according to the Italian Observatory of Public Accounts, the five regions have recorded over time certain advantages in the management of the financial expenditure of central administrations compared to the other regions.

However, there are also some drawbacks to consider. Differentiated autonomy could lead to an increase in disparities between regions, accentuating already existing differences. This could have negative effects on citizens in less developed or less populated regions, reducing the accessibility and quality of essential public services such as healthcare and education.

Despite the divisions, the debate on differentiated autonomy offers positive ideas. The experiences of autonomous regions suggest greater adaptability and efficiency in the management of local resources. Although there are concerns about regional disparities, autonomy could promote local development and democratic participation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *