Keywords: Ragioneria generale dello Stato; Public administration; Public finance; Italian administrative system; European Union constraints.
The article examines two issues, which can be summarized in the following questions: what are the main stages of affirming the role of the Ragioneria generale dello Stato, with regard to the evolution of its functions? To what extent is the evolution a reflection of the changes that have progressively characterized the Italian administrative system? The analysis aims to show how the function of «driving the state machine», which has performed for a long time mainly through its power to «say No», has been replaced by a tutor-type function. It always implies the exercise of a power but in new guises and within a broader public finance scenario, dominated by the European Union constraints and a pluralist structure.