Keywords: Role of the President of the Republic, Italian legal system, parliamentary form of government.
In this paper the author faces some preliminary methodological issues. According
to him the constitutional lawyer cannot base his/her judgment only upon the formal text
of the written constitution, but must necessarily take into account the living constitution
(which includes conventions of the constitution, customs and actual behaviour of political
institutions): in particular when the aim is to determine which happens to be the true role
of the President of the Republic within the Italian legal system. Subsequently the author
asserts that the seven years of President Napolitano's mandate have definitely established
a dualist interpretation of the Italian political regime, especially taking into account the
formation of Monti's cabinet. He ends his paper suggesting that a more functional political
system should be pursued by limited changes to the constitution to better regulate a
parliamentary form of government within which the role of the President as part of the
executive is openly recognized. The myth of a President impartial and neutral guarantor, a
sort of nanny of the entire political system, should be abandoned once and for all.