Roberto Toniatti

Constitutional Court’s centralising policy: A systemic state-centred governance and the ongoing reduction of special autonomy

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National constitutional policies concerning regional autonomy in Italy have varied over time, switching from increasing and decreasing attitudes without a general vision. The political system, consisting of national political parties not representing local views and priorities, has been more responsive to national unitary interests. At the origins of the regional system introduced by the Republican Constitution, controversies concerning substantive issues were regarded as political questions to be dealt with by Parliament, But, quite to the contrary, such controversies have been attracted by the competence of the Constitutional Court to deliberate over the whole body of litigation between State and Regions. The Constitutional Court has thus plaid the role of safeguarding, with some exceptions, the national interest and all centralising trends that have driven the system off the original framework of having the status of the special Regions regulated by the respective «Statuto» adopted and reformed by constitutional sources. A specific problem is highlighted by possible normative margins of exceptions in favour of the autonomy of Alto Adige/Südtirol and Trentino supported by the role of international safeguard of the German-speaking community plaid by the Federal Republic of Austria


  • special autonomy
  • Constitutional Court
  • constitutional policies
  • national interest
  • centralism
  • Alto Adige/Südtirol-Trentino


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