Igor Guardiancich Mattia Guidi

Conditionality and Pensions in Italy: The Role of the European Semester

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In the aftermath of the 2009-14 sovereign debt crisis, the introduction of the European Semester shifted part of the policy-making process from the national to the supranational level. The interaction between external market signals (the interest rate on public debt) and political influence (formal and informal European conditionality) have accelerated and homogenized national pension reforms, thereby reducing the ability of individual member states to undermine the fiscal sustainability of their retirement systems. Focusing on the Italian experience with pension reforms (2011- 2019), the article shows that while Italian governments are affected by the abovementioned interaction, formal political pressures seem to be largely ineffective. Specifically, Country-Specific Recommendations signal the progressive dissatisfaction of the Commission with the pension reforms adopted by Italy since 2016.


  • Pensions
  • Italy
  • European Semester
  • Sovereign bond yields


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