(of Nicola Lupo, full professor of law of elective assemblies at Luiss)
The government chaired by Mario Draghi presents elements of continuity and discontinuity with the previous experiences of “technical” governments. The former prevail rather sharply. He must not mislead the rhetoric used, close to his formation, by the political forces, many of which seemed understandably eager to distance from the beginning the story of this government from that, considered a posteriori in many ways disappointing, of the government. Monti.
The first element of continuity is evidently represented by the Prime Minister: as already in the cases of Ciampi, Dini and Monti, Mario Draghi is a “non-political” subject, with a very prestigious curriculum behind him in national, European and economic institutions. international, among other things as governor of the Bank of Italy and then as president of the European Central Bank, and never sided in favor of one party or the other.
The second element of continuity is the limited duration. Having formed after the exhaustion of two political governments, both chaired by Giuseppe Conte and supported by different majorities, and in any case “original”, that is, by no means coinciding with the coalitions presented to the voters in 2018, the Draghi government was born with a time horizon maximum of just over two years. An important “coupon” will undoubtedly take place 12 months after its formation, on the occasion of the election of the President of the Republic: it will be that election – which, as has been noted by many, could lead Draghi himself to the Quirinale – the moment in which it will be assessed whether the XVIII legislature will be able to reach its natural completion, and, if so, with which government. So, as far as one can imagine at the moment, it is going towards a minimum duration of one year and a maximum of just over two years: a little more than the record set, among “technical” governments, by the Monti government (which remained in charge 529 days; the Dini government lasted 486 days, the Ciampi government 377 days).
Thirdly, even in the case of the Draghi government, as in the other “technical” governments, the impulse of the President of the Republic seemed particularly evident. A clear impulse first of all in the identification of the Prime Minister, given that the assignment was immediately formalized, once clarified, following the failure of the exploratory mandate conferred to the President of the Fico Chamber, which there was no room for or to repeat, nor to enlarge the majority on which the Conte 2 government had ruled. Without even the need for an explicit indication of the name of Draghi by the parties, during an ad hoc round of consultations (although it is not excluded that the President della Repubblica has already proposed an alternative of this type during the consultations, in the event of the failure of a re-edition of a political government chaired by Conte). An impulse that is also perceptible, at least on the basis of what can be intuited, in the determination of the ministerial structure: not only in the search for a “high profile” in identifying the holders of some crucial ministerial boxes, but also – more overall – as regards establishing the balance point between technicians and politicians, as well as between confirmations and new names.
The fourth element of continuity can be found in the broad parliamentary consensus. The Draghi government in fact obtained 535 votes in favor in the Chamber (with 56 votes against and 5 abstentions) and 262 votes in favor in the Senate (with 40 votes against and 2 abstentions). In this regard, it can be recalled that the Ciampi government registered 309 votes in favor in the Chamber (with 182 abstentions), and 162 in the Senate; the Dini government 302 votes in favor in the Chamber (with 270 abstentions) and 191 in the Senate; the Monti government 556 votes in favor in the Chamber and 281 votes in the Senate (no abstentions).
A fifth element of continuity can be grasped in the underlying reason for the “technical” governments, consisting in the need to undertake reforms that the previous governments had not been and did not seem able to implement: electoral reform in the majority sense, consistent with the abrogative referendum on the law on the election of the Senate, in a political-economic context that is anything but easy, in full “Tangentopoli” and the imminent entry into force of the Maastricht Treaty, in the case of the Ciampi government; massive public finance reorganization operations, also through unpopular but necessary reforms of the pension system, in the case of the Dini and Monti governments. Also in the case of the Draghi government it is now a question of implementing reforms of strategic significance, on which the previous majority had not managed to find satisfactory meeting points: those required to be able to take advantage of the funds allocated by the European Union, with the Next Generation EU.
The elements of discontinuity with respect to the model of “technical” governments appear less evident.
From this point of view, the theme of composition is exemplary, which has been leveraged on many sides to support the “technical-political” nature of the Draghi government (among other things, in the question posed on the “Rousseau platform”) . Among the 23 ministers that make it up, in fact, those generally qualified as “non-political” are 8. The gap is quite evident with respect to the Monti government and, going back, also with respect to the Dini government, both composed exclusively of ministers (and undersecretaries, in the second case) non-parliamentarians.
However, it must be considered, on the one hand, that a not too dissimilar distribution also characterized the original composition of the Ciampi government, with 10 “non-politicians” out of 27 ministers (a composition which, moreover, then changed a few hours after the oath, following of the resignations of 4 ministers following the vote of the Chamber on the authorization to proceed with Bettino Craxi). On the other hand, the simple counting of ministers reveals little enough, having instead to consider the weight of each of them and, above all, the distribution of ministers among politicians and technicians represents an indecisive element, especially if considered in isolation, to qualify nature. of an executive. Every government, as is well known, carries within itself a balance between technicians and politicians, or rather, between technology and politics, configured in various ways according to the circumstances, also in consideration of the difficulty encountered in qualifying the names of illustrious technicians as politicians. , if elected in Parliament; or, vice versa, as technicians the names of ministers who may have been candidates in the last elections, but without having been elected.
Further elements of differentiation can be grasped with regard to the programmatic horizon of the Draghi government: this appears broader and more ambitious than that of the previous “technical” governments, and certainly not characterized by the limited scope of the so-called “caretaker governments” (or governments such as interim or “truce”), on which “technical” governments are sometimes superimposed.
This is also linked to the fact that the very broad support enjoyed by the Draghi government in the fiduciary vote seems to be motivated by a reason somewhat opposite to that underlying the broad consensus that also characterized the Monti government. If in the latter the idea was “all in” in order to all take an equal (and, hopefully, minimal) share of responsibility for the austerity policies that were then necessarily pursued, in the case of the Draghi government there is instead the willingness to be all involved in the decision on the allocation of funds from the Next Generation EU.
Precisely this last element allows, on closer inspection, to grasp the basic element that seems to be at the basis of the recourse, in Italy, to the formula of so-called “technical” governments and, upstream, of the failure of “political” governments that preceded them. This is represented by an undissolved relationship with the European Union: the inability, that is, for the Italian political system to autonomously take those “system” decisions that have been required for some time at European level and considered indispensable, in their own interest. , precisely by the institutions of the Union and by the other Member States. And, ultimately, to move in full coherence with that European constraint which is a far from marginal part of the current constitutional framework and which, far from bypassing the Member States, asks them to provide new and further services.
A constraint, the European one, not adequately introjected by the party system and often not even, unfortunately, by the Italian institutions, in which a balance between technology and politics prevails very different from that prevailing in European decision-making processes. To the point that, when it comes to taking key decisions at internal level within the framework of more complex “Euro-national procedures”, the Italian political direction risks being completely inadequate and must be replaced with the intervention of guided governments, not randomly, from figures by definition more in line with the indications agreed at the European level with the decision-making methods adopted there.
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