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JHU SAIS EUROPE - Italy: No Country for Trivial Elections
Donatella Campus
Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Bologna

Justin O. Frosini
Adjunct Professor of Constitutional Law, Johns Hopkins University SAIS Europe; Director of the Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development; Associate Professor of Comparative Public Law, Luigi Bocconi University

Erik Jones - Chair
Professor of European Studies and International Political Economy, Johns Hopkins University SAIS Europe

Gianfranco Pasquino
Senior Associate Fellow, Johns Hopkins University SAIS Europe and Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Bologna

You would think that a small number of regional elections could pass unnoticed in the greater scheme of things – particularly during a global pandemic! – but not in Italy. The country not only faces a test in the relationship between the two awkwardly matched coalition partners, but each of the governing parties individually faces its own turning point. The Five Star Movement is giving up its two-term mandate; the Democratic Party risks losing one or more of its traditional strongholds; and Italia Viva could shrink into irrelevance (if it is not there already). Each of these developments brings a new element of risk into the coalition dynamics at a time when the country (and the euro area) can ill-afford a government crisis. Add to that the constitutional referendum to reduce the number of parliamentarians – with implications for both the electoral system and the functioning of the Italian parliament – and you have a potentially volatile mixture of concerns. Italy’s bond markets may be calm under the influence of the European Central Bank, but that does not mean they are secure. The storm may be coming and this election could bring it closer. If you want to understand the results as they unfold, please join our expert panel.

Sep 21, 2020 06:30 PM in Rome

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