The Italian Parliament
The Italian parliament was established on 1 January 1948 and comprises two chambers. The parliament has 630 deputies and 315 elected senators, including life senators and former presidents. Members of the chambers are responsible for the internal affairs of the parliament, including the organisation of administrative facilities and the employment of officials. Only members of the government’s party or coalition are allowed to enter the buildings. A motion of no confidence in the government may trigger an early election.
The two Houses are independent of each other. They meet only under specific circumstances. The number of MPs will be reduced by a referendum on 21 September 2020. The number of MPs will fall from 630 to 400 in the Chamber of Deputies and from 315 to 200 in the Senate. The change will also reduce the size of the two Houses. It is unclear whether the changes will affect the current structure of the parliament. In the meantime, the parliament will remain in place and serve the people as a representative of the country.
The Assembly has significant powers, including the right to appoint many members of important state institutions. The Constitution gives the assembly the authority to appoint ten of the thirteen members of the Constitutional Court and seven of the sixteen members of the Council of State. There are a range of other functions of the legislature, including appointing the members of the Supreme Court and the President of the country. As such, it is the supreme body in the country.
The parliament has a powerful role in the public’s life. It appoints the majority of members of key state institutions, including the Constitutional Court and the Council of State. These institutions are responsible for the country’s economy and social welfare. However, the Assembly exercises review power. It can write questions to the government regarding the legitimacy of certain claims. When the government responds to the question, it must either be aware of the claim or take action.
The main prerogative of the parliament is the legislative power. All bills introduced in the Parliament must have the support of both houses independently in the same text. In order to become law, a bill must be passed by both houses in the same text. The process begins when a bill is introduced in one house and passed to the other. After the president has promulgated the law, the bill is returned to the other house for further amendment.
The parliament exercises its review function in a number of ways. A question may be written to the government, asking whether the claim is true and how the government plans to act. The response can be given orally by the relevant minister or chairperson of a ministry. After receiving the answer, the member may respond and say whether the answer is satisfactory. A further question is called an injunction. An injunction notes that a fact has occurred or intends to happen.