Italy

by Paul Blokker ‘In order to obtain a united Europe against terrorism, we need a strong country, with a Constitution that gives stability’. In this way, Maria Elena Boschi, the Italian Minister for Constitutional Reform, recently justified the pending comprehensive reform of the Italian Constitution of 1948. Boschi’s ambiguous observation – suggesting that a vote against the constitutional reform project in the upcoming referendum in October leaves Italy more vulnerable in the face of terrorism – is part of an intense public debate in Italy.
by Giammaria Milani, PhD Candidate, University of Siena. The constitutional revision bill approved by the Italian Senate on August 8, 2014 deals with an issue that has resurfaced cyclically in the Italian political debate: the revision of Part II of the Italian Constitution, dedicated to the form of government and the relationship between the State and the Regions. At least since the early 1980s, several attempts have been made to amend the Constitution, but only once (2001) these have been successful, providing for an extensive revision of the State-Regions relationship.

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Swiss votations on February 9, 2020

by Prof. Markus Kern / Fabian Schmid, University of Bern

On February 9, 2020, two proposals were up for decision by the Swiss electorate:
– the Popular Initiative claiming “more affordable homes” as well as
– a referendum concerning a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation in criminal law
The Popular Initiative was rejected by 57.1% of the Swiss population and by all but 4½ of the cantons, whereas the amendment of criminal law was clearly accepted by a majority of 63.1% of the voters. Electoral turnout was at 41.7% resp. 40.9%.

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Illiberal constitutionalism 2 – constraints on public power

by Tímea Drinóczi, Professor, University of Pécs, Faculty of Law, Hungary

Illiberal states emerging in Europe, such as Hungary and Poland, are still constitutional democracies, which are shaped peacefully by populist politicians from a more substantial form of constitutional democracy that prioritizes (liberal) constitutional values through the use of populist style of governance, abusive constitutionalism, and autocratic legalism.[1] In our cases, the minimum requirements of a constitutional democracy, such as the rule of law, human rights, and democracy, have been defectively worded in a constitution, or poorly implemented or enforced.

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