One of the driving principles behind the contemporary populist vision of democracy is to no longer respect legal boundaries and constitutional constraints to the so-called ‘will of the people’.
Through analysis of the contemporary Italian political situation, this policy brief addresses a number of critical constitutional strains caused by populism, including:
- conflicts between the needs of the people in the electoral spectrum and deficit spending within the Euro system;
- the refugee crisis and the reshaping of the constitutional protection of fundamental rights;
- criticism of the independence of the judiciary;
- state democratic institutions and their capacity to rule within the EU system of government; and
- the call for EU constitutional changes, in order to open a new democratic legitimizing process of the European institutions.
The policy brief concludes with a series of proposals for Italian constitutional changes called by the Italian parliament in order to integrate the people more closely into the political and institutional system:
- reducing the number of MPs;
- reforming the referendum procedures;
- implementing the role of the people in the legislative procedure by strengthening its capacity to promote legislative initiatives; and
- granting these proposals a stronger position within parliamentary procedures.