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Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development | Research | Elections in European Conditionality. Transitions and Established Democracies

EL.E.C.T.E.D. Elections in European Conditionality. Transitions and Established Democracies

Main Researcher: Dr. Sara Pennicino

ELECTED Elections in European Conditionality. Transitions and Established Democracies was a two year project which ended in 2013. See teaching activities which resulted from that project (both academic and Training) conducted by Dr. Sara Pennicino

Results While carrying out the necessary research so as to answer to ELECTED's primary research question (i.e. have constitutionally entrenched electoral watchdog bodies become a condition to enter the Union?) the issue of what system established democracies have opted for to manage and control elections progressively gained importance. More specifically, while defining the content of EU conditionality, the fact that founding members of the Union did not match the standards set for candidate States became crucial to the original objectives of ELECTED. Art. 66 of the Italian Constitution, for example, provides for electoral controversies to be addressed exclusively by Parliament itself. The latter principle responds to the necessity of protecting Parliament's independence from the other branches of government and is coherent with the traditional separation of powers. However, not only this system has proved to be problematic, as for example in the case of the vote on MPs' disqualification (Silvio Berlusconi), but it is also incompatible with standards requirements imposed to countries that are candidates to enter the EU.

As a consequence, efforts have been devoted to argue in domestic Law Reviews and public fora in favour of a Constitutional reform of Art. 66 of the Italian Constitution:

  • The Creation of an Independent Electoral Commission as a Complement to the Reform of the Italian Electoral Law, in E. Catelani, F. Donati, M.C. Grisolia (eds.), Electoral Justice, ESI, Napoli, 2013 (with F. Biagi) [in Italian].

  • A proposal to amend Art. 66 of the Italian Constitution. The Creation of an Independent Electoral Commission, in Percorsi costituzionali, no. 1/2, 2012, with F. Biagi [in Italian].

  • Regional electoral controversies also have to be addessed:
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Regional Electoral Claims with regard to the 2010 Italian Regional Elections, in Istituzioni del federalismo, no. 2/3, 2013.

As a result, thanks to the support of the George Lawrence Abernethy Endowment, the CCSDD has become a leading voice in the debate regarding the amendment of Art. 66 of the Italian Constitution (see also the proposal of Constitutional reform drafted by the committee appointed by the President of the Republic).


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