Filippo Pizzolato

The Basic Functions of Italian Municipalities

  • Abstract

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Taking heed of the historic rootedness and socio-institutional importance that the Comune has in the setup of the Italian system, the author delves into the meaning to be attributed to the expression 'basic functions' of Municipality. The author holds that the exclusive relevant legislative competence of the State ins sucha filed ought to perform a stabilizing function to safeguard the unity of the country while at the same time being able to safeguard the spheres of self-government constitutionally and traditionally recognized to the municipality as an institution. This idea is grounded on the problematic constitutional provisions that make reference to the functions of the "Comuni", the legislative regulations that have followed one another in singling out the basic functions of the same, and the decisions of the Constitutional Court on the matter. Critical reflection on the legislation and case law leads the author to maintain that the system in force, how implemented by the legislator and interpreted by constitutional case law, is unable to adequately protect local self-government, so much so, he concludes, that the preservation of local prerogatives from the discretion of the legislator depends more on the social and cultural rootedness that the Comune possessee than on positive constitutional provisions.

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