Rule of law Italy

The rule of law implications of Italy's snap election

Italy went to the polls yesterday, 25 September 2022, after a governmental crisis left prime minister Mario Draghi lacking support to sustain its unity government. This was a crucial parliamentary snap election for the country, bringing important shifts in the political arena. We will be analysing the implications for the vote on Italy’s rule of law performance on 28 September, 10-11 am (registration link below).  

Giorgia Meloni’s Fratelli D’Italia, a far-right party, is the current frontrunner, according to the latest polls. Should her party win the election, Meloni is expected to form a government with Matteo Salvini’s Lega and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia.

Italy’s rule of law record has been mixed, at best. According to DRI’s analysis, the Sunday vote could worsen the country’s rule of law performance if Meloni has the backing of 2/3 of MPs. This would open the door to a series of constitutional amendments that the far-right leader has put forward in the past and during the current election campaign.

The fate of the reforms initiated by Mario Draghi’s government also hangs in the balance. Draghi’s resignation has cast a shadow over Italy’s ability to meet the milestones under the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility. The far-right coalition’s joint programme indicates that they will seek to rewrite the terms of Italy’s access to EU funds under the pretext that the war in Ukraine and inflation have changed the context significantly.

Finally, our analysis raises the possibility that Italy’s right-wing government might join the ranks of the Polish and Hungarian governments in the EU’s decision-making bodies. The Italian far-right leader has already backed Orban after a recent European Parliament resolution declared Hungary is no longer a democracy. 

How will the election results affect Italy’s rule of law performance in the coming months? Where do the main vulnerabilities lie? How likely is the rule of law backsliding in Italy?

Join our discussion on the implications of this defining vote for Italy and the European Union on 28 September from 10 to 11 am.



  • Marco Fabri, Senior Researcher and former Director, Research Institute on Judicial Systems of the National Research Council of Italy, Now Institute of Legal Informatics and Judicial Systems    
  • Antonia Baraggia, Associate Professor of Comparative Law, University of Milan
  • Lorenzo Segato, Director of Re-Act (Research and Action against Crime and Corruption)
  • Moderator: Ms Nino Tsereteli, Research Officer Rule of Law, DRI. 

Democracy Reporting International (DRI) works to improve public understanding of the rule of law in the EU as part of the re:constitution programme funded by Stiftung Mercator. Sign up for DRI’s newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to find out more about the rule of law in Europe.

This work is supported by

Stiftung Mercator