Eleonora Poli, Does Italian Bicameralism double the chance of influencing EU decision-making?, in Steven Blockmans and Sophia Russack (eds), Representative Democracy in the EU. Recovering Legitimacy, Brussels, CEPS / London, Rowman & Littlefield International, May 2019.
The Italian Parliament is well-informed about European issues and it is equipped with the necessary instruments to shape EU policies. With a House of Deputies and a Senate sharing the same powers in the legislative and non-legislative processes, its ‘perfect bicameral system’ should in theory double the parliament’s chances for influencing the EU decisionmaking process. However, differences in intent between the two Houses often puts the effectiveness of its actions at risk. When dealing with the EU, the Chamber of Deputies tends to reflect the executive’s positions, while the Senate acts more autonomously. Limited coordination between the two Chambers undermines the parliament’s capacity to influence the EU as well as the chance for effective cooperation with other parliaments. At the same time, an increasing governmental centralism in Italy, together with the greater role assumed by the European Council in recent years, reduces the impact and independence of parliamentary actions. Contribution to the second of three volumes produced in the framework of the project ‘Towards a Citizens’ Union’ and is the product of collaboration with 20 think tanks from the European Policy Institutes Network (EPIN).