For over 100 years after its creation as a nation in 1848, Italy was ruled by a King, who elected a cabinet as well as an Italian parliament. It was not until World War II when fascism took over in 1922 with the rise of Mussolini. However, on June 2, 1946 the Italian people passed a referendum that changed the monarchy, or at the time tyranny, to a republic. The official constitution was passed on January 1948. The passed constitution makes it much harder to amend within the government, which was the Italian people’s attempt to preserve their republic and make sure no fascist would be able gain control again. Important parts of the Italian constitution define Italy as a democratic republic, and gives the power in the government to the people. Segments of the constitution emphasize personal growth, and make it hard for the government to institute laws that limits freedoms of the people or limits the individual growth of a citizen.
The Constitution is advised by the Italian Constitutional Court, which is made up of 15 judges, five elected by the parliament, five elected by the president, and five from lower courts. The role of the constitutional court includes: analyzing the constitutionality of laws that are passed at the local and national level, deals with problems between ministries and the government, looks indictments put out by the parliament, and judges if certain referedas are necessary or not.
The Italian parliament is a bicameral system separated into the chamber of deputies and the Senate. The chamber of deputies is filled with only elected officials, but part of the Senate is elected by the President. Each section is also divided into standing committees that act as legislative bodies.
The president of Italy serves a term of seven years and is voted in by representatives from the senate and chamber, with at least three representatives from each region in Italy. However, this is a secret ballot to elect the president, also known as the Prime Minister. The president has power to pass or veto bills from the chamber or Senate, to declare war, call sessions of parliament, and ratify treaties.
(315 members of the Italian Parliament)
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Letter from Director:
Hi, my name is Max Ackerman and I will be your chair for this committee! I am a sophomore at Yale University in Pauli Murray College. I am planning on studying Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, with a certificate in Global Health. I am involved with Yale International Relations Association as a chair for both SCSY and YMUN, and as Directors for Yale Model Government Europe. Outside of YIRA, I teach mental health classes with Community Health Educators, am a copy editor for the Yale Global Health Review, a coordinator for First Years in Service, volunteer at the Yale Farm, and work at the Yale Film Study Center. During my free time, I like to go hiking, fishing, and kayaking, as well as traveling and learning about new cultures.
I decided to chair this committee because I spent this past summer in Italy learning Italian, and am very interested in Italian government and culture. I also am passionate about the environment, and love to learn about environmental science and policy and how they intersect.
Topic History: Italy and its Natural Resources
During this cabinet meeting, we will be focusing on natural resources within the Italian land, and how to deal with the sustainable use of our natural resources as well as the international trade with our resources. Natural mineral resources that Italy contains include: mercury, zinc, coal, marble, pumice, pyrite, natural gas, crude oil, as well as many others. The government of Italy holds all of the power within the mineral industry, and controls all trade and use of minerals. The most common minerals that the Italian government sells on a global scale are: marble, cement, feldspar, lime, clay, and pumice. Italy was the 13th largest cement producer in the world until 2010 when the Italian production of cement decreased due to less input. However, Italy has a small amount of these natural minerals, so the trade of minerals is slim with Italy.
In the past, 50% of the iron production in Italy came from the island of Elba, and coal can be found in small areas of Tuscany; however, most of the coal that is used in Italy is imported from countries such as Russia, the United States, and China. During the twentieth century the natural production of minerals decreased significantly, except for salt, natural gas, and petroleum. In the 1970’s Italy was self sufficient in the sulfur, lead, zinc, and aluminum, but by the 1990’s they needed to begin importing these resources to the mainland from international sources. The total production of energy within Italy actually increased throughout the nineteenth century, but the country has remained an overall energy input country, meaning it gains most of its energy from international sources. However, the country is world renowned for their export of white marble from the Tuscan area. (https://www.britannica.com/place/Italy/Resources-and-power)
Throughout history, Italy has not been rich in energy resources, especially when coal became the principle energy to use; this held them back heavily in rapid industrialization, and fell behind the other leading European nations. However, when hydroelectricity became a prominent type of energy to use in 1885, Italy was one of the first five countries to be able to send hydroelectricity to a major city center (Rome in this case). By the second World War, half of Italy's domestic energy use was powered by hydroelectricity.
Current levels of hydroelectricity in Italy
Even though oil was found on the island of Sicily in 1949, it was not enough to support the country, so historically, Italy depended on oil imports from North Africa and the Middle East. Moreover, Italy did try and attempt using nuclear power to aid its energy deficit, having four running nuclear power plants by 1981; however, only 0.1 percent of energy used within the country was from this nuclear power. In the past, Italy did use a lot of nuclear power, but most of it was imported from France and Switzerland. (https://www.britannica.com/place/Italy/Resources-and-power)
Natural gas was discovered in Italy in 1920, and began to be harvested from the Po Valley, in the province of Mantua, leading to the discovery of an even larger store off the Adriatic coast. By the 21st century, natural gas became Italy’s major source of power, where half of all the energy production in Italy came from natural gas. However, since 1970, along with the rest of italy’s energy sources, Italy began to import natural gas energy from outside sources such as Russia and the Netherlands.
Current statistics involving Italy’s mineral production (2018) include: iron production decreased by 3.9%, aluminum decreased by 21.99%, Silicon production increased by 35.3%, steel production increased by 1.3%, granite production increased by 60%, and salt production decreased by 28.99%. Currently, Italy’s exports of iron make up roughly 4% of the global export supply of iron.
Italy’s current status with its energy supply, is it mostly depends on other countries to support its energy use. 26% of its petroleum used in energy production comes from Africa, 25% coming specifically from Libya. 79.15% of italy’s energy consumption came from fossil fuels, which is a major problem, and citizens are looking towards advancements with renewable energy production within the country. (https://www.azomining.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=105)
Most of the energy that is used in Italy today comes from natural gas, almost all of it coming from international exports (51% from Russia, 13% from Algeria, 13% from Lybia, 8% from the Netherlands, and 5% from Norway, all coming in through Mazara del Vallo in Sicily). Of this natural gas that is used in Italy, 42% is reserved for civil use and 58% of it is used for industrial use. Additionally, the transfer of natural gas to Italy is carried out by one of two processes: primary distribution or secondary distribution. Primary distribution is using a system underground pipeless throughout the nation of Italy to help distribute the natural gas. Secondary distribution involves supplying the gas locally through more of a spread out system. The primary distribution then branches out to a system of secondary distribution. A new pipeline, called the Galsi, is currently being built to help transfer natural gas from Algeria, through the island of Sardinia. (https://www.azomining.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=105)
Renewable energy is also very popular in Italy. In 2014, of the total energy produced in Italy, 40% of it was renewable energy include solar, wind, and biofuels. Hydroelectricity is currently the number one source of renewable energy for Italy. Italy has already reached its goal for 2020 with renewable energy: renewable energy use rose from only 6.3% of the total energy consumption in 2004 to 17.5% in 2015. However, this is still in the middle of the pack when it comes to the rest of the leading European nations. (https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Renewable_energy_statistics)
With renewable energy like solar energy becoming popular in Italy, the southern provinces of Italy became a hot spot, literally, for the production of renewable energy. This seemed to be a perfect situation, since the south needed an economic boom in some way; however, the mafia took control of most of the production for industrial purposes, leading to the the people of the southern provinces to see minimal profits of the energy production.
Currently, Italy has many domestic problems when it comes to how the deal with nationals politics. Many political leaders say that Italy needs to lean less on the EU for helping its poorer southern areas, and have less political corruption within the country. Italy is the third largest economy for the Eurozone, so it is wise for the EU to aid Italy and give help where is needed. Some leaders recommend for the EU to aid monetarily in the effort to bring social welfare to the poor areas, taking away priority to free market liberalism. However, the government and the president are making this very difficult to do so.
Questions to Consider
Which minerals should we try to focus on to export out to make economic profits?
Which minerals should we focus on importing to help build up the economy?
How can we implement more renewable energy sources throughout Italy?
Should we only use renewable energy from from Italy or import it from other countries?
How can the way we use and produce energy aid the poorer areas of Italy?What initiatives can we implement to incentivize renewable energy locally as well as nationally?
What are some more environmentally friendly ways of retrieving its natural sources that the Italian government could implement?
Is the Italian government doing enough to keep up with global demands of using renewable energy?
Look further into the details between how Italy is implementing its new economic ideologies, in regards to the environment
Look further into how Italy has dealt with regaining control of its country, when past revolts have occured. What were the successes? What were the failures?
Research other success stories of EU countries with sustainability, and think about how you could implement it into the Italian government.