This chapter on the national co-ordination of European Union (EU) policy in Italy discusses the frequent failures of Italian policies concerning the EU, which, in some cases, have become a European problem. Although other member states frequently face similar problems, there is a twofold difference between Italy and the other countries: first, of scale, and second of the nature of the interests concerned, since many of the complaints about Italy concern EU policies that provide Italy with financial benefits; a double contradiction thus arises between the interests of the EU and national interests. These problems raise two main questions: are the policy failures a consequence of treating European integration as a relatively minor issue in spite of the diffuse pro-integration attitude constantly shown by public opinion; or are they the result of the lack of co-ordination tools and processes at the institutional and political level in Italy? The chapter considers these questions in five main sections: The Failures of EU Policy-making in Italy (an identification and measurement of the problem); The Importance of the EU in Law and Policy-making in Italy; Inadequate Co-ordination as the Source of Italy’s ‘Failures’ in Europe; and European Policy Co-ordination: The Past, and The Present. The conclusion suggests that despite that centrality of concern for the EU in Italy, the country has been slow to create effective and efficient mechanisms for co-ordinating the formulation and implementation of EU law; although there have been some advances, fragmentation and duplication still appear to dominate.
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