Crisis in Italian Government (2021)

Author Details
Author (Corporate)
Publication Date 2021
Content Type , ,


Information Guide concerning a political crisis in Italy that resulted in the resignation of Giuseppe Conte as Prime Minister and later the appointment of Mario Draghi.

Further information:

The 2018 Italian elections produced a hung Parliament, which was eventually overcome through a post-electoral coalition agreement between the Five Star Movement (M5S) and the far-right Lega. Giuseppe Conte - an independent seen as close to M5S - was put forward as Prime Minister. In August 2019, Lega withdrew its support of the cabinet which led to the collapse of the coalition. A month later, a new coalition was announced between M5S, the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and the left-wing Free and Equal (LeU). Mr Conte was retained as head of government. However, former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi later announced he intended to leave PD and form a new centrist party, Italia Viva (IV). While he reaffirmed support to Mr Conte's cabinet, some members of the government followed him to the new political force.

Nonetheless, criticism from Mr Renzi to the government became increasingly stronger, amidst the wider context of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and the government's plan for economic recovery. On 13 January, Mr Renzi announced the resignation of IV's ministers and effectively leading to cabinet collapse. Mr Conte later announced he would seek a vote of confidence from Parliament on 18 January 2021. While the government won the motions in both chambers of the Italian House of Parliament - with the abstention from IV members - it did not succeed in gathering an absolute majority in the Senate. As a result, Giuseppe Conte tendered his resignation to Italy's President.

Following the impossibility of a new cabinet under the previous majority, Mario Draghi was summoned by the President and tasked with forming a technocratic government. Most of the main parties eventually endorsed Mr Draghi as Prime Minister and engaged in consultation. A list of proposed ministers was presented on 12 February, and the oath of office took place on the following day. The Senate approved the new cabinet on 17 February, followed by the Chamber of Deputies on 18 February.

The Draghi Government was formed with both politicians and independent technocrats. It is supported by a large majority including M5S, Lega, Forza ItaliaPDIV and the left-wing Article One.

Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
Wikipedia: Draghi Cabinet
Wikipedia: 2021 Italian government crisis
ING Think: Article, 13/01/2021: Italy: Risk of a government crisis rapidly increasing
Politico, 14/01/2021: 5 paths forward for Italy after latest government crisis
Euro|topics, January 2021: Coalition collapses: Italy facing new crisis?
FitchRatings: Fitch Wire, 26/01/2021: Italy's Political Crisis Exacerbates Economic Policy Risks
The Economist: Explainer, 31/01/2021: Why does Italy go through so many governments?
LSE: EUROPP Blog, 03/02/2021: What Mario Draghi’s invitation to form a government tells us about Italian democracy
The Economist, 03/02/2021: Mario Draghi is summoned to form Italy’s government
Foreign Policy: Argument, 04/02/2021: Italy’s Politics of Purgatory Won’t End Well
Chatham House: Expert Comment, 10/02/2021: Why Mario Draghi’s Italian Honeymoon Could be Short
New Statesman, 10/02/2021: Can “Super” Mario Draghi save Italy?
TIME, 13/02/2021: What Happens Next in Italy With Mario Draghi Taking Charge
EUObserver, 15/02/2021: Italy has a new government, but how stable is it?
The Conversation, 17/02/2021: Mario Draghi: is Italy’s addiction to technocratic leaders a cause for concern?
Foreign Policy: Argument, 19/02/2021: Italians Take Aim at the Bureaucratic Bourgeoisie
LSE: EUROPP Blog, 22/02/2021: Draghi may be a banker, but there is a significant political realignment taking place behind his government’s technocratic façade
LSE: EUROPP Blog, 24/02/2021: The new Draghi government and the fate of populism in Italy
ECFR: Commentary, 26/02/2021: Italy and defence under Draghi: A to-do list
ING Think: Article, 15/03/2021: Italy: An eye on reform

The Guardian, 04/01/2021: Italian government under pressure over economic recovery plan
EurActiv, 05/01/2021: Mario Draghi to replace Conte? Virus-hit Italy gripped by political crisis
Euronews, 13/01/2021: Italy's government plunged into crisis after junior coalition partner quits
Politico, 13/01/2021: Matteo Renzi pulls party out of Italian government
Reuters, 13/01/2021: Italy thrown into political crisis as Renzi sinks government
Politico, 18/01/2021: Italy’s Conte survives first vote on government’s future
BBC News, 26/01/2021: Italian PM Conte resigns in split over Covid response
Reuters, 02/02/2021: Italy's president calls on Draghi to save country from crisis
The Guardian, 03/02/2021: Mario Draghi accepts mandate to form new Italian government
France24, 03/02/2021: Italy's president calls on Draghi to form new government, solve political crisis
BBC News, 03/02/2021: Draghi asked to form new Italian coalition government
Deutsche Welle, 04/02/2021: Italy: Draghi begins tricky bid to form unity government
Associated Press, 12/02/2021: Draghi forms new govt blending experts, political operatives
Politico, 12/02/2021: Mario Draghi forms Italian government
RFI News, 13/02/2021: Italy’s new government to deal with Covid and economic recession
EurActiv, 16/02/2021: Thumbs up on new Italian government led by ‘Super Mario’ Draghi
The Local (Italy), 18/02/2021: Italy’s ‘Super Mario’ Draghi wins confidence vote for new government

Subject Categories
Subject Tags
Countries / Regions