Overview and context
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Italy has a bicameral parliamentary system. The Lower House is the Chamber of Deputies and the Upper House is the Senate. The last parliamentary election was held in February 2013; the next is scheduled for 2018.
For a text to become law, it must receive the vote of both Houses independently. A bill is discussed in one of the Houses, amended, and approved or rejected. If approved, it is passed to the other House, which can amend it and approve or reject it. A law currently under scrutiny by the Parliament could differentiate the roles of the two Houses in the future.
Laws may be applied directly, or require the government to issue a regulation to indicate how they should be enforced, or how citizens should ask for what they are entitled to. Regulations can be updated more quickly than laws, which have to go through Parliament, but they cannot always be used. Some legal matters are reserved to laws, and most regulations have to be authorised by a specific law. A regulation may be: a Presidential Decree, a Decree from the President of the Council of Ministers, or a Ministerial Decree. The Presidential Decree is the most common and does not usually require prior authorisation by a law.
The Constitution reserves some matters to the regions and the laws of the Republic may delegate power to the regions to issue norms for enforcement.