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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Italy

Italy

5. Participation

5.2 Youth participation in representative democracy

On this page
  1. Young people as voters
  2. Young people as political representatives

Young people as voters

All Italian citizens who have reached the age of 18 are automatically registered in the voter’s lists. This age limit applies to all elections (national, local, European) and referendum, except for the Senate, where the age of the passive electorate is 25 years.

All citizens who are unable to reach the polling station (sick people, prisoners) have access to assistance in order to exercise their right to vote.

Italian citizens residing abroad, who are enrolled in the Public Register of Italian Residents Abroad (Anagrafe Italiani Residenti all’Estero) may vote by correspondence through the Embassy. This applies to national and European elections, as well as referendums. For local elections, they may obtain a discount on public transportation (plane, rail).

In case of elections, the volunteers of the universal civic service deployed outside their place of residence are given permits and free transport to reach the polling station. The rules contained in the “Discipline of relations between voluntary organizations and operators of the universal civic service”, approved with d.P.C.M. of 14 January 2019, provide in paragraph 8, the possibility of using days (from 1 to 3 days in relation to the distance between the place of residence and the place of civic service) to exercise the right to vote.

Volunteers may also obtain permission to act as the President or Secretary of the polling station, poll clerk or list representative.

The Italian poll turnout figures for political elections of 2018 are aggregated, therefore there are no official data regarding youth participation, (except from post-vote surveys).

Eurobarometer reports “Review of European and National election results” the following data based on a post-election survey of the 2019 European Parliament elections:

Total turnout

Turnout 18/24 years old

Turnout 25/39 years old

54,50%

43,60%

57,20%

Young people as political representatives

The minimum age to run as Member of Parliament is 25 years for the Chamber of Deputies, and 40 years for the Senate.

The minimum age to join a political party varies from 14 to 16 years depending on the different statutes and internal regulations of the party. There are no "quotas" or specific arrangements in favour of young candidates.

Composition of the Chamber of Deputies by age group

Age group

Total

25-29

10 (1,6%)

30-39

168 (26,7%)

* Data updated to February 2021 (https://www.camera.it/leg18/28)

Composition of the Senate by age group

Age group

Total

40-49

111 on 321 (34,6%)

* Data updated to February 2021 (http://www.senato.it/leg/18/BGT/Schede/Statistiche/Composizione/SenatoriPerEta.html)

In the Parliament elected in 2018, the average age is 44.33 years, while in the Senate it rises to 55.37.

Composition of Regional Councils by age group

Age group

Total

under 29

15 (1.86%)

29-35

35 (4.34%)

over 35

756 (93.80%)

* Survey carried out by the Department for Youth Policies and the Universal civic service in the period November/December 2019. Does not include data from the Lombardy and Sardinia Regions as they are not yet available.

At a regional level, youth participation to the Councils, with legislative power, slightly exceeds 6%.

Composition of Regional Councils per age group and gender

Age Group

Men

Women

Total

under 29

8 (0,99%)

7 (0,86%)

15

29-35

22 (2,72%)

13 (1,61%)

35

over 35

608 (75,43%)

148 (18,36%)

756

Totale*

638 (79,16%)

168 (20,84%)

806

* Survey carried out by the Department for Youth Policies and the Universal Civic Service in the period November / December 2019. Does not include data from the Lombardy and Sardinia Regions as they are not yet available.

The participation of young people and women to the regional councils does not reach 2,5%.

Composition of Provincial Councils and Metropolitan Cities by age group

Ange range

Total

under 29

205 (5.78%)

30-39

272 (7.67%)

over 35

3.067 (86.54%)

* Survey carried out by the Department for Youth Policies and Universal civic service in the period November/December 2019. The data refer to the 113 provincial capitals and metropolitan cities, with the exception of the municipalities of Andria (police station) and Ragusa (for the which it was not possible to find official data on the date of birth of the directors).

The participation of young people in Provincial Councils and Metropolitan Cities slightly exceeds 13%.

Composition of Provincial Councils and Metropolitan Cities by age group and gender

Age group

Men

Women

Total

under 29

131 (3.70%)

74 (2.09%)

205

29-35

188 (5.30%)

84 (2.37%)

272

over 35

2.169 (61.20%)

898 (25.34%)

3.067

Total*

2.488 (70.20%)

1.056 (29.80%)

3.544

* Survey carried out by the Department for Youth Policies and Universal Civic Service in the period November / December 2019. The data refer to the 113 provincial capitals and metropolitan cities, with the exception of the municipalities of Andria (police station) and Ragusa (for the which it was not possible to find official data on the date of birth of the directors).

The youth participation of women in the composition of Provincial Councils and Metropolitan Cities is less than 5%. Average age of the Directors: 49 years   • Average age of the Directors (women): 47 years • Average age of the Directors (men): 49 years