ISSIRFA NEWSLETTER N°1 2016 January-March


Regarding the autonomous regions, there was a significant event in the first quarter of 2016.
For the first time in the history of the Italian Republic, the Constitutional Court declared that a repealing referendum proposed by the Regions is admissible (Judgment 17 of 19 January 2016, filed on 2 February 2016).
With this judgment, the Constitutional Court has declared that the referendum proposed on prohibiting prospection, search and mining of hydrocarbons within twelve marine miles from the coast is admissible. The referendum seeked to reject the proposal of extending such activities 'throughout the lifetime of the deposit', as instead envisaged in the permits that were issued.
The referendum was submitted by the following regions: Basilicata, Marche, Apulia, Sardinia, Abruzzi, Veneto, Calabria, Liguria, Campania and Molise. The request for the referendum made on 26 November 2015 had already been declared to be compatible by the Central Office for Referendums of the Court of Cassation. An amendment made on 28 December 2015 in the 2016 Stability Act envisaging that "the permits already issued are valid throughout the lifetime of the deposits, provided that safety standards and environmental protection are ensured". On January 7th, the Central Office for Referendums deemed that the expression "until depletion of the deposits" substantially extends the duration of the permits already issued for exploitation.
The referendum aimed at abolishing the provision that oil concessions already issued should be valid until depletion of the deposits thus de facto extending the terms envisaged in the permits - as pointed out by the Central Office for Referendums.
The referendum has been held on April 17th, and the quorum required for the referendum to be valid (50 percent of eligible electors) was not reached. 32 percent of eligible voters went to the polling station, so the referendum is invalid.
On the issues of the Constitutional reform, The Parliamentary Committee on Regional Issues, in cooperation with the Institute, organized a seminar that was held at the Chamber of Deputies on January 27th.

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