The Council of Ministers
The Council of Ministers (the Italian cabinet) holds the fundamental powers that are conferred upon the Government by the Italian Constitution and constitutional laws.
In particular, the Council of Ministers:
- approves draft bills;
- adopts legislative decrees, decree laws and regulations;
- checks the compliance of regional laws;
- defines guidelines for and approves drafts of treaties and international agreements;
- declares states of emergency;
- gives its assent to initiatives by the President of the Council of Ministers to ask Parliament for a vote of confidence.
The President of the Council of Ministers calls meetings of the Council of Ministers and establishes the relative agenda. Should the President of the Council of Ministers be absent or temporarily unable to act, meetings are chaired by the Vice-President, if one has been appointed, or by the oldest Minister in terms of age.
(Specific internal regulations govern the functioning of the Council of Ministers, contained in Italian Law no. 400/88)