The so called 'budget session' has been the most crucial issue on the Italian parliamentary agenda since the late 1970s, when the annual finance bill was introduced into the political system. Since then, the practice of fiscal governance has been significantly transformed, paving the way for an important phase of budget consolidation throughout the period of convergence to the Economic and Monetary Union. However, the effectiveness of the performance of the budgetary process - and particularly its parliamentary phase - is still under discussion. This article aims to emphasize the changing modes of interaction between the executive and parliamentary branches during the annual budget session. Parliamentary impact on the structure of the annual finance bill and the degree of involvement of the parliamentary opposition during the discussion of budget proposals will be analysed in depth, focusing on the period 1996 to 2005.
- Budgetary process