Eumans Advocates for Digital Direct Democracy in Italy

One of Eumans’ most significant initiatives in Italy is the activation of direct democracy through referendums and popular initiatives, tools provided by the Italian Constitution to allow citizens to participate in public life.

Eumans has been fighting for years for the digitalization of these tools. In 2019 Italy was condemned by the UN Human Rights Committee due to a legal action by Mario Staderini, who criticised legislation that hinders signature collection with unreasonable rules. Through demonstrations, sit-ins, letters, and appeals, Eumans and other partners demanded the Italian State overcome the obstacles to citizens’ full enjoyment of political rights via digital means.

Thanks to our contribution to an amendment to the budget law, a law was passed in 2020 that finally established a public platform for the online collection of signatures. However, none of the following governments complied with the obligation to implement it as envisaged, continuing to hamper the full enjoyment of civil rights in Italy. This inaction is a blatant violation of the legal deadline for the service to be operational, set for January 2022.

Since then, two legislative measures regulated the technical functioning of the platform: the decree of the President of the Council of Ministers of September 9, 2022, and the decree-law of October 18, 2023, which transferred the liability for the platform to the Ministry of Justice. The latter measure has further delayed the publication of the platform after the preparatory work was completed by the Draghi Government.

Thanks to an amendment presented by Deputy Riccardo Magi in 2021, we obtained the possibility to collect digital signatures for referendums and popular initiatives through private platforms. However, these platforms entail costs for the promoting committees, which have no guarantee that their referendum request will be approved. So, their investments in signature collection risk being completely wasted.

In order to urge the Italian government to respect the rule of law, Eumans joined the appeal launched by Marco Gentili, co-president of the Associazione Luca Coscioni, which has gathered nearly 60,000 signatures, asking to promptly release the public platform for the collection of signatures on referendums and popular initiatives.

On this page, we will provide updates on upcoming initiatives and mobilizations aimed at this goal.