DOI: 10.5176/2251-3809_LRPP13.15

Authors: Marta Picchi

This paper analyzes the role attributed to participa-tion tools in Italy, in order to evaluate past experience and how much still needs to be done to give shape to the right to participa-tion. The effectivity of rights has crucial importance in contem-porary pluralist constitutional systems: the lack of effectivity regarding all rights, and of social rights in particular, can un-dermine the legal nature of those very rights. The complexity of policy concerning social rights has helped to spread the idea that only public authorities are in a position to protect social rights: the content of social rights, therefore, would be subordinated to the organizational structure. In this way, problems of inclusion are not resolved and many difficulties continue to persist before reaching integration and the combination of interests of the vari-ous components of civil society. Western democracies have seen the affirmation and predominance of representative democracy; however, political parties and unions have not been able to carry out their tasks and, as a result, participation itself has been com-promised. In order to avoid this situation, the definition of objec-tives and goals should be made through knowledge gained and comparison in order to draft more feasible rules and approxi-mate them to the requirements of the society at large and its real needs. The decision-making process by public authorities should be open to contributions from civil society. The cultural re-sistance which still conceives only the institutions of representa-tive democracy as the essence of democracy needs to be over-come: without the right to participation, the individual cannot be part of a community because participation is the assumption of rights, i.e. the right to have rights.

Right to Participation, Social Rights, Effectivity, Better Regulation, Participatory Democracy, Representative Democracy, Equality Principle, Social Inclusion

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