Article Italy: New Provisions on Italian Armed Forces Enter into Effect

On August 28, 2022, Law No. 119 of August 5, 2022, amending existing legislation regarding the active contingent of the Italian armed forces, entered into effect in Italy.

Motives of the Legislation

The overall purpose of the legislation is the consolidation of the national legislation applicable to the active contingent of the Italian military, taking into account multiple international geopolitical challenges, including the need for the European Union to develop a common defense approach, for North Atlantic Treaty Organization members to cooperatively address the current Ukraine crisis, and for Italy to reformulate its own defense policies with regard to international threats, in the context of binding international defense treaties.

Main Provisions

The new law amends the Code of the Military Order (C.M.O.), extending the deadline until 2033 for reducing the total active contingent of the professional Italian army, navy (excluding the Port Authority Corps), and air force to 150,000 units. (Law. No. 119, art. 1(1).)

The legislation sets forth specific limits on staffing for the active contingent of the Italian armed forces by category and rank. (Art. 2(1).)

Other Innovations

The law introduces the possibility for armed forces recruits to volunteer for either an initially determined fixed term or a three-year term. (Art. 3(1)(a), adding C.M.O., art. 696-bis.) The compensation for such recruits is set at 80% of permanent volunteers’ compensation. (Art. 4(1)(a).)   

Legislative Delegation for the Revision of the National Military Statute

Within 12 months from the entry into effect of Law No. 119, the government is to enact the necessary legislative decrees to consolidate the national legislation on the military. (Art. 9(1).) The guiding principles for the enactments include the following:

  • Gradually enhancing by 2033 the professionalism of national and international operations of army, navy, and air force personnel.
  • Increasing in 10,000 units the number of volunteers and military personnel, particularly doctors, health professionals, laboratory technicians, engineers, transport and materials logisticians, computer scientists, and other specialists on permanent duty to deal with public disasters.
  • Establishing in up to 10,000 units an auxiliary reserve of regional volunteer units under the authority of the military authorities.
  • Providing volunteers for a fixed three-year term with basic and specialized military and cyber operations training and skills that can also be used in the job market.
  • Revising the organizational structure of the military health service to allow military health professionals to perform intramural freelance activity. (Art. 9(1)(a), (c), (d), (f), (g)(2).)

Dante Figueroa, Law Library of Congress
November 4, 2022

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