Transparency & donations: A comparative series – Italy

As with the UK, today's summary of Italian political donation and transparency rules is very broad, covering donations, consultant lobbyists, and oversight of Parliament. Italy has comparatively similar reporting and transparency obligations for donors and politicians, though some of these are triggered by significantly lower thresholds than in the UK. However, with there being no national laws governing lobbying activities in Italy, this is an area subject to notably light scrutiny. Businesses should therefore be aware of the opportunities that can arise out of these more limited regulations. 

However, politicians are also subject to transparency obligations which mean more direct connections to businesses are known to the public. Any gifts and donations must also comply with limits and reporting requirements, which businesses should ensure that they do not breach. Therefore, as in any jurisdiction, there are risks as well as opportunities for businesses which can be managed through a strong understanding of their obligations.




Who is covered?

Are the rules different during an election period?

Limitations on donations made to political parties and movements and related reporting obligations

Law on transparency of political parties and political movements (Law n. 3 of 2019)

1.       Any donations above 500 EUR per donor per year to a political party or movement, or other forms of support of equivalent value, are subject to a particular regime of publicity concerning: a) the identity of the donor; b) amount of the donation; c) date of the donation. This information shall be kept in the special register of the registered office of the party/movement and are subject to public disclosure on the Internet.

2.           Any donation above 500 EUR triggers the obligation to include it in the list of donors to be transmitted to the Presidency of the Chamber of Deputies.

3.           Any donation above 3000 EUR triggers the obligation for political parties or members of the national Parliament to sign a joint declaration with the donor, to be filed before the Presidency of the Chamber of Deputies.

4.           There is a prohibition to receive donations from foreign governments or from public entities headquartered in a foreign state not subject to tax obligations in Italy.

These rules apply to political parties and political movements, electoral lists and candidates as mayor in cities with more than 15K inhabitants. In addition,

these rules also apply to foundations, associations or committees that are linked to a political party or movement.


Law Decree 149 of 2013 on transparency of political parties and regulating collection of voluntary and indirect contributions.

1.       Each natural person may not make liberal disbursements of money or otherwise pay contributions in goods or services, including through intermediaries or subsidiaries in favour of a single political party for a total value exceeding 100,000 EUR annually.

2.       Any other subject which is not a natural person (i.e. including legal entities, etc.) may not make liberal disbursements of money or otherwise pay contributions in goods or services in favor of political parties for a total value exceeding in each year 100,000 EUR.

Anyone who wants to fund political activities


Transparency obligations of MPs

Deputies Code of Conduct

Deputies must:

1.           Declare the positions and offices of any kind held in public or private entities as well as the functions and business or professional activities carried out in any way. During the legislature, if a deputy assumes a position he/she must declare it within thirty days to the Chamber of Deputies. Deputies must also declare any other professional activity, self-employment, employment, or private work.

2.           In the exercise of their functions, MPs must refrain from accepting gifts or similar benefits, except those of a value lower than 250 euros offered in accordance with customary courtesy, even when acting in representation of the Chamber of Deputies.

Members of the Chamber of Deputies (Deputies)


Senators Code of Conduct

Senators must:

1.           Declare the positions and offices, whether paid or unpaid, by completing a specific information sheet. During the legislature, each Senator must similarly communicate, any positions and offices acquired or relinquished.

2.           Verify that the value of gifts accepted in the performance of their duties is in line with what can be deemed as a courtesy gift/custom.

Member of the Senate (Senators)


Consultant lobbyists

Currently, there are no national laws governing lobbying activities in Italy, even if in the past some draft bills have been submitted to the Senate and to the Chamber of Deputies, although without the adoption of a formal law.

Most recently, on 8 March 2023, the First Commission on Constitutional Affairs (“Prima Commissione Affari costituzionali”) (hereinafter the “Commission”) launched an investigation on lobbying activities (hereinafter the “Investigation”) to identify – among other things: i) the boundaries between permitted lobbying activities and "illicit influence" (punished under the Italian Criminal Code); ii) the establishment of a of lobbyists register; iii) the Authority that will hold such register; iv) and the sanctioning framework.

The Investigation is not yet concluded. Indeed, on 27 March 2024 the Commission communicated that the Investigation was to end on 31 March 2024, but – due to other Commission’s commitments – a final document on the Investigation will be published during April 2024 (this has not yet occurred).

Having said this, please also note that the Chamber of Deputies adopted a code of conduct for its members on 12 April 2016 and a Regulation on lobbying activity ("Regolamentazione dell’attività di rappresentanza di interessi nelle sedi della Camera dei Deputati") on 26 April 2016 (the "Chamber Lobbying Regulation"). The Chamber Lobbying Regulation provides: (i) a definition of lobbying activity meaning any activity carried out on a professional basis in the premises of the Chamber of Deputies by natural and legal entities indicated in the Chamber Lobbying Regulation through proposals, requests, suggestions, researches and analysis and any other written or oral communication aimed at pursuing interests; (ii) the establishment of a register (the "Chamber Register")  which was set up pursuant to a regulation dated 8 February 2017; (iii) the obligation for natural and legal persons carrying out this lobbying activity to be enrolled in the Chamber Register; (iv) the duty to provide within 31 December of each year a report of the lobbying activity carried out in the year of reference; (v) specific sanctions, in terms of suspension or cancellation from the Chamber Register for breach of the relevant obligations. Moreover, the absence of a national lobbying regulation has been also challenged by some Regions, which have adopted regional laws, for example Tuscany (Regional Law No. 5/2002), Molise (Regional Law No. 24/2004) Calabria (Regional Law No. 4/2016), Abruzzo (Regional Law No. 61/2010), Lombardia (Regional Law No. 17/2016), Puglia (Regional Law No. 30/2017) and Emilia Romagna (Regional Law No. 27/2019).

In conclusion, some Ministries (such as the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, the Ministry for the Economic Development, and the Ministry for the Labor and Social Politics) - in the absence of a national regulation on lobbying activities - have also established specific registers for transparency and/or adopted organizational measures aimed at ensuring transparency of the meetings held with the so called representatives of particular interests.

Lobbyists, as defined by each piece of legislation/regulation (see left column)

Not to our knowledge. However, given the very fragmentated approach, it should be assessed from case to case, depending on each piece of legislation/regulation.




Authored by Authored by Robert Gardener, Jeffrey Greenbaum, Valerio Natale, Charles Brasted, Lourdes Catrain, Thomas Duenchheim, Lucas Osorio, Falk Schoening, Andrew Eaton and Lavan Thasarathajumar.

Robert Gardener
Director of Government Affairs
Charles Brasted
Lourdes Catrain
Thomas Duenchheim
Jeffrey Greenbaum
Valerio Natale
Senior Associate
Lucas Osorio
Office Managing Partner
Falk Schoening
Lavan Thasarathakumar
Senior Advisor
Andrew Eaton


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