Ministry of Interior (Italy)

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ItalyItaly Ministero dell'interno
Position of the authority Ministry
Consist since 1861
Headquarters Palazzo del Viminale, Rome
Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese
Ministry of the Interior on the Viminal in Rome

The Italian Ministry of the Interior ( Italian Ministero dell'interno ) is one of the ministries of the Italian government . After its seat in the Palazzo del Viminale on the Viminal in Rome , it is unofficially called Viminale for short . Acting Minister of the Interior is Luciana Lamorgese .


The Ministry of the Interior is responsible for public security , immigration and asylum , citizenship , religious affairs , elections , fire-fighting and civil defense as well as for relations with the self-governing local authorities ( regions , provinces and municipalities ) and for the supervision of the branch offices of national authorities located there.


Central organization

The political leadership consists of the minister and several state secretaries . The latter are not civil servants in Italy, but politicians. In contrast to some other ministries, the departments are grouped into main departments (Dipartimenti) . Ministries without main departments have a general secretary as head of office ; it doesn't exist here. The corresponding tasks are taken over by the heads of the main departments.

  • Main Department for Internal and Territorial Affairs (Dipartimento per gli Affari Interni e Territoriali) (4 departments)
  • Department for Civil Liberties and Immigration (Dipartimento delle libertà civili e dell'immigrazione) (6 departments)
  • Main Public Security Department (Dipartimento della Pubblica Sicurezza) (12 departments)
  • Main Department for Fire, Rescue and Civil Defense (Dipartimento dei Vigili del Fuoco, del Soccorso Pubblico e della Difesa Civile) (9 departments)
  • Main Department for Human and Material Resources (Dipartimento per le Politiche del Personale dell'Amministrazione Civile e per le Risorse Strumentali e Finanziarie) (2 departments)

The Italian State Police ( Polizia di Stato ) report to the Main Public Security Department . In addition, she coordinates the work of all national police forces in the country, including the Carabinieri and the Guardia di Finanza . The Direzione Investigativa Antimafia , a police organization made up of members of the national police forces to fight the Mafia and similar criminal organizations, is also subordinate to the main department. The head of the main department is the head of the state police and, as the "general director for public security", the national police coordinator.

After the dissolution of the SISDE , the Ministry of the Interior has no longer had its own domestic intelligence service since 2007 . The successor organization is subordinate to the Italian Prime Minister . The higher administrative school of the Ministry of the Interior (Scuola Superiore dell'Amministrazione dell'Interno) was dissolved in its previous form in 2014 and taken over as a department by the Scuola Nazionale dell'Amministrazione . The ANBSC , which administers and recycles goods confiscated and confiscated by the judiciary, is also part of the Ministry's portfolio .

Peripheral organization

Prefecture in Trieste
Prefecture in Messina
Police Headquarters Rome

With the exception of a few special cases (autonomous regions and provinces), every Italian province has a central government agency called the prefecture or “Territorial Office of Government”. At their head is a prefect . It maintains the state's relations with the self-governing bodies of the provinces, cities and municipalities and supervises the administrative work that the municipalities carry out on behalf of the state (e.g. registry and registration offices). If a provincial capital is also the capital of a region, the local prefect also liaises with the regional government. In addition, he oversees the offices and branches of state ministries in regions and provinces. The prefect is also responsible for general order and security in the province. These tasks are carried out on behalf of the government, but the prefectures and their staff report to the Main Department of Internal and Territorial Affairs of the Ministry of Interior.

The Police Headquarters ( Questura ) are subordinate to the main department for public security as police authorities at the provincial level . The respective chief of police (Questore) is not only the chief of the state police in the province, but also the local police coordinator. The police headquarters and in some cases also the subordinate police commissioners have police registration offices, immigration offices and the like. Special organizational branches of the Polizia di Stato have a different, often regional structure and are usually directly subordinate to the main department.

The Ministry of the Interior is also responsible for the fire service in Italy . Fire brigade commands at regional and provincial level are subordinate to the relevant main department. The “Main Department for Civil Protection” (Civil Protection ) ( Dipartimento della Protezione Civile ) was handed over to the Prime Minister's office years ago, as it is now an inter-agency organization that works on the principle of subsidiarity .


The history of the ministry goes back to the State Secretariat of the Dukes of Savoy . On February 17, 1717, Viktor Amadeus II divided it into two secretariats: one for foreign affairs and one for internal affairs. There was also an older secretariat for war. In the course of the revolution of 1848 and the imposed constitution of Karl Albert ( Statuto Albertino ), the State Secretariat for Internal Affairs was renamed the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The other six secretariats that existed at the time were also given the new name of ministry. Their heads, formerly known as state secretaries, were now called ministers, while their deputies, the undersecretaries of state, retained their names. For this reason, in Italy today there are ministers and “undersecretaries” but no state secretaries, which in this case is a synonym for ministers.

The House of Savoy was in 1848 with his Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont at the forefront of Italian unification movement . The old Italian states were incorporated into this kingdom in 1861 and then renamed the Kingdom of Italy . For this reason, the constitution of 1848, the first Italian constitution, remained in force until 1946. The Piedmontese ministries and all other institutions and authorities also became Italian.

According to the constitution of 1848, the executive was with the king and the ministers who together made up the government. A prime minister did not include the Constitution, nor the confidence of Parliament dependent government. Nevertheless, the Savoy, as constitutional monarchs, allowed both in so-called “Liberal Italy” until 1925.

Due to the lack of constitutional status and its own administrative structure and because of the dependence on the king and parliament, the prime minister had a very weak position at the time. For this reason, until the fascist dictatorship, he mostly had his office in the powerful Ministry of the Interior. The offices of Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior were often held in personal union. The importance of the Ministry of the Interior was based on the centralized state structure based on the Napoleonic model . The land was divided into provinces, where the prefects of the Interior Ministry enforced Roman laws and ordinances. The self-government organs of the provinces and municipalities monitored by the prefects were then de facto eliminated by fascism by 1928 .

After the proclamation of the republic (1946) and the entry into force of the new constitution (1948), a process of decentralization began in Italy , which continues to this day and has now reached the limit of federalism . Not only did the municipalities and provinces regain their organs of self-government, regions with their own constitution, parliament and government were also set up. At these levels, the government in Rome and, above all, the Ministry of the Interior gradually lost many powers. A national police organization and a state fire brigade, both of which have remained with the Viminale , are seen as an advantage . On the other hand, the prefects in the provinces, which are regarded as a centralized relic, are not undisputed. Today they play a mediating and supporting role between Rome and the local authorities.

The Italian Ministry of the Interior was based in Turin until 1865 . In the course of the relocation of the capital, it then came to Florence and in 1871 to Rome. The first official building in Rome was the Palazzo Braschi (pronounced “Braski”) on Piazza Navona until 1925 . The Prime Minister usually had his official seat here. In 1925 it then moved to the newly built Palazzo del Viminale , which the then Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti had commissioned in 1911 (including the cabinet room). Benito Mussolini used to reside in other palazzi from 1922 to 1943 as “head of government” . From 1944 to 1961, the prime ministers again had their seat at the Ministry of the Interior on the Viminal, then they were given their own appropriate seat in Palazzo Chigi next to Parliament.

See also

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