Senators for life in Italy

Senators for life in Italy (Italian: senatori a vita) are members of the Italian Senate who either are appointed by the President of the Italian Republic "for outstanding patriotic merits in the social, scientific, artistic or literary field" or are former presidents and thus senators for life ex officio. After the 2020 constitutional reform, in addition to former presidents, there can be up to five appointed senators for life at the same time.

Every President of the Italian Republic has made at least one appointment of a senator for life, with the exception of Oscar Luigi Scalfaro (since in his term there were more than five). President Giorgio Napolitano appointed Professor Mario Monti on 9 November 2011 and conductor Claudio Abbado, researcher Elena Cattaneo, architect Renzo Piano and Nobel-laureate physicist Carlo Rubbia on 30 August 2013. The president who appointed the highest number of senators for life was Luigi Einaudi, who made eight appointments during his term.

Senators for life are the only senators who can decide not to be part of any political group.

LimitationsEdit

A limit of five senators for life, excluding former Presidents, is established by the Italian constitution, though there has been until 2020 a debate as to whether five is the maximum allowed total number of senators for life appointed by the President of the Republic, or each President has the right to name five senators for life. Until 1984 the former interpretation (backed by almost all scholars in consideration of the representative character of the Senate) was considered correct, but in that year President Sandro Pertini applied the latter interpretation of the Constitution, and since then no measures have been taken to clarify the situation, made even more important by the key role senators for life had during the second Prodi Government. They have the same powers as elected senators, including the right to vote and be elected to the Presidency of the Senate. In addition, their mandate does not end with the dissolution of a Senate, allowing them to sit in any elected Senate for their whole lifetime. In 1992, with the Presidency of Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, the first interpretation was restored and followed by all the subsequent presidents, allowing for a maximum of five appointed senators in office at the same time; moreover, almost all scholars supported the stricter interpretation. Eventually, the 2020 constitutional reform fixed the legal loophole and established an unambiguous limit of five appointed senators in total.

List of senators for lifeEdit

Current senators are in bold.

Senator Known for Date of appointment Appointed by End of appointment (reason)
Enrico De Nicola President (1946–1948) 12 May 1948 ex officio 1 October 1959 (death)
Guido Castelnuovo Mathematician 5 December 1949 Luigi Einaudi 27 April 1952 (death)
Arturo Toscanini Conductor 5 December 1949 Luigi Einaudi 7 December 1949 (resignation)
Pietro Canonica Sculptor, painter and conductor 1 December 1950 Luigi Einaudi 8 June 1959 (death)
Gaetano De Sanctis Historian 1 December 1950 Luigi Einaudi 9 April 1957 (death)
Pasquale Jannaccone Economist 1 December 1950 Luigi Einaudi 22 December 1959 (death)
Carlo Alberto Salustri Poet 1 December 1950 Luigi Einaudi 21 December 1950 (death)
Luigi Sturzo Priest 17 September 1952 Luigi Einaudi 8 August 1959 (death)
Umberto Zanotti Bianco Archeologist 17 September 1952 Luigi Einaudi 28 August 1963 (death)
Luigi Einaudi President (1948–1955) 11 May 1955 ex officio 30 October 1961 (death)
Giuseppe Paratore Politician and attorney 9 November 1957 Giovanni Gronchi 26 February 1967 (death)
Giovanni Gronchi President (1955–1962) 11 May 1962 ex officio 17 October 1978 (death)
Cesare Merzagora Politician 2 March 1963 Antonio Segni 1 May 1991 (death)
Ferruccio Parri Prime Minister (1945) 2 March 1963 Antonio Segni 8 December 1981 (death)
Meuccio Ruini Politician 2 March 1963 Antonio Segni 6 March 1970 (death)
Antonio Segni President (1962–1964) 6 December 1964 ex officio 1 December 1972 (death)
Vittorio Valletta Industrialist 28 November 1966 Giuseppe Saragat 10 August 1967 (death)
Eugenio Montale Poet and prose writer 13 June 1967 Giuseppe Saragat 12 September 1981 (death)
Giovanni Leone Prime Minister (1963, 1968)
President (1971–1978)
27 August 1967
15 June 1978
Giuseppe Saragat
ex officio
23 December 1971 (elected President)
9 November 2001 (death)
Pietro Nenni Politician 25 November 1970 Giuseppe Saragat 1 January 1980 (death)
Giuseppe Saragat President (1964–1971) 29 December 1971 ex officio 11 June 1988 (death)
Amintore Fanfani Prime Minister (1954, 1958–1959, 1960–1963, 1982–1983, 1987) 10 March 1972 Giovanni Leone 20 November 1999 (death)
Leo Valiani Historian, politician and journalist 12 January 1980 Sandro Pertini 18 September 1999 (death)
Eduardo De Filippo Actor 28 September 1981 Sandro Pertini 31 October 1984 (death)
Camilla Ravera Politician 8 January 1982 Sandro Pertini 14 April 1988 (death)
Carlo Bo Poet 18 July 1984 Sandro Pertini 21 July 2001 (death)
Norberto Bobbio Philosopher 18 July 1984 Sandro Pertini 9 January 2004 (death)
Sandro Pertini President (1978–1985) 29 June 1985 ex officio 24 February 1990 (death)
Giovanni Spadolini Prime Minister (1981–1982) 2 May 1991 Francesco Cossiga 4 August 1994 (death)
Giovanni Agnelli Industrialist 1 June 1991 Francesco Cossiga 24 January 2003 (death)
Giulio Andreotti Prime Minister (1972–1973, 1976–1979, 1989–1992) 1 June 1991 Francesco Cossiga 6 May 2013 (death)
Francesco De Martino Politician 1 June 1991 Francesco Cossiga 18 November 2002 (death)
Paolo Emilio Taviani Politician 1 June 1991 Francesco Cossiga 18 June 2001 (death)
Francesco Cossiga President (1985–1992) 28 April 1992 ex officio 17 August 2010 (death)
Oscar Luigi Scalfaro President (1992–1999) 16 May 1999 ex officio 29 January 2012 (death)
Rita Levi-Montalcini Neurologist 1 August 2001 Carlo Azeglio Ciampi 30 December 2012 (death)
Emilio Colombo Prime Minister (1970–1972) 14 January 2003 Carlo Azeglio Ciampi 24 June 2013 (death)
Mario Luzi Poet 14 October 2004 Carlo Azeglio Ciampi 28 February 2005 (death)
Giorgio Napolitano Politician
President (2006–2015)
23 September 2005
14 January 2015
Carlo Azeglio Ciampi
ex officio
15 May 2006 (elected President)
currently serving
Sergio Pininfarina Designer and politician 23 September 2005 Carlo Azeglio Ciampi 3 July 2012 (death)
Carlo Azeglio Ciampi Prime Minister (1993–1994)
President (1999–2006)
16 May 2006 ex officio 16 September 2016 (death)
Mario Monti Economist and politician (Prime Minister 2011–2013) 9 November 2011 Giorgio Napolitano currently serving
Claudio Abbado Conductor 30 August 2013 Giorgio Napolitano 20 January 2014 (death)
Elena Cattaneo Scientist 30 August 2013 Giorgio Napolitano currently serving
Renzo Piano Architect 30 August 2013 Giorgio Napolitano currently serving
Carlo Rubbia Physicist 30 August 2013 Giorgio Napolitano currently serving
Liliana Segre Holocaust survivor 19 January 2018 Sergio Mattarella currently serving

Current senators for lifeEdit

External linksEdit