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Lettori: Italy undermines CJEU

The Italian government has issued a decree law in response to the European Commission threat, 26 January 2023, to take Italy before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

The CJEU ruled that Italian measures enacted in 2004 provided a framework for ending the discrimination based on nationality. However, this law, that provides for non-Italian teachers (lettori) to receive the minimum salaries, increments, and pensions of part time tenured researchers, has not been implemented.

Italy altered its legislation in 2010 with the Gelmini law and again with further measures in 2017, providing a retroactive so-called “authentic interpretation.” This led to hundreds of cases being lodged in the domestic courts with conflicting, and often contradictory, judgments.

Art.38 of decree law 48, 5 May 2023 changes nothing other than offering the universities incentives to implement, and falls within 60 days of its issue on 5 May 2023, if not confirmed by the Italian Parliament.

It leaves the Gelmini law intact and as such is incapable of removing the discrimination. It tasks the universities with adopting adequate measures through an extremely complicated mechanism, and renders the effects of the 2004 legislation null and void; another chapter in the twin dark art of evading laws and legislating in order to evade them at a later date.

Unless the Italian Parliament strikes down the decree and abrogates Gelmini, then we will be asking the European Commission to take what would be the seventh lettori case to the CJEU.

Image courtesy of David Petrie
David Petrie
David Petrie
David Petrie is chair of ALLSI trade union, the Association of Foreign Lecturers in Italy, founded in 1997. He has taught at the universities of Benghazi, Edinburgh, and Verona. In 2000 he was shortlisted for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s award for European Citizen of the Year.
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