States of emergency

In Italy disasters are classified, for civil protection purposes, in three different types. For each event, according to extension, intensity and response capacity of civil protection, there are the corresponding levels of civil protection that will take the lead and the coordination of interventions: type a (municipal level), type b (provincial and regional ) and type c (national).

The state of emergency may be declared "imminent" and not just "at the occurrence" of natural disasters, or relating to action of man that by intensity and extension must be tackled with immediate intervention with extraordinary powers and means (Decree Law no. 59 of 15 May 2012, converted into Law no. 100 of 12 July 2012).

For "type c" events the Council of Ministers declares the state of emergency, upon proposal of the Prime Minister, or, by mandate, with the portfolio of a Minister or the Secretary of State at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the Council Secretary . The request may also come from the President of the relevant Region, which however needs to agree with the procedure. Up until the entry into force of Decree. 59/2012, converted into Law n. 100/2012, the declaration of a state of emergency was carried out through a decree of the President of the Council of Ministers.
The duration of the state of emergency - as established by art. 10 of Law no. 119 of October 15, 2013 - cannot exceed 180 days and can be extended up to an additional 180 days, with a further decision of the Council of Ministers.

Interventions to address the emergency are met through ordinances notwithstanding the provisions of the law, but within the limits and according to the criteria indicated by the declaration of a state of emergency and in accordance with the law. The orders are issued by the Head of the Civil Protection Department, unless otherwise determined by resolution of the state of emergency by the Council of Ministers. The implementation of the ordinances is managed, in any case, by the Head of Department. Prior to law 100/2012, ordinances were enacted by the President of the Council of Ministers or by a Minister appointed by him. The enactment requires the prior acquisition of territorially relevant regions.

At least ten days before the expiry date of the state of emergency, an order of the Head of Department is issued to identify the relevant public administration in ordinary and promotes and regulates the takeover activities to finally overcome the critical issues caused by the emergency.

Even in case of natural disasters or major events abroad the Department of Civil Protection can identify the actions, signed by the President of the Council of Ministers, for the declaration of a state of emergency and to cope with disasters. (Art. 4 of  law no. 152 of 2005).

In case of an exceptional emergency, the Prime Minister may order - even before the declaration of state of emergency - the involvement of national operational structures, upon proposal of the Head of the Civil Protection Department and heard the President of the concerned region. In such cases, evaluated in relation to the serious risk of danger for human lives, the coordination is entrusted to the Head of the Department of Civil Protection. (Art. 3 of Decree Law no. 245 of 2002, converted into law 286 of 2002).