Cultural heritage as a leverage for integration and cultural diversity. The issue of foreigners’ access to public management of museums in Italy

Cultural heritage as a leverage for integration and cultural diversity. The issue of foreigners’ access to public management of museums in Italy

Chiara Prevete (LabGov researcher and legal team) has published an article about foreigners’ access to public management on the journal “Observatory of the Italian Association of Constitutional Law scholars”, “Osservatorio AIC”[1]. This question had a key turning point with the Plenary Session of the Italian Council of State decision in June 2018. The question refers in particular to museum directors. In this respect, changes have been recently made in the legal framework by Minister Franceschini’s reform (legislative decree 31 May 2014, No. 83). The heart of the sentence is linked to the well-known question about the ‘reservation of citizenship’ connected to the nature and functions of public management in the Italian legal system. In fact, this issue refers to the Nineteenth Century distinction between ‘acts of imperio’, the expression of the puissance publique, and iure gestionis (the private, merchant-like, commercial acts of the government of a  state), where the possession of Italian citizenship is traditionally necessary for the exercise of public functions. The case law moves in particular from a hermeneutic diatribe on 1994 rule, the D.P.C.M. 7 February 1994, n. 174, which provides the exclusion for people without Italian citizenship from managers of public administrations roles. However, this topic can only be tackled considering the European principle of freedom of movement for workers, by art. 45 T.F.U.E. and its interpretation by the European Court of Justice.

The Author in particular emphasizes the role of museums’ immaterial and digital resources. In this way the Italian cultural heritage was opened for foreign museum directors. Above all, the administrative decision contributes to social development and the integration of different cultures according to art. 1 of the Faro Convention[2]. Indeed, also the concept of ‘Nation’, by art. 9 of the Italian Constitution, peacefully referred to the Community-State and not to the State-Apparatus, is nowadays interpreted as a ‘heritage clause’. As clarified by Häberle[3], the concept of an identity and inheritance clause is identified as ‘a characteristic element of developing countries’. He has highlighted the fact that the link to the cultural heritage would be unsuccessful if only the status quo is guaranteed and not the aspect of the multiplicity of past and future cultures. In this sense the term ‘Nation’, in the second paragraph of art. 9 of the Constitution, alludes to an ‘intergenerational pact’ or ‘synthesis of past, present and future generations’. Furthermore, this judgment demonstrates the importance of the judges’ interpretation also in civil law. In this sense, the legal system seems more authentic[4] because it observes changes in society.



[2] Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (Faro Convention, 2005, in

[3] P. Häberle, Potere Costituente (teoria generale), in Enc. Giur. Treccani, IX, 2000, 32.

[4] P. Grossi, Le comunità intermedie tra moderno e post-moderno, Genova, 2017, 66.


La complessa vicenda sull’accesso degli stranieri alla dirigenza pubblica trova un importante punto di svolta nella pronuncia dell’Adunanza Plenaria del giugno 2018. La questione affrontata si riferisce segnatamente ai direttori dei musei, la cui disciplina è stata di recente oggetto della riforma c.d. Franceschini, di cui al d.l. n. 31 maggio 2014, n. 83, attuata con numerosi decreti. Il cuore della controversia dinanzi all’Adunanza Plenaria è legato alla oramai nota questione sulla ‘riserva di cittadinanza’ connessa alla natura e alle funzioni della dirigenza pubblica nell’ordinamento italiano. Si legge nella sentenza, infatti, il richiamo all’ottocentesca distinzione tra atti di imperio, espressione questi della puissance publique, e atti di gestione, ove per l’esercizio dei primi è tradizionalmente necessario il possesso della cittadinanza italiana. La vicenda processuale muove in particolare da una diatriba ermeneutica su una disposizione del 1994, il D.P.C.M. 7 febbraio 1994, n. 174, la quale prevede l’esclusione dai posti dirigenziali delle amministrazioni pubbliche di soggetti privi della cittadinanza italiana.