The Renzi government formed in February 2014 was the youngest cabinet in Italian post-war history. It also had an equal number of male and female ministers—a first in Italian history. This chapter sets the scene by recounting the end of the Letta government before moving on to analyze the formation of the Renzi Cabinet, the competing inter- and intra-party considerations that affected the choice of ministers, and the need to signal technical competence in key economic roles.
At the end of March 2013, Italy's Parliament undertook an intense round of activity that was aimed at reforming the electoral system and some important aspects of the Constitution, such as the form of the state and that of the government. During this reform process, both the president of the Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, and the prime minister, Enrico Letta, assumed a major role. This chapter analyzes the main characteristics of this policy cycle while examining the underlying elements of continuity and discontinuity with other reform efforts that have been undertaken over the past 30 years in Italy.