Prime Minister of Italy twice, first from 1992 to 1993 and then from 2000 to 2001. He was more recently Vice President of the Convention on the Future of Europe that drafted the new European Constitution and headed the Amato Group. From 2006 to April 2008, he has been the Minister of the Interior in Romano Prodi’s government. He received a first degree in law from the University of Pisa in 1960, and a Master degree in comparative law from Columbia University in New York in 1963. After teaching at the Universities of Modena, Perugia and Florence, he worked as professor of Italian and Comparative Constitutional Law at the University of Rome La Sapienza from 1975 to 1997. In his political career, before becoming Prime Minister in 1992, Amato has been a Member of Parliament from 1983 to 1993, Undersecretary of State to the Prime Minister’s office from 1983 to 1987, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Treasury from 1987 to 1988, then again Treasury Minister, from 1988 to 1989. As Prime Minister he conducted Italy in the difficult transition period that swept away almost an entire class of political leaders. He managed to respond effectively to two devaluations of the Lira in the wake of currency speculation that led Italy to be expelled from the European Monetary System by cutting the budget deficit drastically, thus taking the first steps in the road that would bring Italy to adopt the Euro. Amato was President of the Italian antitrust authority from November 1994 to December 1997, Minister for Institutional Reforms in Massimo D’Alema’s first government from October 1998 to May 1999, and, once again, Treasury Minister in D’Alema’s second government from December 1999 to April 2000. Amato was nearly elected President of the Republic and was a close contender to replace Michel Camdessus as head of the International Monetary Fund. In his second term as Prime Minister from April 2000 to May 2001 Amato promoted economic competitiveness as well as social protection. In addition to economic reforms, he pushed ahead with political and institutional reforms, trying to deal with a weak executive and fragmented legislature. In December 2001, European Union leaders at the European Council in Laeken appointed Amato to be one of the two Vice Presidents of the Convention on the Future of Europe to assist former French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing in the drafting of the new European Constitution. Amato has published extensively in all important italian and many international newspapers, such as The Financial Times, The International Herald Tribune or the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Among his scientific publications treating with economy, public institutions, personal liberties and federalism there are:
- Antitrust and the Bounds of Power, Hart Publishing, Oxford, 1997
- Il gusto della libertà, Laterza, Milano, 2000
- When the Economy is affected with a Public Interest, in F.Snyder (Ed.), The Europeanisation of Law, Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2000.
- Tornare al futuro. La sinistra e il mondo che ci aspetta (in collaborazione con Fabrizio Forquet), Laterza, Milano, 2002
- Noi in bilico. Inquietudini e speranza di un cittadino europeo (intervista di Fabrizio Forquet), Milano, Laterza, 2005
- Dialoghi post-secolari (con Vincenzo Paglia), Marsilio, 2006
- Un altro mondo è possibile? Parole per capire e per cambiare (con Lucia Pozzi), Mondadori, Milano, 2006