The Autonomous Region Trentino - South Tyrol is the structure that is the political superior of the Provinces of Bozen (Bolzano) and Trento. It consists of the population and area of 2 beautiful provinces. Whereas in the old Autonomy Statute of 1948 it was provided with far-reaching legislative and executive powers in the new Autonomy Statute of 1972 most of these and the most important ones were transferred to the two autonomous provinces. After the Paris Agreement had been signed (on 5 September 1946) Italian politicians and interest groups tried to extend to the Trentino the self-determination provided in this bilateral treaty exclusively for South Tyrol. The Constituent Assembly in Rome (elected on 2 June 1946) adopted this point of view and on 27 July 1947 approved Article 116 of the new Constitution (which came into effect on 1 January 1948) which sanctioned the creation of the Autonomous Region Trentino - Tiroler Etschland (Trentino - Upper Adige).
As a result of this fundamental decision vigorously opposed by the South Tyrolese the Autonomy Statute provided for in the Paris Agreement (Constitutional Law n. 5 of 26 February 1948 in effect on 14 March 1948) broke down: the Region was provided with considerable powers the two Provinces with very few. For South Tyrol even these powers hardly had any effect as a result of which the South Tyrolese strove for a new Autonomy Statute. This aim after the intervention of the United Nations was achieved at the end of 1969 with the approval of the "Package" in which were contained amongst other things 97 measures modifying the old statute. These measures were approved with Constitutional Law n. 1 of 10 November 1971 (in effect on 20 January 1972) and together with the still valid provisions of the old statute form the new Autonomy Statute (the unified text of which was approved with Presidential Decree n. 670 of 31 August 1972).
With this reorganisation the Region was left with only modest powers. The new wording of the Statute limits the powers of the Region. It still retains primary legislative powers mainly in the sectors of the regulation of local bodies and the limits of their respective activities the regulation of regional offices and semi-regional bodies the establishment and maintenance of land registers fire services regulation of Chambers of Commerce the development of co-operatives and their supervision. With regard to secondary powers the Region can legislate in the sectors of regulation of the municipalities public welfare regulation of mortgage loan and agricultural credit institutions and savings and rural banks. In the sectors of national insurance and social security the Region can issue laws to supplement the laws of the State. The organs of the Region Trentino - Südtirol are: the Regional Assembly the Regional Government and the President of the Regional Government.
The Regional Assembly consists of the deputies of the provincial assemblies of Bozen (Bolzano) and Trento on the basis of the 1991 census each with 35 deputies. The Regional Assembly is elected for five years and its sittings take place in Trento in the first half of the legislative period and in Bozen (Bolzano) in the second half. The office of the President of the Regional Assembly and that of the Vice-President must be filled by deputies of the Italian and German linguistic group respectively in the first half of the legislative period and by deputies of the German and Italian linguistic group respectively in the second half. The Regional Assembly has the functions of issuing laws within the framework of the Region's powers and of monitoring the Regional Government.
At present the President of the Regional Assembly is Franco Tretter (PATT) and the Vice-President is Dr. Oskar Peterlini (SVP). The Regional Government consists of the President the two Vice-Presidents and the Assessors who are chosen by the Assembly from amongst its ranks. According to the Autonomy Statute the Regional Government must reflect the linguistic group composition of the legislative Assembly. Of the two Vice-Presidents one must come from the Italian linguistic group and the other from the German.
The President of the Regional Government has the tasks of administering with the Assessors matters lying within regional competence distributing responsibility for these matters amongst the Assessors publishing laws passed by the Regional Assembly convoking meetings of the Regional Government and chairing them and representing the Region in all matters.
On the basis of the Regional elections (i.e. the provincial elections in South Tyrol and Trento) of 21 November 1993 the following parties and groups are represented in the eleventh legislature: SVP (19 seats) DC (11) PATT (7) Lega Nord (7) MSI-DN (5) La Rete (4) PDS (3) Verdi-Grüne-Vërc (2) Union für Südtirol (2) Die Freiheitlichen (2) Alleanza Democratica (1) Alleanza per il Trentino (1) PSDI (1) Solidarietà (1) Lega Autonomia Trentino (1) Rifondazione Communista (1) Unione di Centro (1) Ladins (1). Subsequently the DC and the MSI-DN changed their names to the Partito Popolare and the Alleanza Nazionale respectively. The Regional Government is made up of a coalition between the SVP PATT and Partito Popolare. The President of the Regional Government is Dr. Tarcisio Grandi (PP); the two Vice-Presidents are Dr. Franz Pahl (SVP) with responsibility for the Special Agreement Trentino-Südtirol Tyrol and Vorarlberg for Credit Banks and for initiatives relating to the promotion of European integration and Francesco Moser (PATT) responsible for the development of Co-operatives. Other members of the Regional Government are: Sergio Casagranda (PATT) regulation of Chambers of Commerce; Nerio Giovanazzi (PP) regulation of local bodies; Alcide Holzer (PP) Finance regulation of Regional Offices and their personnel; Siegfried Messner (SVP) establishment and maintenance of Land Registers.
The Regional Government carries out the functions entrusted to it through the regional administrative structure of the Region which is divided as follows: Secretariat of the Regional Government (six directorates); Service Unit for Research and Linguistic Affairs (three directorates); the Audit Office (two directorates); Department I: Personnel (three directorates); Department II: Credit and Co-operatives (two directorates); Department III: Financial Affairs (five directorates); Department IV: Local Bodies and Social Affairs (four directorates); Department V: Land Registers together with Inspectorates in the Provinces of Bozen (Bolzano) and Trento. As of April 1994 about 800 employees are in the service of the Regional administration.