"Concertazione" was for many decades at the very hardt of Italy's political process. It worked in the way that the government never took any decision regarding taxation, welfare etc. without having installed "round tables" with the organized interest groups, like the trade unions or the industrialist federation Confindustria. That was the place, were the outcome of the measurements was negotiated.
Be sure: this method had many negative effects and only few positives. At the price of a (quite doubtful) social peace real reforms were not done. The few ones, that were done, were terribly diluted. And it has always slowed down the process of political decision making. It was very expensive, having led Italy to a total public debt of currently 120% of GDP, before Geeece the worst in Europe. Last but not least it has helped to swell up the lobbies, overall in terms of power.
This bad habit will be the main issue for the new Italian government under Prime Minister Mario Monti. Today the trade unions have started to criticise Monti's envisaged pension reform. He should at least listen to us, they argue, but they mean, he should dilute the plans and he should take more time. In this phase, in which the new government has to build up his credibility in front of the international communities, the markets but also the Italians, this "recommendations" are lethal. Monti should notlisten to it. He has to do the deep structural reforms, that Berlusconi was never able to do, with determination and speed. Now.
The only place to go in order to do this is the parliament, not the "round tables". Mario, destroy the concertazione!