The article discusses the role of technocrats in contemporary western democracies. Although Italy is one of few cases with recurrent experiences of fully technocratic governments, the role of technocrats has increased in all European democracies, in particular in Eurozone countries. Europeanization and monetary integration have led to a decline of traditional party governments due to their inability to deal with the complex issues of transnational and supranational interdependency. In a regular democracy, a party government cannot be substituted by a technocratic one, yet the former is no longer able to act effectively without the support of technocratic personnel (particularly in economic ministries). An appropriate combination of technocratic policy competence and political capacity to generate consent is far from having been achieved.
Keywords: Systems of Government; Technical Government; Technical experts at Government; Monetary integration; Institutional transformation