Who we are

CONFCOMMERCIO-Imprese per l'Italia, Italian General Confederation of Enterprises, Professions and Self-Employment, is the largest business association in Italy.

Confcommercio-Imprese per l'Italia was established for this very reason: to give voice to people and enterprises, which today count more than 700,000, with almost 2,700,000 employees, making it the largest business association in Italy. With its well-developed and extensive network of associations, divided by region, profession and industry, Confcommercio protects and represents its members in dealings with institutions, promoting the role of market services, which is, within a services economy, with a contribution of 41% of added value and 43.7% of employment in Italy, the real engine of national economy.

Four areas that Confcommercio-Imprese per l'Italia represents


From the small neighbourhood business to franchising networks, to media and large-scale retail operations, Confcommercio-Imprese per l'Italia represents enterprises of all sizes operating in different commerce sectors and along the whole distribution chain


The Confederation groups hotels, public establishments, travel agencies, tour operators, incentive services, camp sites, tourist villages, tourism-hotel residences, time-shares, bed & breakfasts, youth hostels, beach resorts, night clubs, marinas and boat hire enterprises and meeting planners. They are coordinated by Confturismo.


This area groups services for enterprises (including those providing advertising, ICT and consultancy services), services for people (from sports activities to insurance agents) and professional activities.


Confcommercio-Imprese per l'Italia dedicates particular attention to the transport and infrastructure sector. Its members include Italy's leading road haulage, shipping and logistics enterprises, which are coordinated by Conftrasporto, as well as port, rail and automotive enterprises.

Given the diversity of their size, partners and fields of operation, Confcommercio-Imprese per l'Italia has the growth opportunities facing its members at the heart. Its activities are based on the principles of transparency, consensus, pluralism, social responsibility for business activities and subsidiarity. In addition, it is committed to working towards greater fiscal equity, simplifying the administrative system and reducing bureaucratic procedures, guaranteeing safety and legality, ensuring easier access to credit, boosting innovation, productivity and the opening of markets. All this to reach its overriding target: growth for its member enterprises, and, with it, economic growth for the country as a whole.

From 1945 to the present

A history made up of many stories

The Presidents of Confcommercio from 1945 to the present

1946-1951 Amato Festi
1951-1956 Giovanni Maria Solari
1956-1971 Sergio Casaltoli
1971-1986 Giuseppe Orlando
1987-1995 Francesco Colucci
1995-2005 Sergio Billè
Since 2006 Carlo Sangalli

Confcommercio was established in Rome on 29 April 1945 by a group of free provincial shopkeepers associations from Central-Southern Italy and some professional associations.

At an assembly held the following year, northern associations joined the federation, and its first president was appointed.

In 1949, the remaining provincial associations joined the Confederation.

In the 1950s, foreign commerce and tourism became increasingly well represented by the Confederation, which in 1961 thus changed its name to Italian General Confederation of Commerce and Tourism.

The most significant events affecting Confcommercio in the 1960s and 1970s included the creation of social agency Enasco, an organisation providing services and assistance to shopkeepers, and the passing of Law 426 of 1971 on governing commerce sector.

The importance of European politics also grew during this period, and in 1981, the Confederation opened a representative office in Brussels.

This period also saw the launch of the BIT (Borsa Internazionale del Turismo – International Tourism Exchange), today the largest commerce fair in the tourism sector, created by Confcommercio, which made its debut in 1981. The Confederation's activity in the following years, which targeted growth in the area it represents, led to the recognition of the importance of the tertiary sector within the national economy. Consistent with this process, at the end of the 1980s, the Confederation adopted the new name of the Italian General Confederation of Commerce, Tourism and Services.

During this period and in the following decade, Confcommercio's commitment to issues of particular importance to its member enterprises and the national economy increased. These issues included taxes, the South of Italy, crime, the adoption of the euro and labour market reform, and were often tackled with the launch of important national initiatives promoted by the Confederation.

In 1993, Confcommercio was among the founding partners of Eurocommerce, the European association of retail and wholesale international trade.

In 1995, the Confederation celebrated its 50th anniversary with a series of nationwide events and initiatives, and a few years later, in 1998, Italy's Parliament approved Legislative Decree 114 – known as the "Bersani reform" – which launched the process of commerce sector reform.

In 1999, Confcommercio held the first edition of the Cernobbio Forum, which was to become one of the key dates in the Confederation's calendar on economic and social issues.

In 2000, Confcommercio created Confturismo, an organisation representing the tourism sector, with the objective of strengthening the unified representation of tourism enterprises and optimising the sector's strategic role in Italy's economic growth. Subsequently, Conftrasporto, the organisation that represents transport, shipping and logistics enterprises, joined Confcommercio.

In more recent years, the continued strengthening of the unions' role in the Confederation has gone hand in hand with the increasingly marked swing of the Italian economy towards the tertiary sector.

The need also grew to boost the unified representation of small and medium-sized enterprises, which in 2006, together with Casartigiani, CNA, Confartigianato and Confesercenti, led to the "Capranica Pact", which coordinated the five main associations representing these enterprises.

In 2009, the Confederation reformed its by-laws with a view to strengthening its mission as the unified representative of member enterprises and launching a significant organisational restructuring process. It changed its logo and extended its name, which became "Confcommercio – Imprese per l'Italia", Italian General Confederation of Enterprises, Professions and Self-Employment. This process has subsequently continued, with the objective of modernising Confcommercio's organisational structure, optimising its regional levels and promoting sector federations. In May 2010, the work of the "Capranica Pact" culminated in the establishment of "Rete Imprese Italia", an organisation coordinating tertiary enterprise activities and artisans.

In recent years, the activity of Confcommercio has been focused on "strong" union issues – such as taxes, consumption, work, infrastructure and legal issues – strengthening the Confederation's mission of representing Italian enterprises and increasing the role of the services sector in social dialogue and economic policy decisions.

What we Do

An organisation serving enterprises

All enterprises, small, medium-sized and large.

Which Confcommercio-Imprese per l'Italia represents, supports and accompanies along the path of innovation, growth and development.

Representation and institutional activity

Confcommercio-Imprese per l'Italia conducts three institutional activities: its signs national contracts in the tertiary, distribution and services, tourism, transport and logistics sectors, and other important collective bargaining agreements, which, in total, apply to almost five million workers; it protects and represents the economic and social interests of enterprises and entrepreneurs in dealings with institutions, political and economic organisations and trade unions; it promotes important management and professional training initiatives, technical assistance to enterprises, complementary social security and integrated healthcare tools covering more than 1.5 million workers, and credit consortia to facilitate access to credit.

In spring 2013, Confcommercio-Imprese per l'Italia established UNITER Srl, the first agency for enterprises accredited by the Italian Ministry for Economic Development to issue declarations of compliance for the start of new economic activities.

Confcommercio-Imprese per l'Italia is present through its representatives in national entities and organisations (including Censis, Cnel, Enasarco, Inail, Inps and Istat), in the network of Chambers of Commerce and on numerous ministerial steering committees.

At European level, the Confederation operates through its delegation to the European Union, its membership of Eurocommerce and its institutional presence in the EESC (European and Economic Social Committee). Through the Enterprise Europe Network, a structure coordinated by the Enterprise and Industry DG of the European Commission, the Confederation also supports European businesses by fostering international expansion and innovation.

Services and agreements

Through the various levels of its organisation, Confcommercio-Imprese per l'Italia provides members with assistance and support in strategic areas for the management and development of business activities: advice on organisational, legal, labour and collective bargaining issues, social security, safety at work and union and tax assistance; fiscal services; quality certification.

It also provides specialist support on social security issues through 50&Più Enasco, and in the field of credit through Federascomfidi, the association that groups the Confederation's credit consortia.

Furthermore, thanks to special agreements with leading companies in the fields of banking, insurance, telecommunications, goods and other vehicles, ICT services, transport and energy, Confcommercio-Imprese per l'Italia offers its members access to a range of efficient and cost-effective services to support their operations.

The Confcommercio network

A well-developed and extensive network of associations

Confcommercio-Imprese per l'Italia is present across Italy through an extensive network of associations, divided by region (provincial associations and regional unions), and at profession and sector level.

This structure enables Confcommercio-Imprese per l'Italia to respond to the specific needs of the business world, promoting a business culture based on the spirit of association, relationship and cooperation.

Furthermore, Confcommercio-Imprese per l'Italia has two organisations operating at national level in the sectors it represents dedicated to young people and women in business respectively: the Young Entrepreneur Association (Gruppo Giovani Imprenditori) and Women and the Tertiary Sector (Terziario Donna). These are two important components, not only within the network of associations, but also in Italy's economic and social fabric as a whole.

The Confederation has also developed a contractual welfare system for employees and executives, particularly in relation to training and professional qualifications, healthcare services and supplementary benefits:

  • Cfmt, Tertiary management training centre (www.cfmt.it)
  • Ebinter, National bilateral agency for the tertiary sector (www.ebinter.it)
  • Fasdac, Healthcare fund for senior managers of commerce enterprises (www.fasdac.it)
  • Fon.Te., Complementary pension fund for tertiary sector workers (www.fondofonte.it)
  • Fondir, Joint interprofessional fund for the continuous training of senior managers in the tertiary sector (www.fondir.it)
  • Fondo Est, Supplementary healthcare agency for commerce, tourism and services and related sectors (www.fondoest.it)
  • Fondo Mario Negri, Social security fund for senior managers of commerce, shipping and transport enterprises (www.fondonegri.it)
  • For.Te., Joint interprofessional fund for the continuous training of employees in the tertiary sector (www.forte.it)
  • Quadrifor, Bilateral agency for the development of training of middle managers in the tertiary sector (www.quadrifor.it)
  • Quas, Healthcare assistance fund for middle managers (www.quas.it)


Representation in European institutions
Delegation to the European Union
Avenue Marnix, 30 – 1000 BRUSSELS (Belgium) Tel. +32 (0)2 2896230 – Fax +32 (0)2 2896235
http://bruxelles.confcommercio.eu/ - delegazione@confcommercio.eu