Italian society abounds with organizations of every description. Many of these are associated with or controlled by political parties, which have their ideological counterparts in labor organizations, agricultural associations, cultural groups, sports clubs, and cooperatives. Among the most important organizations are the National Confederation of Smallholders and the General Confederation of Italian Industry, which strongly influences economic policy. The General Confederation of Agriculture, the General Confederation of Trade, and the General Confederation of Master Craftsmen also are influential. There are chambers of commerce in most major cities. Catholic Action and the Catholic Association of Italian Workers are the most prominent of the religious organizations.
A number of political and religious organizations sponsor youth chapters. Scouting programs and chapters of the YMCA/YWCA are also active for youth. National women's organizations include the National Italian Women's Council, the Italian Association for Women in Development, and the Italian Women's Center, based in Rome.
International organizations within the country include Amnesty International and the Red Cross.