Rome, Lazio (I), 4 October 2013
Rome was today at the frontline of the European debate. More than 600 high level representatives from European Institutions, Italian national and regional authorities, companies, associations and think tanks came together to discuss the upcoming 2014-2020 EU structural funds. The main goal of this conference was to better understand the new structure for the next programming period and what policies have to be implemented in order to avoid past mistakes, and in particular the Italian relatively low absorption rate.
Key speakers: Gianni Pitella, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Fabrizio Barca, ex-Italian Minister for Territorial Cohesion, Silvia Costa, Italian MEP, Fiorenzo Belleli, Warrant Group President, Antonio Tajani, Vice- President of the European Commission…
On behalf of the Assembly of European Regions (AER), Giovanni Chiodi, President of the Abruzzo Region, took the floor to present and defend the regional cause.
New Italian National Agency for Territorial Cohesion
On 26 August 2013, the Italian national government decided to create a new agency for territorial cohesion. This agency will provide technical support in order to implement the European funds in Italy. “We have dragged this problem for a long time and the next seven-year period will perhaps be the last of the EU as we know it; we should not miss this opportunity. We have to be as efficient as possible”, explained Enrico Lett, Italian Prime-minister during the 26/08/2013 press conference.
In this context, will the Italian regions lose important competences?
Gianni Pitella, Vice-President of the European Parliament, “There are two main problems in Europe and especially in Italy: the funds that are spent and the money that we receive. To solve this issue, we have to better coordinate the work between the State and our Regions, in order to better spend all the funds at our disposal and avoid scandalous projects financed by the Structural funds for projects that are not at all structural for our country!”
Fabrizio Barca, ex-Italian Minister for Territorial Cohesion, explained that Italy has always spent the funds with delay. In this cycle, 2007-2013, it has been worse even if we have to take into account the crisis.
Assembly of European Regions’ appeal
“Regions confirm the will to work in a common national strategy but this has to be coordinated with the regional and local authorities. We cannot forget the regional policies that are boosting the Italian development: we can and are already sharing the funds with other Italian regions” said Giovanni Chiodi, President of the Abruzzo Region and AER representative. “I would like to underline that the national State has to take into account the regional authorities. If you take away our competences and transfer them to a national entity, you have to be aware that you will worsen the situation, instead of solving it! Don’t forget that regions are closer to the citizens and we better know the problems that they are facing”.
An interview with Mr. Chiodi will be available soon on AERegions youtube channel.
Position paper on the Common Strategic Framework 2014-2020
Reichardt report on Information and access to European funding
Euractiv is an online media dedicated to EU news and policy debates, providing information on EU affairs to more than 675 000 readers in 15 languages. In addition to news reporting, Euractiv differentiates itself from other EU specialized media by providing upstream reporting of EU-policy proposals, becoming a monitoring tool that allows interested actors to follow policies from the pre-legislative phase to their implementation, and mapping the positions of all stakeholders.
The Assembly of European Regions (AER – aer.eu) is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe. Bringing nearly 230 regions from 35 countries and 15 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional co-operation.
For more information: [email protected]