26 April 2021
The National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) approved by the Council of Ministers allocates an impressive amount of funds to Southern Italian Regions: approximately EUR 82 billion, namely 40% of all the resources having a specific territorial destination. The Plan's explicit aim is to "accompany a new season of convergence between Southern and Central-Northern Regions, to address a historic issue in Italy’s development."
This is not a ceiling, it is rather a starting point: if Southern Regions are able to exploit this opportunity, the 40% quota can only grow. The reforms to enhance public administrations and accelerate the investments set out in the Plan have a significant impact on Southern Italy and contribute to a more effective use of all the funds, not only those allocated in the PNRR on a competitive basis (e.g. the building renovation superbonus, a.k.a. “superbonus edilizio”) but also the new funds scheduled for this year and in some cases envisaged till 2030.
Another eagerly-awaited reform, aimed at guaranteeing effective respect of citizenship rights for Southern Italian populations, concerns the definition of essential levels of benefit (so-called LEP) relating to personal services such as day-care nurseries. An action plan against undeclared work and investments for re-use of confiscated mafia assets are envisaged to strengthen public housing, regenerate urban areas, and improve socio-cultural and local services. Below the main objectives pursued by each of the missions to be implemented in Southern Italy.
Mission 1: Impact on SMEs productivity and improve connectivity in rural and so-called inner areas.
Mission 2: Improve waste management and reduce the high dispersion of water resources.
Mission 3: Strengthen infrastructures, starting with high-speed railway services (Salerno-Reggio Calabria, Naples-Bari, Palermo-Catania-Messina and Taranto-Potenza Battipaglia routes) as well as inter-modality and integrated logistics.
Mission 4: Enhance the presence of day-care nurseries and kindergartens, upgrade and modernise school buildings, combat school drop-outs and educational poverty, create new centres of research excellence through innovation ecosystems.
Mission 5: Consolidate essential services (starting with social and healthcare services) and close the connectivity and digitalisation gap in marginal areas; reform and strengthen infrastructures within SEZs.
Mission 6: Bridge the gaps between the different regional healthcare systems, through reorganised policies and investments based on identified needs.