Italy’s Development and Cohesion Fund

Italy’s Development and Cohesion Fund

Italy’s Development and Cohesion Fund (Fondo per lo Sviluppo e la Coesione – FSC) is, together with the EU Structural Funds, the main financial instrument through which social, economic, and territorial cohesion policies and ad-hoc actions aimed at removing socio-economic imbalances are implemented pursuant to Article 119(5) of the Italian Constitution and Article 174 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The FSC has its origin in the national Fund for Underutilised Areas (FAS Fondo per le Aree Sottoutilizzate), established by the Financial Law for 2003 (Law No. 289 of 27 December 2002 – Articles 60-61) at the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Ministry of Productive Activities. Then, with Law No. 122 of 30 July 2010 (Article 7(26-27), the Fund management was entrusted to the President of the Council of Ministers, who avails himself/herself of the Cohesion Policy Department (DPCOEDipartimento per le Politiche di Coesione) established at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers pursuant to Prime Minister Decree dated 15 December 2014.

Via Legislative Decree No. 88 of 31 May 2011, FAS (Fund for Underutilised Areas) was renamed FSCFondo per lo Sviluppo e la Coesione (Development and Cohesion Fund) and was designed to provide programming and financial unity to the wide range of additional nationally-financed interventions aimed at socio-economic rebalancing across the Country. The FSC is multiannual in nature, in line with the programming cycle of EU’s Structural Funds, guaranteeing unity and complementarity of procedures for activating the related resources with those envisaged for EU funds. In particular, the Fund’s intervention is aimed at financing strategic projects (both infrastructural and intangible) of national, interregional and regional importance.

As per Article 61 of Law No. 289/2002 the FSC is to be allocated via special resolutions issued by CIPE (Interministerial committee for economic planning), subject to prior audit by the Court of Auditors (Corte dei Conti).

CIPE, now CIPESSInterministerial committee for economic planning and sustainable development, is in charge of coordinating national economic policy planning, as well as aligning Italy’s economic policy with EU policies (Legislative Decree No. 430/1997). CIPESS is called upon to define economic and international policy development lines at both national and EU level by identifying socio-economic development guidelines and priority objectives, and accordingly outlining development lines to achieve the pursued objectives.

Detailed information is available on the website of the Department for economic policy planning and coordination, with regard to:

Source: Department for Economic Policy Planning and Coordination

In order to simplify Development and Cohesion Fund governance, Article 44 of Decree-Law No. 34/2019 replaced the multiple instruments then available to draw on the Fund’s resources, with the Development and Cohesion Plan (Piano di Sviluppo e Coesione – PSC). Unitary coordination is thus guaranteed within each public administration in charge of operational plans, as well as acceleration of interventions expenditure.

Following the discussion within the special governing body (Cabina di Regia) between the State bodies and those of the administrations representing Italian Regions and Autonomous Provinces of Trento and Bolzano, the Territorial Cohesion Agency is to draw up a Development and Cohesion Plan (broken down by thematic areas) for each administration in charge of managing resources, in line with the set territorial allocation constraints applying the 80% distribution key for Southern regions and 20% for Central-Northern regions, respectively. The Development and Cohesion Plan of each administration must be approved by CIPESS, upon proposal from the Minister for Southern Italy and Territorial Cohesion.

Guidelines for definition of Management and Control Systems for Development and Cohesion Plans

For more information, read the dedicated page on the website of the Minister for Southern Italy and Territorial Cohesion.