National strategy for confiscated assets rehabilitation through Cohesion Policy

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A modern anti-mafia policy requires concentrating efforts not only on repressing specific individuals but, even before that, on countering their assets and properties. A central role must undoubtedly be assigned to the system for management and destination of confiscated assets and properties, required to prove more adequately efficient to reaffirm legality and foster development in territories affected by mafia crime“.

The above conclusions were issued by the Anti-Mafia Commission (a.k.a. Garofoli Commission) established with Prime Minister Decree dated 7 June 2013, as the assets seized and confiscated had by then reached such an economic-financial dimension as to require multiple interventions and inter-institutional cooperation for their recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration into the legal circuit notwithstanding fragmentation, dispersion of competencies, and absence of a single-minded direction. The initiatives undertaken, coupled with widespread awareness that confiscation and rehabilitation of confiscated assets is of key importance to combat organised crime, resulted in a decisive action for national coordination, direction and surveillance of multiple public initiatives. The action originates from several National Reform Programmes attached to Italy’s Economic and Financial Documents as from 2014. The Partnership Agreement, moreover, underlines that definitively confiscated properties become public, hence their recovery, rehabilitation and management may fully rely on Cohesion Policy. Furthermore the use of confiscated property reaffirms the principle of legality.

The Strategy was devised to operationally address these shortcomings, as per para. 611 of Art. 1 of the Budget Law for 2017, which requires its drafting and approval by Italy’s Interministerial Committee for Economic Planning (CIPE). The document, which is the result of complex interinstitutional work conducted by the Cohesion Policy Department at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the National Agency for Administration and Destination of Assets Seized and Confiscated from Organised Crime, and the Territorial Cohesion Agency, involved major central and regional administrations in the rehabilitation process, resulting in CIPE approval Decision No. 53/2018, which outlines the governance and control mechanisms and transposes all the recommendations issued by the Standing Conference for relations between the State, the Regions, and the Autonomous Provinces of Trento and Bolzano, within preliminary agreement for approval. The Governance Table recommended devising a plan for rehabilitation of exemplary confiscated assets in Southern Italy. CIPE approved the recommendation and assigned a definitively confiscated asset assessed as “exemplary” to a public consortium.