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The Territorial Cohesion Agency: English Corner


The Territorial Cohesion Agency

Leaflet

In order to ensure successful accomplishment of the purposes set out in Article 119(5) of Italy’s Constitution, the Territorial Cohesion Agency promotes economic and social development of Italian territories by: strengthening Cohesion Policy programming, coordination, monitoring, and support actions; supervising and accompanying the implementation of programmes and projects; and enhancing interinstitutional cooperation and strategic partnerships between the parties involved, so as to bridge territorial gaps across the Country.


Mission

The Territorial Cohesion Agency is a national public agency under direct supervision of the President of the Council of Ministers.

The Agency promotes economic development and cohesion, enhancing interinstitutional cooperation and strategic partnerships between the parties involved, so as to bridge territorial gaps across the Country and strengthen the administrative capacity of public entities.

In compliance with this mission, the Agency is committed to providing support for implementation of EU and national programmes through accompanying actions addressed to central and regional governments in charge of OPs and to their related beneficiary entities, notably at local level.

The Agency is first and foremost an ally of central, regional and local authorities in implementing Cohesion Policy, central pillar of both European and national policy.

The actions undertaken by the Agency always focus on citizens, enterprises and local authorities. The commitments and ethical responsibilities ensured in performing its institutional activities are laid down in the Agency’s Code of Conduct and Charter of Values.

Values

Professionalism and innovation

The Agency undertakes to enhance funds accessibility, via method and process innovation, research and experimentation within specific programmes and projects, and sharing its professionalism and know-how with the public administrations involved.

Simplification

The Agency’s action is aimed at promoting timely implementation and communication of achieved results. To such end, the Agency actively supports models based on mutual trust between EU institutions, the Italian State, and the other administrations in charge of Operational Programmes, as well as interpretation and sharing of information with all project parties.

Impartiality and integrity

The Agency carries out its administrative action in compliance with the principles of impartiality and integrity, with primary focus on the areas exposed to higher risks of corruption, e.g. inspection and evaluation of projects funded by the Agency.

Transparency

The Agency ensures context-sensitive, comprehensive and comprehensible information, enabling all Cohesion Policy actors to make informed decisions within their specific tasks and responsibilities, best manage their interactions with the Agency, and verify consistency between the objectives pursued and the results achieved. Similarly, the Agency’s employees and collaborators taking part in its institutional mission are called to adopt transparency-inspired behaviours.

Efficiency

In performing its institutional activities, the Agency pays utmost attention to the economic resources used, while ensuring suitable quality standards of services. In programming, implementing and monitoring the projects funded by the Agency, its employees and collaborators always perform responsibly so as to attain the pursued objectives in compliance with the pre-established terms and timetables, aware of their commitment to the community.

Effectiveness

The employees and collaborators of the Agency implement and steer their activities with a view to enhancing the quality, timeliness and effectiveness of funded projects, whether implemented directly by the Agency or through public administrations benefiting of its support.

Fairness and integrity

The Agency’s activity constantly complies with current laws in force, professional ethics and internal regulations.

Honesty and loyalty

The Agency’s employees and collaborators implement and steer their activities responsibly, honestly and loyally, refraining from pursuing personal gain.

Ethics in external and internal relations

All parties, employees and collaborators of the Agency undertake to ensure ethical, dignified, respectful and correct conducts, within all relations with internal and external stakeholders, on all public and private occasions.

Respect for persons

The Agency ensures respect for persons and their dignity, counters all forms of discrimination, and promotes intellectual and moral honesty, dignity, fairness and loyalty within the personal and professional relationships of all employees and collaborators in all and any activity performed.

Strategy

Cohesion Policy inherent challenge lies in fulfilling, and possibly anticipating, the development needs of territories in order to create valuable structural conditions to improve the quality of life of citizens.

To such end, the Territorial Cohesion Agency developed a working method relying on constant dialogue with territories, within a centre-periphery interaction based on a virtuous cycle of co-designing, setting, ongoing verification and reshaping of objectives. Whereby deemed necessary, the Agency may activate spending acceleration measures and establish ad-hoc task forces to support programmes showing implementation delays.

Accompanying, monitoring and verification measures are carried out by the Agency to promptly respond to any critical issues, and identify, promote and support qualified and coherent planning.

The Territorial Cohesion Agency operates to ensure that the objectives and aims pursued by the programmes financed with European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds match citizens and enterprises’ lives and capabilities. As such, all national or regional programmes or plans, territorial pacts, and/or smart specialisation policies are consistent with fair and sustainable development macro-objectives identified both by the Europe 2020 Strategy (EU programme for growth and employment for the current decade) and by the UN Agenda 2030, outlined in its 17 SDGs.

Major attention is paid to rural areas, and regions experiencing industrial transition and/or suffering from serious and permanent natural or demographic handicaps. The ad-hoc strategic measures undertaken include: the National Strategy for “Inner Areas”Development Pacts, and the National Smart Specialisation Strategy.

In line with the 2014-2020 programming, the Agency ensures a systemic vision of all the funds. As such, the ESF (European Social Fund), the ERDF (European Fund for Regional Development), and the EAFRD (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development) should all be read with a view to complementarity rather than as the mere sum of interventions implemented within the same regions. This means breaking the silos of sectoral policies to see the whole set of interventions and focus on the final objectives pursued and the territories addressed, rather than merely concentrate on the tools employed.


Organisational Chart

Pursuant to Art. 4 of the Territorial Cohesion Agency’s Organisational Regulation (as per Decree issued by the President of the Council of Ministers on 7 August 2015), the Agency is broken down into two senior-director level Areas and 19 Offices (director level), of which 5 Offices directly supporting the Director General of the Agency – two operating as Managing Authorities of the National Operational Programmes managed by the Agency (“Governance e Capacità Istituzionale”; and “Città Metropolitane”). The two senior-director Areas are named, respectively, “Programmes and Procedures”, and “Projects and Instruments”

Decree No. 47 issued by the Director General of the Territorial Cohesion Agency on 15 October 2015 – Regulation on director-level offices

Organisational chart of the Territorial Cohesion Agency as updated in November 2018


The Director General

The Director General is the legal representative of the Territorial Cohesion Agency, in charge of managing and implementing the objectives set out in the guidance and planning documents issued by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers (or by the political authority, whereby delegated). In particular, the Director General takes care of relations and liaising with national, European and international institutions and public administrations, as well as regional authorities and local autonomies, in harmony with the purposes and guidelines set out in Articles 1 and 2 of the Agency’s Statute. By 31 January each year, following consultation with the Agency’s Steering Committee, the Director General submits to the President of the Council of Ministers a three-year plan updated on an annual basis, laying down the objectives, expected results, scope, and terms/conditions of the funds to be entrusted to the Agency. The three-year plan furthermore sets out service enhancement strategies, management result analysis devices, and procedures for notifying the President of the Council of Ministers (or the political authority, whereby delegated) of Agency’s internal management issues (organisation, processes, use of resources). Defined via an ad-hoc covenant between the President of the Council of Ministers (or the political authority, whereby delegated) and the Director General of the Agency, the plan is notified on the occasion of the “Permanent Conference for relationship between the State, the Regions, and the Autonomous Provinces of Trento and Bolzano”. The Director General is also in charge of all the Agency’s tasks that are not expressly entrusted to other bodies by law provisions and by the Agency’s Statute. In detail, the Director General:

    • Chairs the Steering Committee
    • Adopts plans and programmes required to attain the objectives set in the covenant, following consultation with the Steering Committee
    • Adopts and submits for approval to the President of the Council of Ministers (or the political authority, whereby delegated) the regulations and general provisions that govern the Agency’s operational activity, after consulting the Steering Committee
    • Submits to the President of the Council of Ministers (or the political authority, whereby delegated) a six-monthly report on the activities performed by the Agency and, in particular, on the three-year plan implementation progress
    • Sets up the economic budgets and balance sheets of the Agency, after consulting the Steering Committee, and transmits them to the President of the Council of Ministers (or the political authority, whereby delegated) for approval, following consultation with the Ministry of Economy and Finance
    • Compliantly with current legislation and collective agreements, appoints senior officials and assigns their respective roles, responsibilities, and remit offices
    • Puts in place management documents, and exercises spending and revenue acquisition powers, without prejudice to senior officials’ remit.

Decree of Appointment No. 273/2020
Curriculum Vitae CV

Contacts:

E-mail: dg.segreteria@agenziacoesione.gov.it

PEC (certified e-mail account): director.generale@pec.agenziacoesione.gov.it


The Minister for Southern Italy and Territorial Cohesion

The Minister for Southern Italy and Territorial Cohesion is entrusted with coordination, direction, and promotion of regulatory, supervisory and assessment initiatives to implement territorial cohesion policies and actions aimed at developing the Mezzogiorno region.


National Strategy for Inner Areas

Italy’s National Strategy for “Inner Areas” (SNAI – Strategia Nazionale Aree Interne) promotes sustainable territorial competitiveness to counter, in the medium term, the demographic decline hitting “Inner Areas” across the Country. The Strategy aims to create new income opportunities, enhance territories maintenance, and ensure that “Inner Areas” inhabitants have access to essential services (local public transport, education, social and healthcare services).

The SNAI is supported by European funds (ERDF, ESF, and EAFRD), for co-financing of local development projects, and by national resources. “Inner Areas” (stretching over 60% of the national territory and hosting 7.6% of the Italian population) were selected through a public scrutiny procedure by all the central Administrations composing the National Committee for “Inner Areas” and by the relevant Regions and/or Autonomous Provinces. Governance is entrusted to an ad-hoc Technical Committee (CTAI – Comitato Tecnico Aree Interne), coordinated by the Cohesion Policy Department at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.

The National Strategy has so far benefited of the following allocations: €90 million pursuant to Stability Law 2014, plus €90 million for 2015-2017 pursuant to Stability Law 2015, and an additional €10 million for 2016-2018 pursuant to Stability Law 2016. As per Budget Law 2018 (Law No. 205/2017, Art. 1(895-896), the National Strategy for “Inner Areas” was further allocated a total of €91.2 million, of which €30 million for 2019, €30 million for 2020, and €31.18 million for 2021, respectively.


Development Pacts

*page in progress*

The legislation converting Italy’s “Decreto Crescita” (Growth Decree) into Law (Law No. 58 dated 28 June 2019 converting Decree-Law No. 34 dated 30 April 2019) joins all the Programmes financed by Italy’s Development and Cohesion Fund (FSC) into a single Development and Cohesion Plan for each Administration involved.

Art. 44 of the aforesaid Decree establishes that the wide array of programming documents of each central Administration, Region or Metropolitan City holding resources from the Development and Cohesion Fund be reorganised by the Territorial Cohesion Agency (in agreement with the Administrations concerned) within a single Operational Plan.

Upon proposal by the Minister for Southern Italy and Territorial Cohesion, the Plans are submitted to Italy’s Interministerial Committee for Economic Planning (CIPE), to be approved within four months from the entry into force of the “Growth Decree”.

The Development Pacts, previously known as “Pacts for the South”, are an inter-institutional territorial cooperation instrument for implementing interventions in the Regions and Metropolitan Cities of Southern Italy.

Undersigned by Italy’s President of the Council of Ministers (or delegated Authority for cohesion) and by the President of the Region or Mayor of the Metropolitan City concerned, Development Pacts define the strategic lines for territorial development, outlining the tools and resources available and the priority interventions to be implemented.

The unified Pact relies on all available resources from NOPs and ROPs financed by Structural Funds 2007-2013 and 2014-2020, and from the Development and Cohesion Fund 2007-2013 and 2014-2020, as well as any further ad-hoc funding.

To date, 21 Development Pacts have been signed in Italy, one for each of the 10 Regions (Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Lazio, Lombardy, Molise, Apulia, Sardinia, Sicily) and 11 Metropolitan Cities (Bari, Cagliari, Catania, Florence, Genoa, Messina, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Reggio Calabria, Venice) involved.

Via Resolution No. 26 dated 10 August 2016, CIPE allocated €13,412 million from FSC 2014-2020 to implement these interventions.

The Territorial Cohesion Agency has helped coordinate (through relevant Steering Committees Chairs) the investment initiatives defined by the Government, in agreement with regional and local Administrations, to ensure implementation of interventions both in Southern Regions and in the rest of the Country.

By means of Development Pacts, the Government, the Regions, and the Metropolitan Cities involved have made their respective commitments converge on a number of priority objectives, setting the related time schedules and defining the investment methods.

To speed up investments in accordance with relevant monitoring data, a detailed survey has been launched to assess the progress made within the Pacts and identify reprogrammable resources.

USEFUL LINKS

Communication Plan

Decreto Crescita” (Growth Decree) – Law No. 58 of 28 June 2019, converting Decree-Law No. 34 of 30 April 2019

Directive of the President of the Council of Ministers – Guidelines on planning and organisation of the Interministerial Committee for Economic Planning (CIPE) work for public investment relaunch

Further information on Development Pacts


National Smart Specialisation Strategy

The National Smart Specialisation Strategy (SNSI) is an ex-ante conditionality to implement R&I investments, an absolute novelty in Italy, and an unprecedented opportunity to rely on a R&I policy based on participatory governance. The SNSI enhances the interrelationships between public Administrations, research, industry and civil society.

The Strategic Plans (approved by the FSC governing body and subsequently determined by CIPE) enable integrating Cohesion Policy resources available at national and regional level, by promoting actions jointly funded by the ERDF, ESF, EAFRD, and FSC. Regional resources are mobilised through multi-regional plans approved by the “Conference of Regions and Autonomous Provinces”.



Cohesion Policy 2014-2020 in Italy

The 2007-2013 implementation ended successfully in March 2017 with total absorption of the EU resources assigned to Italy (approximately 27.9 billion euro), thanks to relevant innovative interventions on Cohesion Policy institutional governance and flexibility solutions at EU level.

For the 2014-2020 programming, the European Union assigned over 46.4 billion euro to Italy (of which 33.6 billion euro earmarked to Structural Funds), Italy being the second beneficiary Member State after Poland.

EU resources are then integrated with national resources from the Development and Cohesion Fund, aimed at economic and social rebalancing actions. The resources allocated for the 2014-2020 programming amount to approx. 54.8 billion euro, 80% of which for southern regions and 20% for central-northern regions, respectively.

These resources are additional – namely, they do not replace ordinary expenses borne by State budget and decentralised entities in line with the analogous criterion of additionality provided for EU Structural Funds.

These resources are complemented with other national co-financing funds and resources allocated for complementary programmes. Overall Cohesion Policy resources in Italy amount to over 140 billion euro.

The strategic framework and thematic objectives underlying 2014-2020 interventions are defined in the Partnership Agreement with the European Commission dated 29 October 2014. The Agreement was amended via Implementing Decision C(2018)598 final (dated 8 February 2018) to acknowledge the greater EU resources assigned to Italy compared to 2014 allocations, as a result of the technical adjustment of the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework linked to gross national income evolution.

During 2016, all the 2014-2020 Operational Programmes co-financed with ERDF and ESF resources entered their implementation phase. Furthermore, within the European Territorial Cooperation objective 2014-2020, Italy participates in 19 territorial cooperation programmes, ten of which under Italian Management Authorities.

For further information on 2007-2013 programming: 2007-2013 programming.

For further information on 2000-2006 programming: 2000-2006 programming.

The actors

The need to strengthen administrative capacity in the management of EU funds called for a new institutional governance framework on Cohesion Policy, which entrusts the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and the Territorial Cohesion Agency with programming, coordinating, supervising and accompanying Cohesion Policy in Italy.

Besides the Agency, several institutional entities operate in the new framework, namely the Cohesion Policy Department, two technical Units for evaluation, an ad-hoc governing body, the Cohesion Action Group, DIPE (economic policy programming and coordination department), and the Inspectorate General for Financial Relations with the European Union – IGRUE (the sole accounting centre for management of all resources).

Operational Programmes are entrusted to Management Authorities (MAs), which may delegate some tasks to intermediate bodies – the State may exercise this function for some specific NOPs. The MAs are aided by Certifying Authorities (CAs) and Audit Authorities (AAs).

The body in charge of implementing operations financed by Italy’s FSC (Development and Cohesion Fund) and accomplishing their concrete execution is referred to as “Implementing Body” (public or private), which may coincide with the Managing Authority.

Actors and Bodies

      • Minister for Southern Italy and Territorial Cohesion
      • Cohesion Policy Department
      • Governing Body
      • DIPE (economic policy programming and coordination department)
      • Cohesion Action Group
      • Inspectorate General for Financial Relations with the European Union (IGRUE)
      • Managing Authority
      • Certifying Authority
      • Audit Authority
      • Intermediate Bodies

Useful links 

• Minister for Southern Italy and Territorial Cohesion
• Cohesion Policy Department
• Governing Body
• DIPE (economic policy programming and coordination department)
• Cohesion Action Group
• Inspectorate General for Financial Relations with the European Union (IGRUE)
• Managing Authority
• Certifying Authority
• Audit Authority
• Intermediate Bodies
• Department for Regional Affairs