Freezing of cohesion funding and its redirection to Italy’s NRPP
Question for written answer E-001556/2023
to the Commission
Piernicola Pedicini (Verts/ALE)
Italy was allocated EUR 126 billion within the framework of the cohesion policy for the period 2014-2020 – 75 % of which was earmarked for southern Italy (Il Mezzogiorno). The Italian Government has yet to spend around 70 % of its allocation, and is instead freezing it with a view to redirecting it to other projects that were to be financed under the NRPP, but which will overshoot their 2026 expenditure deadline owing to complications and inefficiency. Diverting cohesion funding – which is only meant to ‘top up’ national funds anyway – is preventing Italy’s southern regions from making investments to reduce the development gap with the rest of the EU.
In view of this, can the Commission state:
- 1.whether it is aware of the fact that the Italian Government is freezing cohesion policy funding meant for the southern Italian regions?
- 2.whether it is admissible to freeze cohesion fund expenditure and obstruct the legitimate spending claims of the governors of the southern Italian regions?
- 3.whether it believes there are any legitimate grounds for diverting cohesion policy funding – earmarked for strategic investments in southern Italy – and using it to finance works that should be covered by Italy’s national budget?