Italy is one of the top recipients of EU funds just behind Poland and Romania.
Through 75 national and regional programmes, Italy has been allocated EUR 42.77 billion from European Structural and Investment Funds over the period 2014-2020. With a national contribution of EUR 30.96 billion, Italy has a total budget of EUR 73.73 billion to be invested in various areas, from jobs and growth to boosting research and innovation as well as protecting the environment and increasing labour market participation.
Italy is also receiving funding from the EU to support socio-economic development in key areas such as: Employment, Education, Infrastructures, Public Administration, Environment and Energy, Social Inclusion, Tourism as well as Research and Development.
With only 46% of the funds being allocated so far, there are still significant funding opportunities that public and private organizations can explore. The country is expected to accelerate the procurement process during the next 5 years as ESIF can be used by 2023.
One of most active programmes so far has been the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI). Over 56% of the YEI budget has been spent and a remaining 665 MEUR are available between 2018-2020 to support access to employment.
Within R&D under Horizon2020 and other EU programmes, several Italian Universities and SMEs are participating successfully, carrying out national and transnational projects.
A strong focus in future projects will be given to the development and maintenance or upgrading of efficient infrastructures and the management of natural resources supporting energy efficiency and the shift towards a low-carbon economy. Finally, reducing overall poverty and promoting social inclusion are also key objectives of the Italian government along with supporting the improvement of administrative capacity, the justice system and the overall management of programmes.
For the next EU 2021-2027 budget, Italy is expected be one of the few countries to receive more money from the EU as compared to the current allocations. The European Commission proposal for Italy’s new ESIF budget is around EUR 43.5 billion to which national contribution will add. Additional spending is foreseen in the areas of migration, employment and support to research and development. The Italian government will prepare the full list of new priorities for EU investment and will negotiate it with Brussels in the next 2 years. The final budgets and investment sectors will be set in the new 2021-2027 Italian Operational Programmes expected to be adopted by end of 2020.