From National Recovery Plan to European funds, there are difficulties of the Municipalities to face 

The public debate often reflects on the capability of the Municipalities to spend the resuorces resulting from the National Recovery Plan. A similar concern is relevant to the new planning of the European structural funds for the period 2021-27: will the Municipalities, above all located in the South of Italy, be able to spend more, before and better than during the period 2014-20?

The experience about the use fo 2014-20 European funds and the one ongoing about the National Recovery Plan highlight a situation already known to one willing to see it, that is the scarce capacity of expenditure shown by many Italian Municipalities. Financial indicators have revelaed it for a long time, as well as the indicators relevant to the administrative capacity, without which to spend is difficult for every entity. It is therefore not surprising, then, that  their sins have found them due to unusual size of financial resources available to Municipalities thanks to the National Recovery Plan and the new European planning.

The concern is not particularly relevant to provincial capitals: here, the ordinary expenditure capacity is low to 40% only for the Municipality (Avellino). The main alarm relates to smaller Municipalities: not all of them, of course, but many. In some of them the indicator is slightly above the 4%, like Celle San Vito, in the province of Foggia, whose inhabitants are less than 150. Notwithstanding almost three thousands inhabitants, neither San Leucio del Sannio (Benevento) is doing better, with an expenditure percentage of 7%. On the other hand, there are also Municipalities as Aielli, in thr province of Chieti, that with few inhabitants more than one thousands, show a very high capacity of expenditure (98%), followed by another Municipality located in Abruzzo, with 1.346 inhabitants (Castilenti) and a percentage near to 97%.

Average of capacity of expenditure of Municipalities per province (%)

Source: processing by Fondazione Etica-REP on data from BDAP