Pnrr, Italy late: calls for changes to the EU

Slow spending, some projects not feasible by 2026. Our country will not have time to complete all the works envisaged by the National Recovery Plan. The government plans to extend the deadline to 2029, using other programs financed with community resources. But we need the approval of Brussels

One year and nine months after Ursula Von der Leyen gave the green light to the Italian National Recovery Plan, symbolically handing it over to Mario Draghi, and three years and nine months after the last day by which our country must do everything has been agreed with Europe, maybe we change.

Program to be rewritten

The current government wants to rewrite the program that gives us the largest share of the Recovery Fund: 191.5 billion (plus 30.6 in national allocations), and for this reason it has been negotiating with Brussels for some time. A complex negotiation, because the Union has already made it clear that it would be a problem to go beyond 2026 to complete all the works. However, obtaining the changes is not impossible, because other states have made it even if they were countries with plans of entities not comparable to ours.

Late spending, some works unrealizable in time

Italy, as historically happens with European resources, is lagging behind: so far we have spent just 6 percent of the Pnrr money (12 percent if we also include tax credits and building bonuses). To recover, we should accelerate already this year, committing – the Court of Auditors tells us – almost 41 billion and even more (46.5 and 47.7) in the following two years. This is why the Minister for European Affairs Raffaele Fitto talks about some projects that cannot be implemented in time.

The goal: to lengthen deadlines

We do not know how many and which works we are talking about, because the government still needs to have the complete picture and only at that point will it present the proposals for change to the European authorities. Fitto’s idea is to transfer some projects from the National Plan to other Community programmes, which require longer times to be completed: by 2029 instead of 2026. Three more years to remain on a train that we cannot afford to miss.