Pnrr, Palazzo Chigi at the EU: “Adequate controls, do not fuel instrumental controversies”

In a 7-point note, the government replies to the Commission spokesperson: “Subsequent and non-concomitant control to the Court of Auditors, discipline implemented”

A note in 7 points to respond with “observations of merit and method” to Europe. It is the one released by Palazzo Chigi “in reference to the statements of a spokesman for the European Commission on the rules concerning Court of Auditors and controls on the Pnrr.

1. On the need for controls. The Government shares the fact that “the Recovery needs a framework of controls that are suitable and proportionate to its unique nature and so that spending programs are based on efficiency”. Government action is based on this principle. 2. On uninformed prejudgment. The spokesman states that the “European Commission does not comment on draft laws”, but immediately afterwards – without any in-depth analysis of the merits – the Commission spokesman himself follows up with considerations that fuel instrumental political controversies that do not correspond to reality”. note from Palazzo Chigi which continues: “3. On non-existent changes. The rules proposed by the Government – approved yesterday by the Parliamentary Commission in the Public Administration Decree – do not change what has already been agreed between the European Commission and the Italian Government, the rules under discussion do not affect the provisions of Legislative Decree 77 of May 2021.

4. On the discipline of the Court’s controls. The first decree on the implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, among other aspects, regulates the controls on Pnrr funds by the Court of Auditors. This decree, which represented a specific milestone of the Pnrr, was positively reported by the Commission. This rule is not only not changed in any way, but it is precisely its correct implementation that the government wants to achieve. In fact, in article 7, paragraph 7, the decree provides: “The Court of Auditors exercises control over the management referred to in article 3, paragraph 4, of the law of 14 January 1994 n. 20, carrying out in particular assessments of economy, efficiency and effectiveness regarding the acquisition and use of financial resources from the funds referred to in the Pnrr. This control meets the criteria of cooperation and coordination with the European Court of Auditors, according to the provisions of article 287, paragraph 3 of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union”. The law in question (Draghi government), therefore, entrusts the Court of Auditors with control over Pnrr funds in the manner of subsequent control over management and not of concomitant control, with criteria of cooperation and coordination with the European Court of Auditors. This regulation of the Court of Auditors’ controls on Pnrr funds not only remains in force, but is fully implemented”.

“5. On the tax shield and the Commission. As for the extension of the tax shield for public officials and managers, the rule has already been in force for some time and there have never been any comments from the Commission. The government amendment approved yesterday extends it the effectiveness of a further 12 months. This discipline remained in force for three years with two different governments, without causing any relief, we are sure that the Commission’s line will not change in the face of the extension of another year decided by a government of different political sign”.

“6. On the chronology of parliamentary acts. The limitation of administrative liability before the Court of Auditors was provided for by Article 21, paragraph 2, of Legislative Decree No. 76 of 16 July 2020 (Conte II Government). This limitation, which had initially limited application to 31 July 2021, was first extended by the conversion law (still Conte II Government) of the same decree – law No. 76 of 2020 (with the deferment of said deadline to 31 December 2021) and subsequently by Article 51, paragraph 1, letter h), of Decree-Law No. 77 of 31 May 2021, converted, with amendments, by Law No. 108 of 29 July 2021 (Draghi Government), which further deferred said deadline to June 30, 2023”.

“7. On relations between the Government and the Court of Auditors. A long, cordial and fruitful meeting was held yesterday at Palazzo Chigi between the Government and the Court of Auditors. In the meeting it was unanimously decided to open a table work to revise and better define some institutions relating to controls on the Pnrr. 8. On the Constitution, law and politics. Useful ideas on the subject can be drawn from the reading of the interviews of illustrious constitutional experts such as Sabino Cassese, Cesare Mirabelli and Giancarlo Coraggio, who in the last 24 hours have illustrated how Parliament’s intervention is respectful of the Constitution, of the prerogatives of the Court of Auditors, based on loyal collaboration between the institutions”.

The clarification of the EU spokesman: “I misunderstand my words”

“There was confusion over my response to a question about the draft law relating to the Italian Court of Auditors. I said that the Italian authorities have created a specific institution to control the use of NextGeneration EU funds and that this is what the Commission will continue to examine, since this is what has been agreed with the Italian authorities”, the chief spokesman of the EU commission, Eric Mamer, specified to Adnkronos, speaking of a “misunderstanding”, after the response from Palazzo Chigi to the observations on the controls of Pnrr projects.