23 Nov 2018

Stalking, domestic abuse, rape, genital mutilation, femicide: from the first Extraordinary National Plan of 2015 to the many Regional measures, over the past years the instruments aimed at protecting women have multiplied. The enforcement of such measures, however, is often left to circular letters that make it difficult for the victim to get to know the available tools for her defence (and to request their implementation). The Impact Assessment Office zeros-in on anti-violence resources by drafting the first pertinent guide for citizens.

17 Sep 2018

€352bn earmarked for the 2014-2020 period in order to stimulate growth make cohesion policy the veritable pillar of European integration. However, decades of growth policies were not able to smooth out economic and social imbalances: Italy now unenviably tops the EU-15 chart of countries with the lowest social development index and Southern Italy is the largest depressed region in Europe. What went wrong?

15 Sep 2018

For years the EU has been asking our country to reduce "the use and generosity of exemptions and of preferential tax treatments", and even according to the DEF (economic and financial document) tax expenditures should be cut: in 2017, 636 different measures were identified, subtracting an estimated 75.2 billion Euros from State revenues. Yet plenty of crucial information is lacking: we know the impact, recipients and per capita benefit for only 130 tax expenditure measures, and more than half of these measures benefit less than 30,000 taxpayers.

23 Aug 2018

Ever since 3:36 AM on August 24, 2016, Italy has been dealing with the third major reconstruction process in less than ten years. So far, for the three earthquakes, the government has granted 40,5 billion, 1,8 of which in the past year alone. What, how and where will those billions be spent on? Is the regulatory framework - made up byseveral ever-changing decrees and 96 orders by Special Commissioner and Civil Defence authorities - clear and effective? Has the response given to the newly-homeless population been prompt?

1 Aug 2018

Italy has few graduates. Only 26.9% of people aged 30-34 have a university degree, well behind Lithuania (58.7% of graduates), Luxembourg (54.6%), Cyprus (53.4%) and Ireland following closely. The European average is 39.9%.This lack of educational opportunities engenders long-term inequalities in the life of young people, but low-income families still find it hard to bear the cost of university education for their children. What is to be done, and how? An experience: Percorsi.

25 Jul 2018

In 1,833 days, Senators introduced 2,539 bills. What issues were Senators most interested in? Justice and constitutional affairs were the top scorers, followed by health, culture and pensions. Family and children follow armed forces, safety at work follows trade law. Foreign trade, local finance, Southern Italy and energy, combined, fall short of 1% of bills submitted.

24 Jul 2018

Fewer than a quarter of Italian babies between the ages of zero and two have a place in a public facility for infants. Coverage is uneven across the country: in Valle d'Aosta, four tots out of ten go to nursery; in the Campania region, the number is just 6 out of 100. To increase the number of available places, over the last decade the Italian state has spent some €1.15 billion. The "Buona Scuola" Reform now adds over €200 million per year to the pot, starting from 2017. What's the outlook?

21 Jun 2018

In 2000 Italy abandoned compulsory conscription and migrated, after 144 years, to a leaner military model (from 265.000 men and women to 190,000) entirely composed of professionals. International peace-keeping and peace-enforcing missions became the core task of Italian armed forces, but the crisis that exploded in 2008 has deeply affected the fulfillment of the reform. And between reductions in personnel (expected to number no more than 150,000 by 2024), the ageing of the volunteers in service and severe cuts in spending and investment, even the commitment of troops abroad no longer reached the levels of the early 2000s.

31 May 2018

Up until the fifteenth legislature, the Italian government chose which Community acts to send to Parliament for examination. The flow varied widely (2 documents in 1999, 115 in 2000, one in 2002) until in 2006 the European Commission amended its standard practice. Today, dialogue between Rome and Brussels is direct and continuous: during the XVII legislature, the Italian Senate "processed" 924 European acts, of which at least ten per week were flagged by the Government as being of national interest. How are Senators organized to cope with this pace?

15 May 2018

Between 2014 and 2020, the European Union is setting aside more than 77 billion euros for Italy in structural and investment funds: 46.5 bn in cohesion policies, and 31 bn for the common agricultural policy. However, the UVI and Italy's Financial Police reveal that in 6 out of 10 cases, these funds end up in the hands of scoundrels, swindlers and organized crime. Southern Italy is the biggest offender, accounting for 85% of structural fund fraud. Central Italy is responsible for the lion's share of offences involving agriculture and fishing.

9 May 2018

Incentives, exemptions, benefits: every year the State spends 76 billion Euros on fiscal expenditure. But do these measures always respect the environment? Paradoxically, the answer is no. According to the first (and still incomplete) Catalogue of Environmental Subsidies, drafted by the Ministry of Environment with the technical advice of Sogesid, in 2016 about 16.2 billion Euros were allocated for SADs (EHSs - environmentally harmful subsidies), while 15.7 billion were allocated for SAFs (EFSs - environmentally friendly subsidies). Is there a way to reorganise incentive mechanisms and subsidies in order to make them more consistent with the Italy's environmental targets?

3 May 2018

Italy's public spending accounted for a good 49.6% of GDP in 2016, but it allocated a very modest share of its resources to investments: just 2.1%, which is not enough to support all investments - especially infrastructure projects - which the country so much needs in order to support aggregate demand, improve and expand service levels, narrow the geographical economic divides and boost competitiveness.

For public administrations, especially Italian municipalities, the public-private partnership (PPP) has therefore been, over the past 15 years, a very important resource for financing new infrastructure projects (underground rail, sports facilities, TLC networks) and for providing services.

19 Apr 2018

If well-implemented, the evaluation cycle is an excellent tool for political decision-makers, making it possible to choose which one of a number of options is likely to produce the best results. In Italy, the use of these techniques - impact analysis and assessment (AIR and VIR), measuring administrative burdens (MOA), and consultations - is often undertaken merely as a bureaucratic exercise. A system of AIRs and VIRs integrated between the various levels of government is missing and only in very rare cases have approved acts undergone ex-post monitoring and assessment.

12 Mar 2018

In 2014, 4.4 million women in Italy were physically or psychologically abused by their partner: one woman in four, among the ones in a relationship. In 2016, 149 women were murdered, 111 of whom (that's three in four, about 75%) by a family member. More than 4,000 women reported sexual violence, over 13,000 were victims of stalking - that's almost a 50% increase compared with 2011 - and 14,000 reported being abused.

8 Mar 2018

The first general election in Republican Italy was held on 18 April 1948. In Parliament there were only 49 women, equal to 5%. Almost 30 years and seven parliaments went by before Italy, in March 2018, elected more than 300 women. The 18th Parliament is experiencing another record: the Senate elected its first female president. Italy has yet to have a woman Prime Minister, and only 83 women were appointed ministers thus far, out of 1,500 appointments. Only two of Italy's regions have a female governor. Just 13 out of a 100 mayors are women.

12 Feb 2018

Satisfaction, happiness, quality of-life, self-realisation, utility, pleasure: there is an ongoing international debate on whether GDP should be ousted as the sole indicator of well-being. The benchmark on which the progress of a society can be evaluated should not be solely economic. This is demonstrated by the World Bank's per capita GDP classifications: in 2017 Italy was among 16% of the most prosperous countries, but ranked only 48th (out of 155) in the World Happiness Report. In short, given parity of GDP, by comparison with other countries, Italy is lacking in certain "happiness factors".

26 Jan 2018

According to the mainstream economic thought, a more flexible labour market better responds to the enterprises' need to curb costs and boost efficiency. However, it also sparks a market dualism between guaranteed and non-guaranteed workers, income uncertainty, depressive effects on the economy. As for employment, has it soared or dropped? And what about productivity? Here are the main conclusions reached by experts, IMF, World Bank and OECD.

12 Jan 2018

Measuring tax evasion is often described as attempting to obtain "evidence on the invisible". Several approaches have been developed to obtain evidence on tax evasion that depend on the purpose of the analysis and particularly on which effects of tax evasion one wants to measure. In this paper we propose an approach that integrates two methods that the literature has previously applied separately. Both methods adopt a microeconomic perspective. The analysis focuses on the personal income tax (PIT) in Italy (Irpef-"imposta sui redditi delle persone fisiche"-and other local income taxes) and also studies the distributive effects of this type of tax evasion

7 Dec 2017

Emergency decrees, enabling laws, execution of regulatory powers: over the past decades, the Government has considerably expanded its regulatory activity, involving the Parliament - as envisaged by the legislator. From 1996 to 2016 the opinion of Parliament Committees was requested 2,786 times. And what were the results? To what extent have the opinions been followed up?

30 Nov 2017

Excise duties on energy products, taxes on vehicles, noise, pollution and natural resources: environmental taxes paid by Italian residents ensured revenues totalling 53.1 billion Euros in 2013. Is it possible to quantify the environmental costs borne by the community, namely, the damage to the environment and health caused by pollution sources related to household and enterprise activities, and compare them with the environmental taxes paid by the same activities?

20 Oct 2017

New budget balancing, electronic invoicing, split payments, code of public contracts: over the past few years the bookkeeping of Italian public bodies has been revolutionised by a number of reforms. One of the most radical ones has been, starting from 2011, the harmonisation of balance sheets: in order to comply with the new accounting systems, several mayors had to conduct a real inspection, sorting out assets and liabilities and writing off bad debts.

29 Sep 2017

How many are there? Who runs them? What do they do? How much do they earn? In Italy, for years we have been trying the complete the pertinent map, which is crucial to sort out a fragmented system that lacks transparency. In 2014, the spending review special commissioner actually identified four different databanks. The Treasury Department seeks information every year from over ten thousand public administration offices. But too many have never answered.

19 Sep 2017

Together with the update memo to the DEF (Economic and Financial Document), in a few days the Government will be publishing its First Preliminary Report on Fiscal Expenditure: exemptions, deductions, tax credits, and favourable tax rates that the executive has been tasked with "reducing, eliminating or reforming", acting specifically on measures that are "unjustified" or "superceded".

24 Aug 2017

On 24 August 2016, at 3:36 am, an earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter magnitude scale rocked central Italy. The aftermath was absolutely terrible, in terms of death toll, disrupted economy, devastated cultural heritage. The Civil Defence estimated that material damage totalled about 23,530,000 Euros, which adds on to the significant damage caused by the previous two earthquakes, which struck L'Aquila in 2009 and the Po Valley in 2012.

26 Jul 2017

The Senate of the Republic and the Finance Police (Guardia di Finanza) have drafted a report on counterfeit Made in Italy products, highlighting a phenomenon that jeopardises health, security, the Italian productive systems and that is proliferating thanks to the Internet. Over the last five years (2012-2016), the Finance Police has conducted 60,000 judicial police actions, seized one billion products worth 10.8 billion Euros and put down 1,614 websites (620 in 2016 alone).

25 Jul 2017

From 28 April 2006 to 31 December 2016 the senators submitted 1,271 interpellations, 7,780 oral questions and 19,309 questions requiring a written reply, for a total of 28,360 parliamentary oversight acts, 6,913 (roughly 24%) of which were followed up, between the 15th and 17th parliament.

25 Jul 2017

Italy holds an EU record: 19.9% versus an EU average of 11.5%. One youth in five does not attend school, does not work and is not looking for a job. The trend is falling (in 2013 almost 23 young men out of 100 were doing nothing) but if we consider inactive youths aged between 25 and 29, equally affected by unemployment (in Italy, Greece and Spain the figure tops 40%), the NEET generation exceeds 2.2 million people.

25 Jul 2017

For Italy, an inverse-U shaped relationship is found with the maximum of the effectiveness around 70% and no effects below and above 50% and 80%, respectively. This approach is quite informative as allows the policy makers to tailor the policy according to the specific value of the ratio.

24 Jul 2017

In 2008 a reform occurred in Italy in the formation of selection committees for qualifying to university professorship. Prior to the reform members of the committees were elected by their peers, then they have been randomly drawn. This policy was intended to increase the equality of opportunities of candidates via a reduction of the role played by connection to commissioners. Results show that candidates internalised the changed environment and adapted their strategy of application. However the reform did not necessarily raise the impact of scientific quality of candidates on the outcome of competitions.

21 Jul 2017

Almost 57,000 detainees at 30 June 2017: with 113 inmates per 100 places available, the prison crowding rate in Italy has gone up by 5 points compared with 31 December 2016. In eight regions the figure exceeds 120%. In Apulia, it has reached 148%, nearing the index that in 2013 led the European Court of Human Rights to condemn Italy over the "inhuman or degrading treatment" of detainees.

20 Jul 2017

The Italian tax-benefit system generates a broad range of effective marginal tax rates, with positive and negative values, determining, in some cases, also a "poverty trap" (that is a marginal tax rate higher than 100 percent). The marginal and average tax rates are also sometimes decreasing with growing taxable income, while at a low level of income we have such high tax rates that a disincentive for labour supply may result.

20 Jul 2017

The partnership agreement with the EU for the use of European Structural and Investments Funds is currently in full force. Italy is selecting the major works to be completed during the European seven-year programme 2014-2020. And there is a novelty: the agreement signed with the EU requires that we comply with the fundamental nexus between plan and project through self-assessment mechanisms, but it also identifies several result indicators for thematic goals, in terms of both value before the public expense and final target.

20 Jul 2017

The evaluation of civil servants and the quality of the services provided to citizens-users have become increasingly important in recent years. The Senate is not part of the Public Administration, but nevertheless, in 2001 it started measuring its performances: a drop in personnel (-40% since 2006) and in financial resources (-32% in real terms), an increase in the services offered. Here is the latest report from the Senate.


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