Partners wanted (for investments). Where, how and how much does the public-private partnership in Italy work?

Foto Partner cercasi (a scopo investimento). Dove, come, quanto funziona in Italia il partenariato tra pubblico e privato?

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 (from waste disposal services to street cleaning).

Calls for bids in the PPP sphere have soared from just over 300 in 2002 to over 3,000 in 2016, meaning that the PPP turnover has exceeded 88 billion Euros so far. But lengthy bureaucracy, technical/planning shortfalls and management issues are jeopardising the results: of the 33,164 procedures activated in Italy from 2002 to 2016, 4,429 (almost 13%) have been interrupted. And the percentage is even greater for major works worth more than 50 million Euros set up as PPPs by public administrations: 42% between 2002 and 2014.


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