The last in order of time to pass the examination of the European Commission was the ERDF program of Abruzzo, with a grant of 681 million euros (EU resources plus national co-financing) for the period 2021-2027, twice and half the resources of the previous programming. Resources that add up to the over 400 million allocated to the region through the ESF+. Almost simultaneously, the ERDF program for Sicily was also approved, totaling 5.86 billion euros, of which 4.10 billion from EU funds and 1.76 billion from national and regional contributions, one of the most significant programs in the entire Union.
Therefore, the general framework of the Italian operational programs for the new programming of European funds is almost complete, which starts late due to the extension of the approval times of the European regulations in the previous two years of the pandemic, and for the definition of the partnership agreement and regional programs then. To date, out of 51 programmes, only four have not yet received the green light from Brussels: Por Basilicata (which has become the only ERDF-ESF and which has changed managing authority) and the three national programs entrusted to the Cohesion Agency: Città metropolitan and medium-sized cities in the South (Metro+), Just Transition Fund (JTF, destined for Taranto and Sulcis) and the pon Administrative capacity for cohesion. The Lucan program is suffering from the reorganization which lengthened the response times to the Commission’s observations.
For the agency’s three programmes, the paradox of a structure created to give a boost to the regions in difficulty in managing the programs it owns returns. It must be said that various duties related to the Pnrr have fallen on the agency, which have weighed down, if not engulfed, its activity. For JTF and Metro+ the environmental assessment (VAS) is still missing, without which they cannot be approved. On the PON Capacity for cohesion, after a long and demanding discussion with the Commission, a completely rewritten last draft left Rome in recent days which should have paved the way for the green light from the EU.
That said, according to authoritative sources, these four programs are unlikely to be approved before the end of the year. They will go into formal approval at the beginning of 2023. Financially there should be no consequences, provided that the negotiations are closed and that there is the ok from all the Commission services.