The change of government spoil system takes its first victims. The head of the Agency for Territorial Cohesion changes again. The new general manager will be Paolo Esposito. Mara Carfagna, Minister for the South, yesterday signed the appointment decree. Esposito, 55, from Abruzzo, has been in charge since 2012 of the special office for reconstruction in the earthquake-hit municipalities of the provinces of L’Aquila, breaking latest news and Teramo. He will take the place of Massimo Sabatini who had been placed at the head of the Agency by Giuseppe Provenzano, minister for the South of the Conte two government.
Esposito will be the agency’s fourth director since it became operational in December 2014. It has a very different profile compared to its predecessor. While Sabatini, who managed the cohesion agency in a particularly complex year in which the pandemic upset any organizational plan, was a figure outside the public administration and has the profile of an expert and scholar of the subject, Esposito is a managerial figure , with a profile matured in the private sector until 2012 when the Monti government commissioned him to organize post-earthquake reconstruction in the three Abruzzo provinces. Before moving to the PA he had worked, among other things, as personnel director in various private groups, from Caltagirone (Messaggero) to Sanofi.
The rotation takes place at a particularly delicate moment in cohesion policy, of which the agency represents a crucial hub for the management of the European structural funds. In recent weeks, discussions are underway between the government, regions and the EU commission for the definition ofpartnership agreement 2021-2027 which is worth 43 billion Fesr e Fse, just as the negotiation on I react, the appendix of the Next Generation Eu which advances approximately 13 billion from the EU budget 21-27 to the operational programs in progress. Much of the work has already been done, in substantial continuity with what the previous executive had prepared, taking into account the tight deadlines but also the European constraints that do not leave much room for maneuver. On React-Eu, the knot of resources destined for taxation of advantage for the South still needs to be solved: 4 billion according to the EU is too many. On programming 21-27, the chapter on national operational programs, the Pon. Work is underway on the reorganization of the current 13 Pon, with the aim – welcome to Brussels – of reducing them. According to rumors, it will drop to 10 Pon, one of which, however, will be the new Pon Salute announced by Carfagna, which will be managed by the Ministry of Health with the assistance of the agency.
Returning to the spoil system, one wonders whether such close alternations in public office are not in the long run counterproductive for the quality of the administration.