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Unformatted text preview: ributing resources between regions.
The criteria chosen to allocate European structural funds and domestic funds for lagging areas took into consideration
variables as population and surface as dimensional variables and per capita revenue, unemployment rate and
infrastructure gap as corrective factor for allocation purposes.
The plan allocates most of the funds (de facto 72 per cent) and the responsibility for selecting projects to the 6 Objective
1 regions (Campania, Basilicata, Calabria, Puglia, Sicilia and Sardegna) and to 1 phasing out region (Molise). The
central government is directly responsible only for some operational programmes (communication, research and
development, education, enhancing law enforcement). It also acts, through the Ministry of Economy and Finance, as a
co-ordinating authority, with the task of setting general rules and guidelines for monitoring and evaluation.
The increased responsibilities allocated to regional governments are the outcome of the political choice, made during the
nineties, to decentralise as described in the previous paragraph, and are justified by the fact that regions are in the best
position to involve local private and public actors, who possess much of the knowledge needed to enact the Plan. On the
other hand, regional governments are traditionally inclined to prefer several small and scattered investment projects with
more immediate and visible effects, rather than more integrated projects which are necessary to implement the strategy
of the plan. Furthermore complex programming and high-quality project selection require a profound and rapid
modernisation of Region’s administrative structure.
In order to guarantee the quality of planning and the actual implementation of the strategy at the regional level, it was
thus first intended to set conditions for the use of resources. The latter were agreed upon during a long and complex
partnership process, where all institutional and social actors involved contributed to fix common priorities, objectives,
targets and define common implementation rules ensuring the quality of investment in each CSF priority axis.
That was not considered enough, however. Appropriate incentive devices had to be set so as to pressurize Regions into
implementing administrative reforms and pursuing high quality projects. Similar devices were designed to apply also to
central Administrations. The performance reserve foreseen by Regulations was considered as an opportunity to hasten
the upgrading of managing authorities and reach higher quality standards. The Commission proposal was therefore
strengthened (with the addition of a 6% national reserve) and turned into a reward system whose criteria and
implementation mechanisms embody the main principles of the Plan. 2 Regulation n. 1260/99 article 44 257 Commission on Fiscal Imbalance The following sections aim at showing how the performance reserve system was adapted to the plan strategy and
governance rules. 6.1. The performance reserve criteria and indicators an...
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