The European Commission has adopted the 2014-2020 'Operational Programmes' for Sicilia, Basilicata, and Veneto. The three regions will respectively benefit from €3.41 billion, €413 million and €300 million, drawn from the European Regional and Development Fund (ERDF). Additional national co-financing will bring the combined amount of these three programmes to almost €6 billion.
Commenting on the adoption of these programmes, Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Creţu said: "These ambitious and tailored investment programmes are vital to Italy's recovery, helping the economy of the country to grow and create new jobs. They will also deliver concrete benefits for citizens of these regions by improving infrastructures or preserving the natural environment."
All three regions will use this investment to create jobs and enhance their research and innovation capacities – including through a boost of the research activities of the country's small and medium‑sized enterprises (SMEs). Funding will support these companies to become more competitive and create new products.
A significant amount of funding will be invested to deliver on the European Commission's digital agenda, by expanding broadband coverage and supplying new ICT services to citizens.
The programmes will also contribute to the transition towards a low-carbon economy, in line with the EU's decarbonisation objectives. In all three regions, the energy performance and efficiency of public buildings will be improved. Moreover, in Sicilia and Basilicata investments will be made to increase waste collection and recycling, and to improve wastewater treatments and water supply. More information on each programme can be found below:
- Sicilia: €4.55 billion, of which €3.41bn from the ERDF. 10,700 SMEs will receive support to help them grow nationally and globally. Research and innovation will be strengthened: enterprises cooperating with research bodies will increase from 56 to 67%. A strong boost will be given to broadband coverage: the whole population will be covered by 30 Mbps broadband and 50% by 100Mbps. Several actions will be undertaken to preserve the environment and boost energy efficiency: 10% reduction of energy consumption in the public sector; from 14.6% to 19.6% of the population using public transport; from 13 to 65% of waste recycling; from 40 to 90% of the population served by wastewater treatment.
- Basilicata: €826 million, of which €413m from the ERDF. This programme will promote SMEs' competitiveness and reinforce research and technological development (increase of R&D expenditure); enhance the use and quality of ICT technologies (covering 100% population with broadband); preserve the environment and promote resource efficiency (reducing Greenhouse gas emissions from 1,700 to 1,450 tonnes of CO2 equivalent, 14% decrease of enterprises' energy consumption; about 380,000 additional population served by improved water supply and 312,000 by improved wastewater treatment; 4,000 rehabilitated units in urban areas for about 25,000 mq).
- Veneto: €600 million, of which €300 from the ERDF. This programme will invest in nearly 6,400 enterprises and create 773 new enterprises, generating nearly 1,700 new full time jobs including 670 researcher's jobs. Funding will also be concentrated in innovation and R&D supporting enterprises to introduce new products to the market. Finally investments will be made into the digital agenda (supplying new ICT services to 100 towns).