Better regulation in Southern Italian Regions: The POAT is in the finishing straight


The Presidency of Council of Ministers’ (PCM) Technical Assistance Operational Programme to strengthen normative capacity within the four Southern convergence regions (Calabria, Campania, Puglia, Sicilia) is about to be completed, after four productive years (from early 2011 to early 2015). The Programme directly involved the four interested regional administrations and the PCM’s Department for Legal Affairs (DAGL), who provided technical assistance and methodological support.

The Programme was mainly devoted to help improve regulatory quality, by promoting the use of ex ante and ex post evaluations, such as regulatory impact assessments (AIR), drafting methodologies, SME tests and post implementation impact reviews (VIR), fitness checks, evaluation clauses etc.

The Programme’s activities were shared between the national and the regional level of government.

At the national level, thy were mainly focused on designing methodologies and processes for the use of better regulation tools. Meanwhile, the activities carried out at the regional level were aimed to spread the use of those methodologies designed by the involved central offices. This goal was mainly pursued by seminars, workshops and laboratories, where experimental impact assessments were conducted by regional officers’ working groups, relying on DAGL’s technical assistance.

The Pilot activities conducted within the four regions were a key opportunity to field test the new methodologies. Indeed, although they are largely inspired by the world best practices, they need to be tailored to the specific context in which they will have to work, in order to turn into effectiveness.

Among the main central outputs, it is worth mentioning a Benchmark report, collecting all the international best practices in smart regulation. It is available in Italian at this link.

Drawing from the Report’s insights, a Handbook for the use of better regulation tools was elaborated, mainly targeted on the regional governments, but also useful for the national and local offices. The handbook, available as well in Italian at this link, includes useful guidelines for the correct adoption of ex ante and ex post impact assessments, SME tests and fitness checks, consultations and evaluation criteria (with two Annexes respectively dedicated to the latter two topics).

More information on the central and regional activities and documents are available at the official Programme’s website, at this link.

(Federica Cacciatore)