The continuing economic crisis has created a significant gap between Italy and Northern Europe; it has been estimated that from 2009 to 2014 there was a considerable increase in unemployment and that employment decreased by 9% in Southern Italy compared to 1.4% in the North; in the public sector alone, the south lost 147 000 jobs while the centre and north gained 82 000 jobs.
In terms of GDP the south has declined considerably in recent years, jeopardising sustainability and local quality of life.
Substantial funding has been allocated through ERDF/ESF Regional Operational Programmes, National Operational Programmes and EAFRD Rural Development Programmes for the period 2014-2020, but there are great difficulties in spending that funding and in using it effectively, as has happened in previous periods.
In view of the above, and given that the southern regions are an important market for Northern Italy, can the Commission say:
|—||whether the funding to reduce regional disparities is still achieving efficient results, and to what extent, therefore, it has been effective for Southern Italy;|
|—||what strategies does it have to ensure greater spending capacity as regards the resources made available?|