Written question – Insufficient capacity to spend 2014-2020 ESI funding in southern Italy – E-006404/2017

At the ceremony marking the start of the 2017 judicial year the President of the Italian Audit Court, Arturo Martucci di Scafizzi, referring to the ESIFs, said that Italy is handicapped because it lacks the capacity to spend EU resources, and the funding in question is therefore lost.

This phenomenon, which is more marked in the South, is, in his view, a glaring anomaly, given the economic difficulties facing Italy. The lack of spending capacity can also be seen from the observations in the annual report on the implementation of the budget concerning the financial year 2015, in which the European Court of Auditors notes that Italy is one of the five Member States accounting for more than half of the unused commitments under the 2007-2013 MFF ESI funds.

What practical steps will the Commission take to help Member States make proper use of the ESI funding allocated to them?