There is a controversy between the government and the Court of Auditors on the Pnrr: Fitto plans to limit its powers

There is a controversy between the government and the Court of Auditors on the Pnrr: Fitto plans to limit its powers

After the findings that highlight the delays on the implementation of the Recovery Plan, the Minister of European Affairs reiterates that control over Italian projects belongs only to Brussels

The scheme is now consolidated: to each new resolution of the Court of Auditors on the state of implementation of the Pnrr, the government responds with irritation, discrediting and delegitimizing the work of the Viale Mazzini organ. And if before we stopped at words, now the hypothesis of moving on to deeds is spreading: resizing the functions of the Court and depriving it of the right to pronounce on the projects of the Recovery Plan.

The bad mood on the part of the Ministry of European Affairs and above all of its owner, Raffaele Fitto, had already emerged at the time of the long report at the end of March, with the first certification of Italian delays on the European programme. It then reappeared at the beginning of the month, with a new document from the Court on the fourth installment of June. And now, with the latest resolution released last Friday, the relationship between the government and the Viale Mazzini body seems to have become even more tense.

In fact, the Court once again took stock of the state of the art of the projects envisaged by the Recovery Plan, also taking into consideration that the third installment (initially scheduled for the end of March and then postponed for another month) has not yet been disbursed, with 300-400 million dancing and in danger of being temporarily frozen. Italy's slow pace compared to the Brussels timetable is all in one fact: "Considering also the progress of the first months of the current year, the progress rate rises to 13.4 percent", writes the Court. Numbers that become lower if you look at the individual missions of NextGenerationEU: "Missions 4 and 5 (related to education and inclusion) have progress rates close to 5 percentwhile mission 6 on the subject of health does not reach the 1 percent threshold".

It doesn't take much imagination to imagine Fitto's reaction. First of all, there is a question of timing: in fact, the projects of some ministries, linked above all to schools, had not yet been officially reported and, consequently, do not appear in the Court's latest survey. In general, "the actual reporting, according to the time schedules of the Pnrr, will begin during 2023", wrote the Ministry of European Affairs in a note last Saturday. Consequently, according to the dicastery, the audit activity of the Court should be exercised "only after the start of the works".

These are the general indications. But then there are reasons of principle, brought to light in several circumstances by Fitto, which weigh much more. As already stated shortly after the resolution at the beginning of May, according to the Minister of European Affairs "the assessment is the exclusive responsibility of the European Commission". Basically, the idea that seems to be making inroads in the government is to remove from the Court the concomitant control over the expenses of the Pnrr - foreseen by law -, addressing exclusively Brussels as an interlocutor.

However, short- and long-term developments remain uncertain. From the ministry they preach "prudence", to try to re-establish a "constructive" dialogue. But the path, between delays and checks, is anything but downhill.

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