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CATALOGUE: QA-02-15-432-EN-C (print), QA-02-15-432-EN-N (pdf)
DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR INTERNAL POLICIES
POLICY DEPARTMENT
STRUCTURAL AND COHESION POLICIES
B
DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR INTERNAL POLICIES
POLICY DEPARTMENT
STRUCTURAL AND COHESION POLICIES
Agriculture and Rural Development
Culture and Education
Role
The Policy Departments are research units that provide specialised advice
to committees, inter-parliamentary delegations and other parliamentary bodies.
Fisheries
Regional
Development
Regional
Development
Policy Areas
Transport and Tourism
Agriculture and Rural Development
Culture and Education
Fisheries
Regional Development
Transport and Tourism
ECONOMIC, SOCIAL
AND TERRITORIAL
SITUATION OF SICILY
Documents
Visit the European Parliament website:
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/supporting-analyses
PHOTO CREDIT: iStock International Inc., Photodisk, Phovoir
IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS
ISBN: 978-92-823-7305-7 (print), 978-92-823-7304-0 (pdf)
doi:10.2861/96717 (print), doi:10.2861/579235 (pdf)
EN
2015
B
DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR INTERNAL POLICIES
POLICY DEPARTMENT B: STRUCTURAL AND COHESION POLICIES
REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND
TERRITORIAL SITUATION OF SICILY
IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS
This document was requested by the European Parliament’s Committee on Regional
Development.
AUTHOR
Filipa Azevedo
Policy Department B: Structural and Cohesion Policies
European Parliament
B-1047 Brussels
E-mail: [email protected]
EDITORIAL ASSISTANCE
Krisztina Mányik
LINGUISTIC VERSIONS
Original: EN
Translation: FR, IT
ABOUT THE PUBLISHER
To contact the Policy Department or to subscribe to its monthly newsletter please write to:
[email protected]
Manuscript completed in June 2015.
Brussels, © European Union, 2015.
Print
PDF
ISBN 978-92-823-7305-7
ISBN 978-92-823-7304-0
doi:10.2861/96717
doi:10.2861/579235
QA-02-15-432-EN-C
QA-02-15-432-EN-N
This document is available on the internet at:
www.europarl.europa.eu/studies
DISCLAIMER
The opinions expressed in this document are the sole responsibility of the author and do
not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament.
Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the
source is acknowledged and the publisher is given prior notice and sent a copy.
DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR INTERNAL POLICIES
POLICY DEPARTMENT B: STRUCTURAL AND COHESION POLICIES
REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND
TERRITORIAL SITUATION OF SICILY
IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS
Abstract
This in-depth analysis was written for a delegation from the Committee on
Regional Development visiting Sicily. The analysis provides an overview of the
region of Sicily, its political, economic and administrative system, and of the
Operational Programme for the period of 2014-2020.
IP/B/REGI/NT/2015-03
PE 540.372
June 2015
EN
Economic, Social and Territorial Situation of Sicily
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
4
LIST OF TABLES
5
LIST OF FIGURES
5
1. THE REPUBLIC OF ITALY: KEY FACTS AND FIGURES
7
2. ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND TERRITORIAL SITUATION OF SICILY
11
2.1.
Governmental and administrative structures
12
2.2.
The economy
14
2.3.
Population and labour market
15
3. EU COHESION POLICY 2014-2020
17
3.1.
Objectives and funds - Italian context
17
3.2.
Objectives and funds - Region of Sicily
19
3.3.
Innovation, Smart Specialisation and SMEs in Sicily
20
REFERENCES
23
ANNEXES
25
ANNEX I:
Europe 2020: Italian national targets and progress
25
ANNEX II: Regional OP 2007-2013 - Commitments and Payments,
February 2015
26
ANNEX III: Examples of projects financed by the ERDF, 2007-2013
27
3
Policy Department B: Structural and Cohesion Policies
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
EAFRD European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development
EC European Commission
EMFF European Maritime and Fisheries Fund
ERDF European Regional Development Fund
ESF European Social Fund
ESIF European Structural and Investment Funds
EU European Union
EUR Euro
GDP Gross Domestic Product
ISTAT Italian National Statistics Institute
NUTS Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics
OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
OP Operational Programme
PA Partnership Agreement
R&D Research and Development
RIS3 Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation
SME Small and Medium sized Enterprise (s)
TO Thematic Objective
4
Economic, Social and Territorial Situation of Sicily
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1
Key data
12
Table 2
Employment in Sicily by Economic Activity (in Thousand), 2014
16
Table 3
Unemployment rate (%) 2008-2013, Sicily compared with other Italian regions
16
Table 4
Allocation: breakdown by thematic objective and fund – million euro
18
Table 5
Sicily, breakdown by TO and ERDF allocation in EUR
20
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1
Regions of Italy
7
Figure 2
Geography of Sicily
11
Figure 3
Provinces
13
Figure 4
Exports (percentage composition by Region)
14
Figure 5
ERDF and ESF per Member State (2014-2020) in EUR Billion
17
Figure 6
Technology Districts in Sicily
21
5
Policy Department B: Structural and Cohesion Policies
6
Economic, Social and Territorial Situation of Sicily
1.
THE REPUBLIC OF ITALY: KEY FACTS AND FIGURES
Italy is a parliamentary republic composed of Municipalities, Provinces, Metropolitan cities,
Regions and the State1. The country is subdivided into 15 regions with an ordinary
status, adopted and modified by regional law (Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania,
Emilia-Romagna, Lazio, Liguria, Lombardy, Marche, Molise, Piedmont, Apulia, Tuscany,
Umbria, Veneto) and 5 regions with a special autonomous status, adopted by
constitutional law (Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Sardinia, Sicily, Trentino-South Tyrol (autonomous
provinces of Trento and Bolzano/Bozen), Aosta Valley). Furthermore there are 110
provinces and 8,057 municipalities. The resident population accounts for 60,782,668
inhabitants and the territorial area is of 302,072 km2 (Italian National Statistics Institute Istat, 2014).
Figure 1:
Regions of Italy
Source and Copyright: Shutterstock
1
The Constitution of the Italian Republic, Title I, Art. 114.
7
Policy Department B: Structural and Cohesion Policies
Since the economic crisis in 2008, Italy has suffered a severe economic downturn. From
1995 to 20132 it registered on average 0.5% annual growth, compared to 1.6 % of the EU27. Social and regional disparities have been accentuated and youth unemployment has
risen sharply. The crisis and the job loss have aggravated the economic situation of
families, especially in the south of the country. The unemployment rate was 12.8 % in
2014 (12.2 % in 2013).
In macroeconomic terms, the GDP per capita at current values was EUR 25,700 and the
inflation rate 3.0 % in 2012 (Istat, 2014) and in 2014 the debt to GDP ratio was 132.1 %,
compared to 91.9 % in the euro area and 86.8 % for the EU28 (Eurostat, April 2015). The
country deficit is expected to be 2.6 % of the GDP in 2015.
Italy invests 1.25 % of its GDP in R&D (2013), the EU average is 2.1 % (Europe 2020
national target 1.53 %, see Annex I) and the main sectors of investments are the
industries of textiles and mechanical engineering. The production system is mainly
characterised by microenterprises, with an average of 3.9 employees per enterprise
(average 6.6 employees in the EU).
According to OECD projections the Italian economy is likely to recover during 2015 and
2016 and recent structural reforms could increase the GDP by 3.4 % within the next five
years (summary of recent structural reforms on page 9).
Political summary
2
Presidential elections
Next one: January 2020;
Last one: 29-31 January 2015;
Legislative elections
Next one: February 2018;
Last one: 24-25 February 2013;
Head of State
Sergio Mattarella (since 3 February
2015);
Prime Minister
Matteo Renzi (since 22 February
2014);
This In-Depth Analysis uses data compiled by Istat and Eurostat and in some case only available for the years
2012 and 2013.
8
Economic, Social and Territorial Situation of Sicily
Summary of Recent Structural Reforms (since 2012)
Institutional reforms: new electoral law, reform of the Constitution (clarifying the
competences of different levels of government, expected by the end of 2015);
Public administration: digitalisation and modernisation, open data, transparency, red
tape reduction, fight against corruption, Education reform;
Reform of justice: comprehensive reform of civil justice;
Tax system: reduction in the tax wedge, reform of the tax system;
Spending review: reducing procurement costs, increasing efficiency and cutting
unproductive public spending, a Parliamentary Budget Office has been created;
Speeding up of payments of the public administration: new regulatory and
monitoring framework, electronic invoicing;
Privatisation programme: state-owned enterprises and sale of public real estate;
Labour market reform: lightened the employment protection legislation;
Investment framework: alternative financing especially for SMEs, incentives for
major selected great infrastructure investments;
Competitiveness: annual draft law on competition presented to Parliament; several
liberalization measures, reform of cooperative banks.
Sources: Italy’s strategy for reforms, fiscal sustainability and economic growth, Ministry of Economy and
Finance, April 2015; Country Report Italy, EC, March 2015
9
Policy Department B: Structural and Cohesion Policies
10
Economic, Social and Territorial Situation of Sicily
2.
ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND TERRITORIAL SITUATION
OF SICILY
Together with the islands of Ustica and Pantelleria, as well as the archipelagos of the
Aeolian (Eolie), Aegadian (Egadi) and Pelagian (Pelagie), Sicily forms the biggest region
of Italy (25 832 km2) with over 5 million inhabitants. It is also known as Trinacria due to its
triangular shape. This region was founded in 1946 and is one of the five Italian autonomous
regions with a special status. The regional capital city is Palermo. 3
Figure 2: Geography of Sicily
Sources:
Sicily, Regional Department of the Environment and Territory and Geographical information guide to
Italy
61 % of Sicily's territory consists of hills, 25 % of mountains and 14 % of plains. The
northern part of Sicily is mountainous, while the southern part has lower hills and
plains; Mount Etna (3323 m) is one of the largest active volcanoes in the world and is
located in north-east Sicily. The coastline is 1484 km long, with a mostly steep and rocky
northern coast, a sandy southern coast, and a very diverse eastern coast. Sicily has 238
protected areas belonging to the network Nature 2000 (corresponding to 470 000
hectares). The Strait of Messina separates Sicily from Italy's mainland (3 km between Capo
Peloro in Sicily and Torre Cavallo in Calabria), and the Sicilian Strait separates the island
from the African continent (145 km from Tunisia).
3
Statute of the Sicilian Regional Government, Sicily Region Presidency, 1946
11
Policy Department B: Structural and Cohesion Policies
Table 1:
Key data
Flag
25 832 km2 (Istat, 2013)
Area
9 Provinces
Agrigento, Caltanissetta, Catania, Enna,
Messina, Palermo, Ragusa, Siracusa and
Trapani
Population
5.094.937 inhabitants (Istat, 2013)
Population density (per km2)
GDP per capita
197 inhabitants per Km² (Istat, 2014)
€ 16,826 (EC, 2013)
(Italian average is € 25,600, EC, 2013)
Unemployment rate
21 % (Istat, 2013)
Inflation rate
3.2 % (Istat, 2014)
EC Regional Innovation
Scoreboard
Moderate innovator (2014)
Sources: Istat, Sicily region, EC, Eurostat
2.1.
Governmental and administrative structures
The regional institutional structures of Sicily are: the Regional Assembly (Assemblea
Regionale Siciliana), the Regional Council (Giunta Regionale) and the President of the
region. The President and the Regional Council constitute the Regional Government
(Statute of the Sicilian Regional Government, Title I, Article 2).
The Regional Assembly exercises legislative power and is composed of 90 members that
are elected for 5 years. The Regional Government is composed of 12 ministers (Assessori)
who represent the executive. The head of the government is the President of the Region
who is directly elected by the citizens for a five-year term. Since 28 October 2012, Rosario
Crocetta is the President of the Region. He is also a former Member of the European
Parliament.4
The special autonomy of Sicily comprises a series of exclusive competences such as
agriculture, forestry, industry, trade and urban planning (Statute of the Sicilian Regional
Government, Title II, Article 14). As an autonomous region, it has full legislative
competence on key policy areas (Statute of the Sicilian Regional Government, Title IV,
Article 17) such as:
4

regional transport and communication;

public health and safety;

healthcare;

secondary and higher education;
2009-2012: Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament; Member
of the following Committees: Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs; Budgetary Control and Special
Committee on Organised Crime, Corruption and Money Laundering
12
Economic, Social and Territorial Situation of Sicily

regulation on financial loans, insurance and savings;

social affairs (labour relations, social welfare and care);

agricultural taxes;

provision of public services;

any other policy areas entailing services at prevailing regional interest.
Sicily is divided into nine provinces (see Figure 3) and 390 municipalities. However, in
2013 and 2014, regional laws5 initiated a process of restructuring local authorities and
replacing existing provinces by free associations of municipalities (liberi consorzi). This
aims at simplifying procedures, reducing administrative costs, rationalising services
provided to citizens and better territorial planning as well as environmental, transport and
economic development. Nevertheless, final reorganisation is still pending (information
provided by the region, May 2015).
Figure 3: Provinces
Source and Copyright: Shutterstock
5
Regional laws: L.R.n.7/2013; L.R.n.8/2014
13
Policy Department B: Structural and Cohesion Policies
2.2.
The economy
According to the latest statistics available by Istat the GDP for Sicily was EUR 84.9 billion
(market prices) in 2012, corresponding to 5.4 % of the total Italian GDP.
In terms of value added per sector (evaluated at market prices in 2012) the agriculture
sector amounted to EUR 3 billion; the industry sector to EUR 6.4 billion, the building sector
to EUR 3.7 billion and the tertiary sector amounted EUR 60.8 billion (Istat, 2013).
Sicily's regional economic system is mostly based on services provided by public
administration, followed by "financial intermediation, real estate and business" as well
as commerce. In 2012, Sicily’s industrial configuration consisted of 29.481 business
enterprises operating in the manufacturing, food and metallurgic sectors. Here the most
industrialised provinces are Catania (22.8 %) and Palermo (21.6 %). In agricultural terms
301 000 hectares were used for growing cereals, 156 000 hectares for olives, 129 000
hectares for vineyards and 86 000 hectares for citrus groves in 2013. At the provincial level
farms were mainly concentrated in the provinces of Catania (17.6 %) and Trapani (16.6
%), also in 2013.
In 2012, 3.3 % of Italian exports originated from Sicily (comparison of the Italian regions
on Figure 4) and mainly from petrochemicals, chemicals, agribusiness and electronics.
Figure 4: Exports (percentage composition by Region)
Source: Istat, 2014 Report, 2012 Data
14
Economic, Social and Territorial Situation of Sicily
Most Sicilian companies with high added value are concentrated in Palermo and
Catania. Catania has the largest scientific park of Sicily's region, the Etna Valley
cluster, with companies specialised in ICT, biotechnology (e.g. agro food industry),
pharmaceutical products, chemicals, etc). Other important industrial areas are located
around Messina, Syracuse and Gela (petrochemical industry), Mazara del Vallo (province
of Trapani and an important fishing port in Italy) and Trapani-Marsala at the western
extremity (salt, tuna-fishing and wine).
Due to its natural and cultural heritage Sicily is a very attractive touristic destination. In
20136 the number of tourist arrivals in accommodation establishments7 amounted to over
4.4 million (in 2012 4.3 million, national average 104 million). The average stay recorded in
2013 stood at 3.3 nights (national average 3.6). In 2013 Italians accounted for 55.48 % of
the arrivals with an average stay of 3.0 nights while foreigners accounted for 44.9 % of the
arrivals. Most hotels are situated in Messina, Palermo and Trapani (31.3 %, 16.4 %, 13.9
% respectively). Tourism in Sicily, although of great importance, represents only 4 % of
the regional GDP8 (10,3 % of the total Italian GDP, 2013) and this is linked to
infrastructure issues, to the decrease of domestic demand and to the fact that tourism
flows are manly dependent on the summer season and concentrated in few urban areas.
In Sicily there are 48 ports (18.2 % of all italian ports, 2013) and the main airports are
situated in Catania, Comiso, Palermo and Trapani. Fontanarossa airport, which is situated
in Catania, is the largest one in Sicily with a total of 6.206.662 passengers in 2012. The
second largest airport is the Falcone - Borsellino airport in Palermo with a total of
4.335.668 passengers in 2013. Altogether Sicily's airports account for 8.9 % of all
passengers in Italy.
Recent reports suggest that illegal activities of organised crime limit the growth potential
of Sicily causing serious economic and social costs for the island. Furthermore, private
investments are discouraged and profits are made from public procurement.9 There is a
large number of confiscated assets from criminal activities (January 2013-September 2014:
5515). Moreover, through the ERDF 2007-2013 the EU invested around EUR 63 million to
convert former mafia properties into educational projects, agritourism and
business
10
centres.
2.3.
Population and labour market
In 2013, Sicily's population consisted of 5.094.937 inhabitants11 amounting to 8.4 % of the
Italian population. Most of the population is concentrated in large towns mainly along
the island's north and east coastlines. In 2013, 25 % of the population of the island lived in
the province of Palermo, 21.9 % in Catania, 12.7 % in Messina, 5.4 % in Caltanissetta and
3.4 % in Enna. Palermo, Messina and Catania employ 58.8 % of the total work force of the
island. The service sector is the most important source of employment for the active
population of the region; the industry employs 9.6 % and the agriculture sector around 7
% (more details can be found in Table 2); 58.8 % of the employed are mainly concentrated
in Palermo, Catania and Messina (2013 data).
6
7
8
9
10
11
Region of Sicily, Annuario Statistico Regionale, 2014.
Establishments: include hotels, campings, resorts, agritourism facilities, youth hostels, rooms and flats for
rent, holiday homes, alpine huts, bed and breakfast and other establishments (rural residences and centres for
study stays), Istat.
This is an estimation provided by the Regional Office and for 2014-2020.
Europol, Threat Assessment, Italian Organised Crime, Europol Report, 2013.
EC, Major support from EU funds helps fight against organised crime in Italy, Press Release IP/09/1856,
December 2009.
Region of Sicily, Annuario Statistico Regionale, 2014.
15
Policy Department B: Structural and Cohesion Policies
Table 2:
Employment in Sicily by Economic Activity (in Thousand), 2014
Employment by economic activity and NUTS 2
regions
2014
Agriculture, forestry and fishing
93,0
Industry (except construction)
127,2
Construction
87,1
Wholesale and retail trade, transport,
accommodation and food service activities
350,6
Information and communication
14,3
Financial and insurance activities
22,1
Real estate activities
6,7
Professional, scientific and technical activities;
administrative and support service activities
Public administration, defence, education, health
and social work activities
Arts, entertainment and recreation; other service
activities; activities of household and extraterritorial organizations and bodies
129,8
392,8
98,2
Total
1.321,7
Source: Eurostat, 2014
The economic crisis of 2008 had an important impact on the region: job losses, periods of
recession, the decline of demand and difficult situations in the industry and building sectors
were a consequence. This, together with structural and historical difficulties, explains the
fact that Sicily has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country (21 % in 2013,
see also table 3) affecting mainly women and young people. The unemployment rate for
the young (15-29 years) is also one of the highest in Italy (41.7 % in 2012, 46 % in
2013). In 2014, 40.3 % of the young (15-34 years) were not to be found in education,
employment or training (NEETs). Increasingly large sections of the population fall below the
threshold of relative poverty. In 2011 there were more than 547,000 people with an
income below EUR 1.011,03 (Istat).
Table 3:
Unemployment rate (%) 2008-2013, Sicily compared with other Italian
regions
Sicily
North
Centre
Mezzogiorno
(Southern Italy)
Italy
Unemployment rate
2008
13.8
3.9
6.1
12.0
6.7
2013
21.0
8.4
10.9
19.7
12.2
Source: Istat, 2013
16
Economic, Social and Territorial Situation of Sicily
3.
EU COHESION POLICY 2014-2020
3.1.
Objectives and funds - Italian context
The Italian Partnership Agreement (PA) for the period of 2014-2020 was adopted on 29
October 2014. The strategic objectives agreed in the PA, have been translated into
investment priorities linked to the Europe 2020 targets. Concrete actions at national and
regional levels were established through Operational Programmes, as follows:
14 National Programmes: 11 ERDF and ESF; 2 EAFRD and 1 EMFF.
60 Regional Programmes: 39 ERDF and ESF (3 multi-fund programmes for
Calabria, Apulia and Molise); 21 EAFRD.12
For the period of 2014-2020, Italy will benefit from a European Structural Funds
contribution of EUR 32.2 billion (EUR 20.6 billion ERDF, EUR 10.4 billion ESF, it is the
second largest beneficiary after Poland, see Figure 5). It will receive additionally EUR 10.4
billion and EUR 537.3 million from the EAFRD and EMFF respectively.
Italy's priorities that were set out in the PA are13:

Developing an innovation-friendly business environment;

Putting high-performance infrastructures and efficient management of natural
resources in place;

Increasing labour market participation, promoting social inclusion and improving
the quality of human capital;

Supporting the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of the public administration;
Figure 5: ERDF and ESF per Member State (2014-2020) in EUR Billion
Source: EC, 2014
12
13
Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri, Accordo di partenariato 2014-2020, Novembre 2014
Cohesion Policy and Italy, EC, October 2014
17
Policy Department B: Structural and Cohesion Policies
Italy will finance investments following the 11 thematic objectives (TO) defined in the
Regulation (EU) No. 1303/2013. The breakdown by TO and funding can be found in the
table below.
Table 4:
Allocation: breakdown by thematic objective and fund – million euro
Thematic Objective
1. strengthening research,
technological development and
innovation;
2. enhancing access to, and use
and quality of, ICT
3. enhancing the competitiveness
of SMEs, of the agricultural sector
(for the EAFRD) and of the fishery
and aquaculture sector (for the
EMFF)
4. supporting the shift towards a
low-carbon economy in all
sectors;
5. promoting climate change
adaptation, risk prevention and
management
6. preserving and protecting the
environment and promoting
resource efficiency;
7. promoting sustainable
transport and removing
bottlenecks in key network
infrastructures;
8. promoting sustainable and
quality employment and
supporting labour mobility;
9. promoting social inclusion,
combating poverty and any
discrimination;
10. investing in education,
training and vocational training
for skills and lifelong learning;
11. Enhancing institutional
capacity of public authorities and
stakeholders and efficient public
administration.
Technical Assistance
Total
ERDF
ESF
EAFRD
EMFF
Total
3,352.7
441.9
3,794.7
1,854.5
257.9
2,103.4
218.7
7,897.9
3,575.3
4,103.9
3,138.6
797.7
811.9
1,546.7
2,341.6
1,894.6
12.7
3,948.9
2,358.6
21.5
2,473.5
4,451.7
2,473.5
4,086.5
224.1
58.1
4,368.7
1,032.9
2,268.9
789.2
956.6
3,156.4
79.4
410.2
593.8
709.6
361.6
294.4
32.2
1,397.9
20,651.5
10,467.2
10,429.7
537.3
42,085.7
4,091.0
4,195.3
1,004.0
Source: EC, Summary of the Partnership Agreement for Italy, 2014-2020, October 2014
18
Economic, Social and Territorial Situation of Sicily
3.2.
Objectives and funds - Region of Sicily
Compared to the period of 2007-2013 (EUR 8.54 billion between EU and national
funds)14 where the key priorities were natural, cultural and environmental resources as well
as mobility networks (see Annex II and III), the pillars of intervention for the period of
2014-2020 focus on other points: research, technological development, business
support using innovative technologies and providing direct incentives for the creation of
enterprises (e.g. start-ups).
The ERDF Operational Programme (OP) for the Sicilian region was prepared in line with the
recommendations of the European Commission (EC). Furthermore, public consultation
was organised in order to share strategies for better implementation of co-financed actions
by the Funds. The final document was sent to the EC on 13 November 2014 and its
approval is still pending (questions raised are being resolved with the aim of achieving
approval, which is forecast for September/October 2015).15
Sicily belongs to the category of less developed regions (GDP/head < 75 % of EU-27
average) and the regional OP for 2014-2020 presents 5 horizontal challenges16:
1. Fast strengthening of counter-cyclical measures:
Thematic Objectives: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9
a) Actions to support the most weak and vulnerable;
b) Increasing the creation of enterprises and promoting employment;
c) Planning public infrastructure projects.
2. Economic competitiveness:
Thematic Objectives: 1, 2, 3, 6, 11
a) Measures to support the competitiveness and the internationalisation of
companies;
b) Support innovation; improve the efficiency of public services.
3. Enhancement of cultural and natural heritage:
Thematic Objectives: 3, 6
a) Initiatives to enhance the cultural and natural heritage of Sicily;
b) To support the processes of development of tourism, culture and creative
industries.
4. Improving the quality of life:
Thematic Objectives: 2, 4, 9, 10
a) To improve life in areas of high social exclusion;
b) Strengthening education and skills.
5. Sustainable environment and quality of environmental services:
Thematic Objectives: 4, 5, 6
a) Sustainable environment, including waste management and water services.
These challenges follow 10 out of the 11 thematic objectives defined in the Article 9 of the
Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 (the Region does not propose priorities for the TO 8 on
14
15
16
EC, VP Tajani visits Italy's Sicily region to jump-start the recovery of local SMEs, Memo 14/242, April 2015.
Information provided by the EC, June 2015.
Summary and translation by the author based on the draft OP for Sicily "Bozza PO FESR 2014-2020", 13
November 2014.
19
Policy Department B: Structural and Cohesion Policies
"promoting sustainable and quality employment and support of labour mobility") and 27
investment priorities. The Region has decided to allocate 55 % of the total ERDF resources
to the first 4 thematic objectives (in accordance with Article 4, paragraph c, of Regulation
(EU) 1301/2013). In total, for the period of 2014-2020 Sicily has been allocated around
EUR 5.37 billion (ERDF, ESF, EAFRD and EU share only). The breakdown by TO and
ERDF allocation can be found in the table below (in Euro).
Table 5:
Sicily, breakdown by TO and ERDF allocation in EUR
Thematic Objectives
ERDF
1. Strengthening research, technological development
and innovation
350.389.179,00
2. Enhancing access to, and use and quality of ICT
211.942.723,00
3. Enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs, of the
agricultural sector and of the fishery and aquaculture
sector
538.402.885,00
4. Supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy
in all sectors
779.402.272,00
5. Promoting climate change adaptation, risk prevention
and management
198.268.999,00
6. Preserving and protecting the environment and
promoting resource efficiency
372.608.981
7. Promoting sustainable transport and removing
bottlenecks in key network infrastructures
512.764.653
9. Promoting social inclusion, combating poverty and
any discrimination
146.992.534
10. Investing in education, training and vocational
training for skills and lifelong learning
153.829.396
11. Enhancing institutional capacity of public authorities
and stakeholders and efficient public administration
85.460.775
Technical Assistance
68.368.621
55 % of
the total
ERDF
Resources
Source: Regione Siciliana, Programma Operativo FESR 2014-2020
3.3.
Innovation, Smart Specialisation and SMEs in Sicily
The concept of smart specialisation is intrinsically linked to the Europe 2020 strategy and
to its engines to boost growth and jobs, mainly the two flagship initiatives: Innovation
Union and Digital Agenda for Europe. Since 2010, with the EC Communication on 'Regional
Policy contributing to smart growth in Europe 2020'17 member states and regions have
been encouraged to prepare strategies to better use structural funds (i.e. ERDF) in order to
support smart growth. With the 2014-2020 programming Smart Specialisation or RIS3
(Research and Innovation strategy for Smart Specialisation) has been included as a
thematic ex-ante conditionality for receiving funding from the ERDF, set as a
17
COM(2010) 553, 6.10.2010 final
20
Economic, Social and Territorial Situation of Sicily
precondition for investment priorities aiming at strengthening research, technological
development and innovation (Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013, Annex XI).
Sicily is considered a moderate innovator18 despite the presence of some technology
districts (see Figure 6). On average the R&D represents 1 % of the regional GDP and public
R&D expenditure accounts for 0.8 % compared to 0.2 % from private expenditure (the
Italian average is 2 % of GDP) and regional weaknesses in terms of R&D relate to a
decrease of R&D workers (employees in R&D: 1.7 per 1000 inhabitants (Italy 2.8;
European average 5.1, information for 2013). Public research bodies are key players in R&I
but are not market oriented enough. Moreover, the technological districts are not fully
exploited and difficulties in funding enterprises remain.
Figure 6: Technology Districts in Sicily
Agro industry and
Fisheries
Chemicals
Nanotechnoloy
Ship building and
Nautical
Source: Sicily towards a RIS3 strategy, 2013
For the period 2014-2020 and in line with its regional RIS3 Strategy (sent to the EC in
2014 and approved on 18 February 2015), Sicily has put a strong emphasis on policies in
favour of research and innovation, which could change the regional production structure
towards more competitive sectors, absorbing parts of the regional human capital. Research
and innovation have also been identified as a multidimensional process promoting
interaction between different actors (regional, national and international) and being the
most efficient tool to fight against the economic crisis and its negative impact on the
region.
Sicilian SMEs have suffered from the economic crisis and are considered to be
undercapitalised, without strong internationalisation strategies, mainly regarding fast
growing international markets (e.g. China), clusters could also be better developed. If we
consider the latest data available by Istat, Sicily registered 46 enterprises per 1,000
inhabitants in 2011 (63.6 enterprises per 1,000 for the entire country). All in all, the
Sicilian economy depends strongly on public spending and the links between firms and
research are weak.
Therefore, the new programming period, mainly under TO 3 "enhancing the
competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises" reflects the essential role that
18
EC, Regional Innovation Scoreboard, 2014
21
Policy Department B: Structural and Cohesion Policies
SMEs play in the EU economy and in this context Sicily has identified 4 investment
priorities for the next seven years:
a)
Promoting entrepreneurship, in particular fostering the creation of innovative
SMEs, including through business incubators;
b)
Developing and implementing new business models for SMEs, in particular for
internationalisation;
c)
Supporting the creation and expansion of capacity for the development of
advanced products and services;
d)
Supporting the ability of SMEs to grow on the regional markets, national and
international and to take part in the processes of innovation.
In brief, the ERDF Regional OP 2014-2020 aims to encourage the creation of enterprises in
the manufacturing sector, in key emerging fields such as creative sectors, to promote new
forms of tourism, to foster the creation of innovative services that reflect the new social
demands (e.g. ageing population, health care, eco-innovation, low-carbon economy) and in
the areas identified by the regional strategy for smart specialisation, bringing new
perspectives to the Sicilian population.
22
Economic, Social and Territorial Situation of Sicily
REFERENCES
Committee of the Regions (2015), Italy: Divison of Powers, [ONLINE] Available at:
http://extranet.cor.europa.eu/divisionpowers/countries/MembersLP/Italy/Pages/default.asp
x, [Accessed 11 May 2015].
EuroInfoSicilia (2014), Programma Operativo FESR 2014-2020, [ONLINE]
Available at: http://www.euroinfosicilia.it/programmazione-20142020/livello-regionale-posicilia-2014-2020/, [Accessed 04 June 2015].
European Commission (2015), Regional Innovation Monitor - Sicily [ONLINE]
Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/regional-innovationmonitor/base-profile/sicily, [Accessed 13 May 2015].
European Commission (2014), Regional Innovation Scoreboard, [ONLINE]
Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/innovation/policy/regional-innovation/,
[Accessed 16 June 2015].
European Commission (2013), Guide to Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart
Specialisations, [ONLINE]
Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/sites/default/files/RIS3_GUIDE_FINAL.pdf,
[Accessed 14 May 2015].
Europol (2013), Threat and Assessment: Italian Organised Crime, [ONLINE]
Available at: https://www.europol.europa.eu/content/threat-assessment-italian-organisedcrime,
[Accessed 14 May 2015]
European Commission (2015), Country Report Italy 2015, including an In-Depth Review on
the prevention and correction of macroeconomic, imbalances, [ONLINE]
Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/making-it-happen/country-specificrecommendations/index_en.htm, Accessed 11 May 2015]
Italia - Dipartimento per lo Sviluppo e la Coesione Economica (2014), Accordo di
Partenariato 2014-2020, [ONLINE]
Available at: http://www.dps.gov.it/it/AccordoPartenariato, [Accessed 18 May 2015].
Italia - Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri (2013), Turismo Italia 2020, [ONLINE]
Available at:
http://www.agenziademanio.it/export/download/demanio/agenzia/5_Piano_strategico_del_
Turismo_2020.pdf, [Accessed 12 May 2015].
ISTAT (2015), Italy in Figures. [ONLINE], Available at: http://www.istat.it,
[Accessed 15 June 2015].
OECD (2015), Country statistical profile: Italy, OECD Publishing, Paris.
OECD (2015), Italy - Structural Reforms: Impact on Growth and Employment, [ONLINE]
Available at: http://www.oecd.org/italy/structural-reforms-in-italy-impact-on-growth-andemployment.pdf, [Accessed 16 June 2015].
23
Policy Department B: Structural and Cohesion Policies
Oxford Analytica (2015), Italy, [ONLINE]
Available at: https://www.oxan.com/Analysis/c/Default.aspx?q=Italy,
[Accessed 18 May 2015].
Region of Sicily (2014), Annuario Statistico Regionale - Sicilia 2014, [ONLINE]
Available at: http://pti.regione.sicilia.it, [Accessed 1 June 2015].
Regione Siciliana (2014), Strategia Regionale dell'innovazione per la specializzazione
intelligente per il periodo 2014-2020 - RIS3 Sicilia, [ONLINE]
Available at: http://www.euroinfosicilia.it/programmazione-20142020/livello-regionale-posicilia-2014-2020/strategia-regionale-dellinnovazione-2014-2020/, [Accessed 1 June 2015].
Regione Siciliana (2014), Programma Operativo FESR 2014-2020, [ONLINE]
Available at: http://www.euroinfosicilia.it/programmazione-20142020/livello-regionale-posicilia-2014-2020/, [Accessed 11 May 2015]
Region of Sicily (2001), Statute of the Sicilian Regional Government, Sicily Region
Presidency, 1946.
Region of Sicily (2000), Population, Geography and History, Sicily Financial Report, 2000.
Regulation (EU) no 1301/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17
December 2013 on the European Regional Development Fund and on specific provisions
concerning the Investment for growth and jobs goal and repealing Regulation (EC) No
1080/2006.
Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17
December 2013 laying down common provisions on the European Regional Development
Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for
Rural Development and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and laying down general
provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the
Cohesion Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and repealing Council
Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006,
UNODOC (2014), The Italian experience in the management, use and disposal of frozen,
seized and confiscated assets, [ONLINE],
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24
Economic, Social and Territorial Situation of Sicily
ANNEXES
ANNEX I – Europe 2020: Italian national targets and progress
Note: This table is extracted from the Annex A of the EC document SWD(2015)31 final/2,
Country Report Italy 2015: including an In-Depth Review on the prevention and correction
of macroeconomic imbalances, March 2015, p.82.
Europe 2020: Italian national targets
Employment rate target: 67-69 %
The employment rate was 61.2 % in 2011, 61 % in
2012 and 59.8 % in 2013.
Research and development target:
1.53 % of GDP
Gross domestic expenditure on research and
development was 1.21 % in 2011, 1.26 % in 2012
and 1.25% in 2013 (provisional).
Greenhouse gas emissions target -13
% (compared with 2005 emissions);
ETS emissions are not covered by this
national target.
According to the latest national projections in 2013, it
is expected that the target will be missed: -9.5 % in
2020 as compared with 2005 (i.e. a projected shortfall
of 3.5 percentage points). However, according to
approximated data for 2012, emissions are lower than
expected as they decreased by 18% between 2005
and 2012.
Renewable energy target: 17 %
Renewables’ share of gross final energy consumption
was 12.3 % in 2011 and 13.5 % in 2012. Despite
recent changes to support schemes, Italy is on track
to reach its 17% target in 2020.
Energy efficiency: absolute level of
primary energy consumption of 158
Mtoe
In 2012, primary energy consumption in Italy stood at
155.2 Mtoe, below the 2020 target but this evolution
is also related to economic recession.
Early school leaving target: 16 %
The early school leaving rate (the percentage of the
population aged 18-24 with at most lower secondary
education and not in further education or training) fell
from 18.2 % in 2011 to 17.6 % in 2012 and 17.0 % in
2013.
Tertiary education target: 26-27 %
The tertiary educational attainment rate rose from
20.3 % in 2011 to 21.7 % in 2012 and 22.4 % in
2013.
Target on the reduction of population
at risk of poverty or social exclusion in
number of persons: -2 200 000
(compared to 2008, thus
corresponding to 12 899 0000 people
at risk of poverty or social exclusion in
2020)
The number of people at risk of poverty or social
exclusion fell from 18 194 million in 2012 to 17 326
million in 2013.
25
Policy Department B: Structural and Cohesion Policies
ANNEX II – Regional OP 2007-2013 - Commitments and Payments,
February 2015
Commitments
Payments
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Mobility networks (Reti per la mobilità)
Natural Resources (Risorse naturali)
Culture, Environment and Tourism (Cultura, ambiente e turismo)
Research and Innovation (Ricerca e innovazione)
Local Development (Sviluppo locale)
Urban Development (Sviluppo urbano)
Governance
Source: EuroInfoSicilia, February 2015, Translation by the author
26
Economic, Social and Territorial Situation of Sicily
ANNEX III – Examples of projects financed by the ERDF, 2007-2013
1) 3SUN - Renewable energy in Catania
Description: 3SUN - in Catania, one of the largest production plants for solar panels in
thin-film multi-junction of Europe; inaugurated on 8 July 2011 and since then it has
produced more than 4 million panels. The panels produced by 3SUN fact have technical
characteristics which make them particularly suitable for use in South America and South
Africa.
Financing:
European Union - EUR 36.791.250
National Funding - EUR 12.263.750
2) SMART PIPE - Research and Innovation in Pozzallo
Description: Research and cooperation networks; competitiveness and economic growth,
transfer and absorption of innovation by the region, integrating public-private partnerships,
concerning particularly SMEs.
Financing:
European Union - EUR 94,285
Private - EUR 210.530
Italian State - EUR 133,999
Region - EUR 57,428
27
CATALOGUE: QA-02-15-432-EN-C (print), QA-02-15-432-EN-N (pdf)
DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR INTERNAL POLICIES
POLICY DEPARTMENT
STRUCTURAL AND COHESION POLICIES
B
DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR INTERNAL POLICIES
POLICY DEPARTMENT
STRUCTURAL AND COHESION POLICIES
Agriculture and Rural Development
Culture and Education
Role
The Policy Departments are research units that provide specialised advice
to committees, inter-parliamentary delegations and other parliamentary bodies.
Fisheries
Regional
Development
Regional
Development
Policy Areas
Transport and Tourism
Agriculture and Rural Development
Culture and Education
Fisheries
Regional Development
Transport and Tourism
ECONOMIC, SOCIAL
AND TERRITORIAL
SITUATION OF SICILY
Documents
Visit the European Parliament website:
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/supporting-analyses
PHOTO CREDIT: iStock International Inc., Photodisk, Phovoir
IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS
ISBN: 978-92-823-7305-7 (print), 978-92-823-7304-0 (pdf)
doi:10.2861/96717 (print), doi:10.2861/579235 (pdf)
EN
2015
B

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