This chapter first describes the historical process of the transition of the Italian state from its pre-1948 unitary form to the new Italian Republic’s asymmetrically regionalized system comprised of ‘special status’ and ‘ordinary status’ regions and strongly centralized finances and budgetary control. In the 1990s a transition commenced to a greater degree of federalism but the 2008–9 financial crisis and its severe impact on the Italian economy have jeopardized completion of the federalist reforms and financial devolution. Moreover, to the extent that regional financial autonomy has increased in response to the financial crisis, this has been seen as a product of cost shifting from the central level and has contributed to a backlash against the move to federalism overall. The future path of reform remains uncertain, in particular while EU-level institutions continue to develop and the EU follows its own structural reform path.
Emanuele Massetti and Massimo Tavoni
Emanuele Massetti and Robert Mendelsohn
Carlo Carraro and Emanuele Massetti
Emanuele Massetti and Arjan H. Schakel
This chapter analyses the impact of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) on the attitudes of regionalist parties towards the process of European integration. The authors consider three distinct funding periods: 1989_1993, 1994_1999 and 2000_2006. The chapter shows that the regionalist party family have been overwhelmingly Europhile in the first and second period, while they have shown a clear turn towards Euroscepticism in the latter period. However, the Eurosceptic turn is not linked to changes in the ERDF. In fact, the authors find a positive effect of the relative share of ERDF on regionalist parties’ level of support for European integration. In particular, their data suggest that the ERDF has been an important facilitator for the spreading of Europhile positions in the first period analysed (1989_1993) and has represented a kind of barrier against the diffusion of Eurosceptic positions in the last period analysed (2000_2006). The migration of ERDF funding from Western to Central and Eastern European member states, therefore, can further undermine the capacity of the EU to maintain the loyalty of this small but still important party family.