Italy/ 3. Competence, decision-making and administration
3.3 Inter-ministerial or intergovernmental co-operation
At a horizontal level, inter-ministerial co-operation has been traditionally pursued by the Ministry for Heritage also by means of memoranda of agreements signed, for instance, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the field of international cultural relations (see chapter 3.4), and with the Ministry of Education for arts training and education in schools (see chapter 8.3.1).
A key development in horizontal co-operation has been the participation, since 1999, of the Ministry for Heritage in the Inter-ministerial Committee for Economic Planning (CIPE) of the Ministry for the Economy: a strategic committee, which is also responsible for the allocation of EU Structural Funds. The Objective 1 Regions in Southern Italy have benefited from several million EUR of additional funding for capital investment in the cultural field under the 2000-2006 Plan and by 6 million in the current Plan 2007-2013, within the Community Support Framework (see further).
As for vertical co-operation among government levels, common problems between the state and the regions have always been dealt with in the framework of the State-Regions Conference, also acting as a sort of "clearing house" for any controversy. Since the end of the 1990s, though, two interesting developments for more rationally planned state / region cooperation should be singled out:
- about 50 multilateral Framework Planning Agreements ("Accordi di Programma Quadro") in the cultural field have been signed since 1996 by the Ministry for Heritage with most of the 20 Regions. Financial resources are being made available by the Ministry for Heritage itself, the Ministry for the Economy (CIPE), the regions, the local governments, in some cases by the European Commission, and by other private financial partners (the banking foundations, the Italian Bishop's Conference, etc…). Although most of these agreements are aimed at fostering partnerships in the field of cultural heritage and museums, some agreements in support of contemporary art and of the performing arts have been recently signed, as well.
- the second kind of cooperation has been for scientific and technical assistance, provided by the Ministry for Heritage to the six Southern Objective 1 regions for the implementation of several cultural projects, in the framework of the above mentioned EU Structural Funds and Cohesion Policies. These projects – co-financed by the European Commission - have been carried out by regional and local authorities in cooperation with the Ministry's Regional Directions as far as the general planning process was concerned, whereas the Soprintendenze have been significantly involved in restoration, research and training activities. Such cooperation turned out to be very fruitful in improving planning skills and capacity building in public administration, and in fostering new, more advanced forms of State-Regions partnerships.
Chapter published: 08-08-2012