Differentiated autonomy, what it is, what changes and why it is criticized

Today the Senate approved with 110 votes in favor (64 against and 30 abstentions) Minister Calderoli's law decree on differentiated regional autonomy, implementing the reform of Title V of the Constitution launched in 2001.
The text will pass to the Chamber for approval definitive, even if the oppositions are already announcing the repeal referendum.
That differentiated regional autonomy is a divisive topic, both politically and in effect, is certainly nothing new.
Giving power and freedom to the Regions allows for choices that are more targeted to citizens' needs and quicker, considering the small size to manage, but it also risks increasing existing disparities, contributing to real rifts in the nation.
To limit this eventuality, the Government has thought about introducing the Essential Performance Levels (Lep) in order to protect the needs of citizens but for which the funding has not yet been established and which moreover risks resulting in uneven performances.
What is differentiated autonomy and what does it change? Differentiated autonomy recognizes that the Regions with ordinary statute have legislative autonomy on matters of concurrent competence and on 3 matters of state competence.
In particular, the matters of exclusive state competence which may instead be transferred to the Regions are: organization of justice of the peace; general rules on education; protection of the ecosystem environment and cultural heritage.
Then there are 20 matters for which legislative power was already recognized to the Regions, but it was the State that dealt with the legislation of the fundamental principles, including: international relations and with the European Union of the Regions; protection and safety at work; scientific and technological research and support for innovation for productive sectors; civil protection; territorial government; civil ports and airports; large transport and navigation networks; ordering of communication; national energy production, transport and distribution; complementary and supplementary social security.
The Regions will thus be able to decide autonomously in these areas, upon their own request, thus representing a true decentralization of the State.
It is clear that the subjects for which the Regions will be able to boast full autonomy are anything but secondary, given that they also include pillars such as Healthcare and Education.
The risk is that the territorial disparity due to economic differences will be further marked, despite the Lep.
On the other hand, decentralization would allow for much faster management, with the possibility of acting more specifically on issues relevant to citizens.
In any case, with autonomy the Regions acquire new functions, together with the management of the related human, instrumental and financial resources.
In concrete terms, a significant change is expected, especially taking into account the political dynamics that will guide decisions and new rules.
read also Roberto Calderoli, who is the Minister for Regional Affairs and Autonomy and how much does he earn? must be guaranteed to all citizens and concerning civil and social rights.
The objective is to guarantee equal resources to all Regions, regardless of the request for autonomy.
The mechanism appears perfectly functional, except that it is difficult to hope that the State can deal with inequalities and find the necessary funds to implement the Lep.
There is no guarantee in this regard, also because the Calderoli bill contains what is to all intents and purposes a spending invariance clause: the transfer of skills and resources can only take place in compliance with public finance objectives and within the limits of the law budget.
Regional autonomy, moreover, reduces state control and poses a considerable legislative obstacle.
If autonomy also translates into the possibility of legislating in the sector, an inevitable conflict with national laws is created, compromising the entire hierarchical system of the legal system.
However, it must also be considered that the transition is not immediate, from the Region's request it will take at least 5 months to obtain the response of the Chambers.
The agreement on autonomy, moreover, can have a variable duration of up to 10 years but can be revoked by the State with a minimum notice of 12 months.
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