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TITOLO DEL WORKSHOP:

Tavola rotonda: Verso una rete nazionale di protezione sociale ed economica

COORDINATORE:

Riccardo Graziano - Segretario Generale Ente Nazionale per il Microcredito

PARTECIPANTI:

Giovanni Nicola Pes - Vice Segretario Generale Ente Nazionale per il Microcredito

Paolo Rita - Ente Nazionale per il Microcredito

Ernesto Ghidinelli - Responsabile credito Confcommercio

Roberto Cutrona - Responsabile credito e finanza di sistema Confcooperative

Giancarlo Bandini - Segretario Provinciale Confimprese Viterbo

Mauro Meloni - Responsabile Delegato Confimprese Italia

Saturno Sampalmieri - Segretario Nazionale Ass. Nazionale Consulenti Tributari

Johnny Malerba - Delegato Lazio Associazione Nazionale dei B&B e Affittacamere

Domenico Moschella - Fiscalista Sindacato Nazionale Autonomo Giornalai - Snag

Prende per primo la parola il dott. Ghidinelli il quale, in qualità di responsabile credito di Confcommercio, espone in sintesi le problematiche dell’accesso al credito delle PMI e delle microimprese. Al riguardo, osserva che gli ultimi dati dell’Osservatorio sul credito di Confcommercio fotografano una situazione più pesante rispetto alla precedente rilevazione. Come le imprese ben sanno, gli ostacoli al credito rendono più difficile non solo fare progetti per il futuro, ma a volte anche gestire l’attività ordinaria, perché la disponibilità di liquidità, in questa fase economica, può avere una valenza strategica. Confcommercio sta affrontando la difficile situazione del credito cercando strumenti il più possibile pratici ed operativi per aiutare soprattutto le imprese commerciali di piccola dimensione e, in questo contesto, il microcredito può assumere un ruolo fondamentale. Interviene quindi il dott. Cutrona, sottolineando come il mondo delle piccole cooperative e delle PMI in generale avverta fortemente l’esigenza di un più favorevole accesso al credito, per evitare che un aggravamento del credit crunch colpisca pesantemente il sistema produttivo italiano e, in particolare, quelle tipologie di impresa che hanno una forte dipendenza dal credito bancario. È questa la necessità più volte rappresentata in sede istituzionale non solo da Confcooperative ma anche dalle altre organizzazioni del mondo cooperativistico. In sostanza, si renderebbe necessario definire un vero e proprio piano per il finanziamento delle cooperative e delle micro, piccole e medie imprese, in ragione soprattutto del ruolo che queste svolgono per la tutela dell’occupazione. Iniziative di questo tipo vanno portate avanti con la collaborazione di tutti i soggetti che operano nella filiera del credito, abbandonando ogni tipo di autoreferenzialità a favore di una logica sistemica che punti ad affrontare e risolvere i problemi. In una logica di sistema – conclude il dott. Cutrona – sarebbe anche opportuno valorizzare al massimo il ruolo del Fondo Centrale di Garanzia e dei Confidi all’interno della filiera del credito. Il dott. Bandini fa una breve presentazione dell’associazione Confimprese Italia, sede territoriale di Viterbo, che da circa due anni è presente sul territorio provinciale. L’associazione – riferisce il dott. Bandini – tutela e promuove a tutti i livelli i reali interessi della micro, piccola e media Impresa. E’ formata da commercianti, artigiani, agricoltori e liberi professionisti ed è particolarmente interessata al microcredito, che è uno strumento in grado di favorire coloro che intendono avviare un’attività imprenditoriale e non hanno la possibilità di accedere al credito attraverso le normali istituzioni finanziarie. Anche per questo, nel mese di dicembre 2016, l’associazione, insieme all’Università degli Studi della Tuscia, organizzerà un convegno sul tema “La crisi d’ impresa: ristrutturazione, finanziamento ed evoluzione”. Al convegno è stato invitato il Presidente dell’Ente Mario Baccini, che ha confermato la sua adesione. Prende quindi la parola il dott. Meloni che introduce il tema della formazione, un aspetto della massima importanza per avvicinare i giovani al microcredito, tanto che Confimprese Italia ha voluto stipulare recentemente una convenzione con l’Ente che riguarda, tra l’altro, anche questa materia. Sono note, infatti le difficoltà di accesso al credito bancario per chi è sprovvisto di garanzie ed è quindi fondamentale far conoscere le possibilità di accesso al credito offerte dalla garanzia del Fondo centrale che beneficia della garanzia di ultima istanza dello Stato. Tuttavia, nello stesso tempo, va sottolineato come il tutoraggio sia un fattore determinante per il successo di qualsiasi iniziativa di microimpresa e come, per questo, debba essere incrementato e sostenuto. Al riguardo, il dott. Meloni osserva che Confimprese Italia svolge comunque corsi di formazione rivolti soprattutto ai giovani aspiranti imprenditori, ma si avverte la necessità di una struttura terza che sostenga in modo organico le attività di formazione, tutoraggio e monitoraggio, pena il fallimento di molte start-up. Al riguardo, l’avv. Graziano ricorda come l’Ente sia particolarmente attento al tema del tutoraggio, tanto da aver avviato un’iniziativa di valutazione degli operatori di servizi non finanziari di accompagnamento al microcredito che, qualora rispondano alle Linee d’indirizzo stabilite in materia dall’Ente stesso, saranno iscritti in un apposito elenco. Interviene il dott. Sampalmieri facendo presente che il microcredito è materia di forte interesse anche per i consulenti tributari, dal momento che oggi si nota un forte incremento dei giovani professionisti, anche non iscritti nei rispettivi Albi, ai quali è necessario offrire un sostegno finanziario per avviare la propria attività. Per questo, l’Associazione Consulenti Tributari ha messo a punto uno specifico progetto definito “Facciamo ripartire l’Italia”, con il quale intende offrire, anche con l’intervento dei Confidi, un “pacchetto” di servizi finanziari e di consulenza. E’ prevista per fine novembre una serie di iniziative dell’associazione per presentare questo progetto, nell’ambito del quale si pensa di inserire anche specifiche misure di microcredito. Il dott. Sampalmieri invita i presenti a partecipare a queste iniziative. Graziano informa che l’Ente sta pensando ad un progetto di microcredito finalizzato ad agevolare i cittadini per il pagamento dei debiti di natura tributaria, che rappresenterebbe una valida alternativa alla riscossione coattiva attraverso concessionario e una opportunità per i Comuni di recuperare immediatamente parte dei propri crediti. Inoltre, l’Ente ha già una convenzione per la lotta all’usura. Sarebbe auspicabile – afferma l’avv. Graziano – una fattiva collaborazione con i professionisti per fronteggiare queste problematiche. Il dott. Malerba si sofferma sulle caratteristiche del settore extra-alberghiero, che rappresenta un mercato parallelo a quello alberghiero, con il quale non si vuole porre in contrapposizione. L’extra-alberghiero si è molto sviluppato in occasione del Giubileo, con le famiglie che offrivano ospitalità ai visitatori delle città italiane, in particolare Roma. Ormai questo settore ha superato i posti letto dell’alberghiero, anche se c’è molto sommerso. L’associazione nazionale dei B&B e affittacamere è impegnata in corsi di formazione (egli stesso insegna marketing) per potenziare le attività turistiche; a tale riguardo, il microcredito, supportato da specifiche attività formative, può essere uno strumento della massima utilità al fine di trasformare l’extra-alberghiero in un settore a tutti gli effetti professionale. Il rappresentante dello Snag, dott. Moschella, fa presente che il Sindacato Nazionale Autonomo Giornalai, che ha una struttura estesa sull’intero territorio nazionale e rappresenta circa 13.000 associati, sta vivendo una fase di trasformazione. La nuova legge sull’editoria, infatti, comporta la necessità di una razionalizzazione della filiera e di una radicale informatizzazione. Al riguardo, in considerazione degli investimenti che dovranno essere realizzati dagli operatori del settore (in massima parte microaziende) per adeguarsi alle nuove necessità del mercato, il microcredito può giocare un ruolo importante. Lo Snag, a tal fine, ha già assunto specifiche iniziative che consistono nella stipula di convenzioni con le Regioni e di accordi con le banche per il rilascio di fideiussioni. Un’altra iniziativa realizzata dallo Snag, questa volta nel campo del microcredito sociale, consiste nella creazione di un fondo a sostegno dei giornalai di Genova e delle loro famiglie, che hanno riportato danni dall’alluvione dell’anno scorso. Prendendo spunto dall’intervento del dott. Moschella, Graziano afferma che è intenzione dell’Ente definire progetti di microcredito finalizzati a singole categorie di attività economica, quali ad esempio i parrucchieri o, appunto, i giornalai, sviluppando per ciascuna categoria servizi aggiuntivi ad hoc da erogare attraverso tutor che possano assistere i microimprenditori, soprattutto nella predisposizione del business plan. L’avv. Graziano invita altresì i presenti a pensare a fondi rotativi per il finanziamento di progetti speciali di microcredito sociale. Il dott. Sampalmieri si è speso per l’ideazione di un progetto a favore di Amatrice. Tale progetto è stato realizzato non solo con Amatrice ma anche tutti i paesi del cratere sismico. Comunica che l’Associazione dei consulenti tributari ha già effettuato delle raccolte di fondi per i terremotati, che potrebbero confluire in un fondo di garanzia per il microcredito. Graziano accoglie con favore la proposta. Il dott. Pes si compiace del fatto che siano stati raggiunti gli obiettivi per i quali era stata convocata questa tavola rotonda: innanzitutto approfondire la conoscenza tra l’Ente Nazionale per il Microcredito e le associazioni di categoria; in secondo luogo, individuare i possibili campi di collaborazione ed interlocuzione. Proprio per questo è stato distribuito ai presenti un documento sulle caratteristiche del microcredito, predisposto dall’Ufficio Studi dell’Ente, che focalizza le due principali finalità del rapporto tra Ente ed Associazioni: favorire l’intercettazione del bisogno dei clienti in relazione alle iniziative progettuali di microimprenditorialità e di lavoro autonomo; individuare i più appropriati meccanismi di sostegno ai microimprenditori (quali in particolare, i servizi di accompagnamento, assistenza, monitoraggio, tutoraggio, formazione) necessari per rafforzarne le competenze professionali, anche in considerazione dei diversi comparti di attività economica di appartenenza. Dopo aver sottolineato che i soggetti di diretta provenienza dalle associazioni di categoria sono quelli che possono svolgere al meglio i servizi ausiliari di tutoraggio per il microcredito, il dott. Pes propone ai presenti di svolgere, ciascuno per la sua parte, approfondimenti sui suddetti argomenti, al fine di poter stipulare successivamente specifici accordi di collaborazione. Conclude la riunione l’avv. Graziano,il quale invita nuovamente i presenti ad approfondire il ruolo determinante svolto dai tutor nel processo del microcredito. Come già detto, l’Ente, sulla base delle linee guida emanate in materia, sta predisponendo una sorta di “griglia” per l’individuazione di queste figure professionali e per la predisposizione di un apposito elenco. A suo giudizio, il tutor di microcredito dovrà avere innanzitutto una forte predisposizione ai rapporti umani, al fine di individuare, interloquire e accompagnare i potenziali beneficiari; dovrà, inoltre, essere in possesso di conoscenze informatiche per poter utilizzare una piattaforma alquanto complessa che faciliterà il suo lavoro. Un fattore determinante sarà anche quella delle conoscenze economico gestionali e, per questo, sarebbe preferibile che il tutor fosse un soggetto laureato in discipline economiche, senza peraltro escludere a priori la possibilità di coinvolgere in questo ruolo anche soggetti privi di una formazione accademica ma in possesso di una consolidata esperienza, come ad esempio gli ex funzionari di banca.--

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GIANCLAUDIO BRESSA

Sottosegretario di Stato alla Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri per gli Affari Regionali, le Autonomie e lo Sport

Grazie, un saluto innanzitutto a tutti gli ambasciatori presenti oggi e un ringraziamento al presidente Mario Baccini non tanto, e nonsolo, per l’invito ma anche per la vivacità e l’impulso che è stato capace di dare alla realtà del Microcredito, ed i risultati si vedono. La crescita di rilievo e l’interesse del fenomeno di microcredito si inserisce in una fase di oggettiva difficoltà delle attività degli intermediari finanziari a venire incontro alle richieste della parte più frammentata e diffusa del ricco tessuto imprenditoriale italiano. Da una parte la pletorica organizzazione interna dei grandi istituti di credito ha dovuto essere razionalizzata, con ampi processi di dismissione di personale, di contenimento del numero degli sportelli, di concentrazione di poteri decisionali sulla concessione del credito verso i livelli più alti. In questo modo, il sistema bancario ha progressivamente perso la sensibilità per l’economia reale, l’immediatezza nel leggerne attori e momenti. Nel contempo, con i diversi round delle regole transnazionali di Basilea, un sistema che

andava verticizzandosi, perdendo sensibilità per il particolare, veniva sempre più spesso spinto a rinunciare alla propria vocazione di sensibilità territoriale. Verticismo, burocratizzazione, automatismo sono diventati i meccanismi dominanti di funzionamento degli intermediari finanziari bancari tradizionali. L’imprenditore, ed in particolare la micro impresa, la ditta individuale si sono trovati spiazzati e a corto di liquidità. Ed è in questo quadro che si colloca la recente fortuna di azioni e strumenti di microcredito, tanto a livello nazionale quanto a livello regionale. Quando il presidente Baccini ricorda che nei prossimi due anni sono previsti 18.000 posti di lavoro che si creano per concessioni già chiuse e che questi 18.000 posti di lavoro sono creati da situazioni di esclusione sociale ci da la dimensione del ruolo che, in questo momento, il microcredito può rappresentare per la nostra economia. Il microcredito rappresenta per questo uno strumento vitale da affiancare alle altre misure che il Governo nella Legge di Stabilità ha messo in campo a sostegno del sistema produttivo delle sue tendenze di modernizzazione, della straordinaria tenuta che ha avuto negli anni più difficili della crisi recente. Ergo, un sistema finanziario ricco, articolato nei target, negli strumenti, capace di diversificare tipologie di credito rispetto ai differenti target di operatori economici. Il microcredito sia a livello nazionale che regionale svolge, e potrà svolgere, un ruolo in questo senso ancora più proficuo. Giustamente, ricordava il presidente Baccini la necessità, l’ineluttabilità del fare rete. La capacità di fare rete è la dimensione culturale ed organizzativa che non possiamo mai tradire. Ebbene, il Dipartimento per gli Affari Regionali, in questa nuova stagione, continuerà a tenere viva la rete delle finanziarie regionali. Piuttosto che disperdersi in operazioni di pura formazione che si sono rivelate non sempre utili, svilupperà una maggiore circolazione di informazioni, una più capillare consapevolezza delle Autorità di Gestione Regionali e dei fondi europei verso le tipologie di credito e di attori economici. Un costante confronto su pratiche e modelli di prestito, un sostegno ai professionisti della finanza di progetto a carattere pubblico in ambito regionale, per facilitare il loro compito rispetto ai centri di decisione sulla finanza locale. Al cuore di questa strategia una più convinta e consapevole regia centrale che coinvolga l’Ente Nazionale per il Microcredito, le sue professionalità potrà essere di grande giovamento per tutti i territori. Questo è il nuovo orizzonte di sfida per il microcredito che troverà nel Dipartimento per gli Affari Regionali un convinto e consapevole interlocutore. La strada in qualche modo è stata tracciata bene; si tratta di continuare meglio.

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Study supporting the evaluation of the council recommendation on the integration of long-term unemployed into the labour market

Written by ramboll, Seor, WiiW January 2019
EUROPEAN COMMISSION
Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion Directorate B - Employment - Unit B.1 - Employment Strategy

Executive Summary

The purpose of this assignment was to carry out an external study to support the evaluation of the actions taken in response to the Council Recommendation on the integration of the long-term unemployed into the labour market (the Recommendation), as requested by Article 14 of the same Recommendation1. The study covers actions undertaken in Members States and by the Commission in response to the Recommendation. It assesses the extent to which the general and specific objectives have been realised, tracking the activities implemented, outputs reached, and results achieved. The evaluation criteria effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, coherence and EU added value are addressed, in line with the Better Regulation Guidelines of the European Commission.

The study provides an assessment of the extent to which the Recommendation contributed to:

• an increase in coverage – increased registration of long-term unemployed individuals with Public Employment Services in Member States;

• an improved continuity and coordination between relevant services, including by identifying a single point of contact (SPOC) in charge of coordinating support;

• an improved effectiveness of interventions towards both long term unemployed and employers.


To this end, the Recommendation proposed concrete measures in four main policy areas: (1) coverage of registration; (2) individualised support to long-term unemployed; (3) inter-institutional coordination; and (4) cooperation with employers. The study has assessed whether and how the measures provided in the Recommendation have translated into new policies and practices (or planned changes) in Member States. The study was carried out using a mixed-methods approach, using both qualitative and quantitative data to assess and explore whether the Recommendation led to the expected results and impacts.

A mapping of policy changes was undertaken in all Member States, comparing policies in place to tackle long-term unemployment before the Recommendation was adopted in February 2016, and policies planned or in place by end 2018. Furthermore, the study entailed in-depth case studies in eight Member States, reaching the regional and local level to illustrate the implementation of measures proposed in the Recommendation in different contexts and institutional settings. The findings were complemented by a public consultation during summer 2018, collecting over 400 responses from stakeholders in Member States and at the EU level, and targeted interviews with key stakeholders (social partners) at the EU level. Finally, quantitative data from Eurostat and monitoring carried out in the framework of the Employment Committee (EMCO) was used to complement the qualitative findings and explore the early effects of the Recommendation.

Implementation of the Recommendation

The Recommendation was adopted in February 2016. The study showed that by end 2018 Member States have responded to the Recommendation with either implementation of new measures (where measures targeting long-term unemployed were less developed) or by changes and development to existing measures, in line with what the Recommendation proposed. Figure 1 show a synthesis of changes in quality of policy measures, based on assessments by made national experts. Countries with no or minor changes in policy are countries with already lower starting positions in terms of LTU-rates in 2014. For all countries that reported mixed or strong or very strong change, LTU-rates declined rather substantially.

The main barrier in implementation relate to resources and financial constraints. Member States with high LTU-rates also have high unemployment rates, overall putting pressure on the public employment services and high demand for activation measures. Institutional fragmentation and governance also played an important role, with challenging implementation in highly decentralised models. Finally, the institutional set-up and legal framework influences the capacity to share information and coordinate support to long-term unemployed between different institutions. The drivers for change were related to a need to increase focus on long-term unemployment, as short-term unemployment is falling, and the labour market has picked up speed since the Recommendation was adopted. Another driver has been the need to integrate recent immigrants on the labour market, in Member States with a high inflow of refugees in recent years.

Evaluation of the Recommendation

Overall, the findings show that Member States have implemented measures in line with the spirit of the Recommendation. The Recommendation was effective as a means to influence policy measures to support long-term unemployed, in particular with regards to individualised support and consistency in the support offer. In terms of results and more long-term impacts such as increased transition and labour market performance, it is too early to assess whether integration of long-term unemployed to the labour market has improved due to the Recommendation, as limited time has passed.

Due to the limited time period since the adoption of the Recommendation, it is difficult to assess whether it was efficient and cost-effective. The study did not identify any disproportionate costs, and qualitative evidence indicate that the measures proposed are perceived as cost effective in the Member States. The European Social Fund contributed significantly to the implementation of the Recommendation in several Member States, mainly through projects on methodological development and active labour market policy.

The Recommendation was found to be strongly coherent with national policies to tackle long-term unemployment, and it plays an important role at the EU policy level by targeting specifically the practical support provided to long-term unemployed individuals.

Overall, the objectives of the Recommendation were and still are, relevant to address needs and issues linked to long-term unemployment, given that longterm unemployment remains above pre-crisis levels in some Member States, the very long-term unemployment rate is declining very slowly and the share of long-term unemployment in total unemployment remains high in several Member States.

In terms of EU added value, the Recommendation helped putting/keeping long-term unemployment high on the agenda at the European level and in Member States. It is not possible to establish with available quantitative data whether funding/resources allocation to support long-term unemployed has increased, but the Recommendation likely influenced what measures Member States focussed on in their efforts to tackle long-term unemployment. In Member States where the Recommendation was expected to have a high impact, it appears to have influenced national policy and priorities. In Member States with well-developed systems, the influence of the Recommendation was more limited, as could be expected.

Conclusions

The study provides clear evidence of progress and improvements in policy fields related to the Recommendation. This change is stronger for countries which had a less favourable starting position in terms of quality of measures. The expectations outlined in the Staff Working Document accompanying the Recommendation (2015) are in the process of being fulfilled, even though much work remains in Member States to fully implement to proposed measures.


Where progress had been limited, or where measures were not prioritised, it was mainly related to contextual factors. The main factor was a lack of financial and human resources in national, regional and local administrations. The speed of implementation has also been influenced by institutional set-up, and the degree of decentralisation in the public employment services. Another factor influencing implementation are the unemployment levels, as in Member States with very high overall unemployment (for example Greece and Italy), resources in the PES are strained and caseloads very high both for unemployed and long-term unemployed.

The study has analysed the early results of the measures implemented, by looking at the outputs and results of the measures implemented. While the policy changes implemented likely have been influenced by the Recommendation, the link from measures to outputs and results is more difficult to establish and verify.


Output indicators (like the registration rate, longterm unemployed with job-integration agreement, activation rates, ESIF-participants) which are directly related to policies implemented, show positive change over the period. For most indicators there is an increasing trend, the exceptions are coverage of registration and ALMP expenditures, which are not developing as expected or intended.

Results indicators like the transition rates and the LTU-rate are more influenced by other intervening factors than output indicators. Transition rates of long term unemployed into employment and LTUrates have improved since 2014 for most countries, however the development is closely connected to the business cycle. After a correction for the business cycles’ influence there is a favourable change in LTUrates after the baseline in 2014 in certain Member States, however these are not specifically countries showing strong changes in the policy areas. In general, the study finds weak linkages between policy changes and changes in result and output variables.

However, the complexity of potentially many intervening factors and the limited time span plays a role, especially with regards to the result variables. The findings in this study should therefore be considered indicative.

Figure 1 - Change in policy measures 2015 and 2018 Source: mapping exercise task 1 & Eurostat note: countries with no change show no changes in the mapping exercise for any policy area. countries with minor change show improvement in 1 policy area. Mixed change is change in 2 or 3 policy areas. Strong change is change in at least 4 out of 5 policy areas with at most 1 policy area showing an improvement stronger than 1 point. Very strong change is change in at least 4 out of 5 policy areas with at least 2 policy areas showing an increase stronger than 1 point.

Recommendations

Based on the evaluation is it recommended that:

• Individualised support remains a key focus area to improve the support offer, also extending the support to enhanced post placement support for long-term unemployed

• Knowledge exchange and sharing of practices regarding coordination and Single Point of Contact is intensified, especially related to data sharing and institutional set-up.

• Member States and the Commission considers whether groupings with similar experiences, systems and challenges could potentially further strengthen the knowledge exchange between Member States.

• A strengthened focus on employer cooperation, also including ways to tackling stigma and bar riers to bringing long-term unemployed into sustainable employment.

• A stronger link is made between support to longterm unemployed and recognition of formal and informal skills.

1. Introduction

The purpose of this study is to carry out an external and independent study to support the evaluation of the actions taken in response to the Council Recommendation on the integration of the long-term unemployed into the labour market (Recommendation), as requested by Article 14 of the same Recommendation3. The study complies with the requirements regarding evaluation defined by Better Regulation Guidelines and Toolbox (BR)4 in assessing the evaluation criteria effectiveness, efficiency, coherence, relevance and EU added value. It is intended to serve as input into the Staff Working Document for evaluation of the Recommendation and ultimately feed into a report of the Commission to the Council due by early 2019.

To this end, the study answers to the evaluation questions put forward by the Commission. By answering the evaluation questions, conclusions have been drawn on the evaluation criteria.

1.1 Purpose and scope

The Recommendation was adopted in February 2016, and at the start of the study it had been in place for 2 years. The study covers actions undertaken in Members States and by the Commission in response to the Recommendation. It assesses the extent to which the general and specific objectives have been realised, tracking the intervention logic from activities implemented, outputs reached, and results achieved.

Since the time span covered is relatively short, the focus of the study is primarily on the planned or realised implementation of measures (activities) as well as outputs produced (short-term results). In this sense, the study has a clear formative perspective, in taking stock of how implementation of the Recommendation has been progressing and what early results can be observed. The terms of reference set a specific focus on the extent to which the Recommendation contributed to:

• an increase in coverage – increased registration of people who are long-term unemployed with Public Employment Services in Member States;

• an improved continuity and coordination between relevant services, including by identifying a single point of contact (SPOC) in charge of coordinating support

• an improved effectiveness of interventions towards both long term unemployed and employers.

To this end, the study has assessed whether and how the guidelines provided in the Recommendation have translated into new policies and practices (or planned changes) in Member States. The study highlights policy changes and practices, and aim to identify and describe the main drivers and barriers in national contexts.

Even though the study comes at an early stage of implementation, it has taken into account result (an increase in transition rates, a decrease in the share of long-term unemployed people) and attempts to link result indicators with findings in the study. However, such findings are interpreted with care since it cannot be expected that more long-term effects have already materialised, and many other contextual factors will have a strong influence on the labour market development in Europe.

The geographical scope of the study is the European Union in its present composition of 28 Member States. The time span to be covered is the period starting from the adoption of Recommendation, i.e. 15 February 2016. As a baseline, the period preceding the adoption, e.g. H1 2015 is being used, rather than 2nd half (H2), since the preparatory work and negotiations may have influenced long-term unemployment policy prior to adoption of the Recommendation. e study has a cut-off date as close to contract closure as possible to enable integration of latest data in the report, November 30, 2018.1.

1 https://ec.europa.eu/social/BlobServlet?docId=21008&langId=en (download the complete text)
2 Council Recommendation of 15th of February 2016 on the integration of long-term unemployed in the labour market
3 The LTU-rate is the percentage of long-term unemployed in the active population aged 25-64. We use yearly data for 2014 and 2017.
4 Council Recommendation of 15th of February 2016 on the integration of people who are long-term unemployed in the labour market
5 https://ec.europa.eu/info/better-regulation-guidelines-and-toolbox_en

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Annex 4 study supporting the evaluation of the council recommendation on the integration of long-term unemployed into the labour market case study report: italy

The objective of this report is to assess and explore the actions taken at national and local level in Italy in response to the Recommendation on the integration of the long-term unemployed into the labour market (2016/C 67/01) (hereafter ‘the Recommendation’). The aim is to establish whether and how the Recommendation has influenced policy, funding, activities, and long-term unemployment1in Italy.

1.1 Context of the implementation of the Recommendation

1.1.1 Evolution of labour market situation

Italy is one of the EU countries hit hardest by the 2008 economic crisis, experiencing severe social and economic consequences. Comparatively, unemployment rose more than in most other European countries, particularly affecting women and young people. The total number of unemployed almost doubled from 2008 until 2016 - growing from 1.6 to about 3 million people.2 Overall the unemployment rate rose from 5.7% in 2008 to 10% in 2017 (EU28 3.4%)3, with a rate of 10.4% recorded for early 2018.4 In 2016, unemployment was particularly high among women, with an unemployment rate in Italy of 12.8% (EU28 88.8%), and in specific geographical areas, such as the South (19.8%) and the Islands (20.8%). Conversely, the unemployment rate among low skilled workers (15.7%) - despite being significantly higher than among the high-skilled (6.8%) - was slightly lower than the EU28 average (16.1%).

Italy has recorded higher rates of long-term unemployment than many other European countries, with a gap of over ten percentage points with respect to the EU28 average in 2016 (57.4% vs 46.8%). Overall, the long-term unemployment rate in Italy rose from 2.7% in 2008 to 5.9% in 2017, with a rate of 6.2% recorded in early 2018 (Figure 1).5 As Figure 2 shows below, long-term unemployment has remained fairly steady since 2014 having consistently represented a larger share of the unemployed population when compared to short-term unemployment since around 2010. In 2008 the long-term unemployed comprised 47.9% of total un
employed (EU28 41.8%), with the proportion climbing to 59.8% in 2017 (49.5%), and 60.62% in early 2018.

The negative trend of long-term unemployment was softened with the (weak) economic recovery in the period from 2014 to 2017, when the long-term unemployment rate dropped from 6.7% to 5.9% (Fig. 1) - although no improvements are visible for older workers aged 55-64. Furthermore, longterm unemployment remains a serious issue in particular for women and low-skilled job seekers (Tab. 1). As shown below, the long-term unemployment rate for those between the ages of 55-64 has remained at the same level with the rate only decreasing very slowly across all educational levels. The regional imbalances in long-term unemployment are important: in the North East the percentage of long-term unemployment of total unemployment is 47.6%, in the South it reached 64.6% (Figure 3 shows that while Northern Italian regions have rates of long-term unemployment as a percentage of the total labour force in line with the EU28 average (e.g. Lombardy 3.3%; Veneto 3.1%; Emilia-Romagna 3.0%), in Southern regions long-term unemployment is a much more serious issue, as shown by the much higher rates in Campania (13.8%), Sicily (14.3%), and Calabria (14.7%). In Italy, long-term unemployment tends to be a more persistent condition than in other European contexts. In 2016, the very long unemployment rate6 was 38.8% (EU28 29.3%). The long-term unemployed in Italy who are unemployed for over 18 months is 4.6% (EU28 3%). Consistently, Italy is one of the worst performers in Europe in terms of transition from long-term unemployment to employment. In 2016, only 9% of the long-term unemployed in Italy found a job - against 11% in the UK, 14% in the Netherlands and 26% in Denmark. Unfortunately, in Italy these figures are improving at a slower rate compared to other countries with high unemployment rates, such as Spain (11% in 2017) and Portugal (18%).

Figure 1: Long-term unemployed share, unemployment rate, long-term unemployment rate, and very long-term unemployment rate in Italy, 2008-2018 - Source: Eurostat

Figure 2: Long-term unemployment (LTU) versus short-term unemployment (STU) rate in Italy, 2008 – 2018 - Source: Eurostat.
Note
: data for 2018 is based on Q1 and Q2 only.

Table 1: Long-term unemployment rates (unemployed for more than 12 months) in Italy, 2014-2017 - Source: EMCO monitoring data 2014-2017

Rather than finding employment, a large share of the unemployed in Italy become inactive. So-called ‘discouragement effects’ seem to be particularly relevant: in 2016, 37.1% of the unemployed shifted from an unemployed status to inactivity - the highest percentage in Europe (compared to an average of 17% amongst the other 26 EU countries included in the Eurostat database). this is also a higher rate than in other countries with high unemployment rates, including for example Spain (16.6%), Portugal (19.9%) or Poland (25.9%).

The deteriorating condition of the labour market as well as the tendency for long-term unemployment to become an ongoing situation has had serious consequences also in term of poverty in Italy. In 2016, 30% of the Italian population was at risk of poverty or social exclusion (AROPE), a rate well above EU28 average (+ 6.5 percentage points). National “absolute poverty” figures also mirror the dramatic growth of the phenomenon: in 2006, in the pre-crisis scenario, the absolute poverty rate was 2.9%, but it more than doubled in the following years, reaching 7.9% in 2016.7

1.1.2 Institutional framework for providing support to the long-term unemployed

The Agency for active labour market policies (ANPAL) – established with the Decree Law n. 150 of 2015 - was the main institutional actor involved in the implementation of the Recommendation. ANPAL has been in charge of designing a new strategy to enhance active labour market policies (ALMPs) in Italy and to negotiate this at the 'State Regions' Conference with sub-national governments, who exercise ‘concurrent competence’ in this

Figure 3: Long-term unemployment (12 months and more) by NUTS 2 regions in Italy, 2017
Figure 4: Institutional set-up of stakeholders involved in supporting Long Term Unemployment labour market integration

policy field. Indeed, the creation of the ANPAL was planned in parallel with the project of constitutional reform that aimed to (re-)centralize competences for ALMP attributed to Regions. The failure of the constitutional reform (rejected by a referendum on 4th December 2016) reflected inconsistencies in ALMP governance, and the sharing of competences between the ANPAL and the Regions was re-defined in 2017. Furthermore, in the concrete implementation of the measures launched by ANPAL, not only regions were involved, but also the Provinces – at least until the ‘regionalization’ of competences over PES become effective in 2018 - and local employment services (both public and private). In Italy, the long term unemployed are eligible for benefits and services offered to all unemployed individuals. Assistance specifically provided to the long-term unemployed still does not exist, though a first draft of a new “Italian Strategy for labour market integration of Long-term Unemployed” has been approved by the ANPAL and it is currently under discussion with Regions and Autonomous Provinces (see below).

Informal channels tend to prevail as a common way to search for a job: in 2014 individuals primarily referred to their social and family networks when searching for a job (59.7%), or via self-nomination (58%), rather than by going to public or private employment services (33%). This is consistent with data showing that only 3.4% of the workforce found a job through a public employment service and 5.6% through private agencies.8

Traditionally, in line with the Southern European imprint9, social and labour market services necessary to promote the active inclusion of the (long-term) unemployed have been particularly scarce, with the generosity of out-of-work benefits for long-term unemployment benefit recipients in Italy still among the lowest in the OECD.10 Since the adoption of the “Treu reform” in 1997, Italian labour market policy has placed – at least on paper - greater emphasis on activation, and a number of changes have been introduced in active labour market policies, the organisation of the public employment services and in the link between active and passive measures.11 Furthermore, with the Biagi Law of 2003 job placement shifted from a public monopoly to a “quasi” market regime”. The share of private agencies in the job placement market progressively increased and in 2009 were more numerous and had more employees than the Public Employment Service. However, the involvement of the private sector has greatly exacerbated regional differences: 80% of private employment agencies are located in Northern Italy, strengthening a paradoxical and “reversed” situation in which employment services are less present where they are most needed, given the high incidence of unemployment in the South.12

Furthermore, until 2015, the implementation of these measures has been often hampered by the limited ability of many regional and local employment services to actually provide suitable activation programs for the unemployed and by the difficulties in promoting coordination between government levels and different sectors of the public administration. According to the latest monitoring of the functioning of the Public Employment Service in Italy,13 one out of four offices faced organizational difficulties in providing basic services, 51.9% in building a personalized individual action plan, 57.9% in realizing an efficient skills assessment. In general, greater difficulties emerge in providing individualized assessment and personalized guidance. A major limitation of Italian public employment services has also consisted in the difficulty of ensuring the long-term continuity of guidance: only in four cases out of ten was the signature of a personalized individual action plan monitored through follow-up meetings as a way to ensure that it was eventually updated. Finally, the effectiveness of public services and private agencies in ensuring workers job placement has remained scarce.14 These major difficulties as regards implementation of a strategy that aimed to reinforce ALMPs in Italy are due to an ongoing lack of resources and severe staff shortages15- especially concerning experts in orientation, cultural mediators and psychologists16 - but also due to the absence of effective national guidance. According to the OECD, spending on ALMPs has been below the EU28 average in Italy and focused on poorly-targeted training programmes which is worsened by the limited capacities of PES.17

Since 1997, competences on ALMPs and job placement through a system of territorial employment centres (Servizi per l’Impiego, PES) were transferred to regional and provincial administrations.18 Despite the fact the minimum standards for employment services were defined throughout the national territory for all unemployed people in 2000 and have improved over time,19 vertical and horizontal coordination problems, i.e. between different government levels and policy fields, as well as insufficient human and financial resources, have prevented the full implementation of such directives.20 As a result, the conversion of the public monopoly into a public-private mix of employment services has so far taken place along differentiated paths, which have not led to the establishment of a new national system of employment services but have rather created a variety of local systems.21 For example, the so called ‘Lombardy model’ has greatly emphasized the relevance of private providers and with the introduction of the ‘bonus system’ in 2007 has moved in the direction of a ‘quasi market’: wherein private service providers play a crucial role in the governance of ALMPs and compete on almost ‘equal footing’ with the Public Employment Service. In other regions the situation is very different, also due to the fact that private providers are much less present in Central and (especially) Southern Italy. This situation has tended to overlap with the weaknesses of the social service system.22 Until 2015, at the local level, professional social services were able to respond to emergency situations, but this ability was often not accompanied by adequate capacity to plan and prevent situations of need. Traditionally, this inability to build individualized plans, which assumes different forms according to the territorial area, was correlated with the difficult coordination among different policy sectors, especially with regards to the linkages between municipality-based social assistance services and provincial-based public employment services.

To sum up, between 2002 and 2015, major changes occurred in the field of inclusion of the long term unemployed in Italy, aimed at increasing the customer orientation, the enabling function and the supply of both public and private services of the Italian active labour market services. However, until 2015, limited resources, organizational barriers and low institutional capacities limited the effectiveness of these reforms, and the role of public as well private employment agencies in promoting employability and labour market (re) integration of the long term unemployed was fairly limited.23

2.IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RECOMMENDATION

2.1 Progress on implementation of the Recommendation

This section outlines the progress on implementation of measures proposed in the Recommendation. It provides an overview of policy and practice changes in relation to:

• Registration of long-term unemployed

• Individualised support

• Coordination of support

• Cooperation with employers

The assessment of progress takes into account the expected impact from the 2015 Commission Staff Working Document accompanying the proposal for a Council Recommendation,24 and is based on the mapping of policy changes, and stakeholder consultations during field work. Furthermore, it relies on the systematic analysis of relevant legislation, official government documents and social and political actors’ publications, as well as fifteen interviews with key informants such as institutional actors and interest group representatives at the national, regional and local level. More precisely, three interviews were conducted at the national level, with two key government figures (one at the Ministry of Labour Policies and the other at the National Agency for Active Labour Market Policies, ANPAL) and one with a key stakeholder (national representative of ‘Confcooperative’). This was complemented by an in-depth qualitative analysis of two regional (Marche and Lombardy) and local (Ancona and Milan) cases.

Case selection was driven by the necessity to give an account of the territorial heterogeneity characterizing the situation of ALMPs for the (long-term) unemployed in Italy between regions of different sizes, levels of economic development and institutional capacity. In Lombardy, six interviews were conducted with regional (two institutional actors and one representative of the main employer organization) and local actors (two practitioners of public employment services and one of the social services in Milan). Similarly, six interviews were conducted in the Marche region, three at the regional level (with key institutional actors in the area of labour policies, European funds and social inclusion) and three at the local level (with practitioners of public employment services and of the social services; and with a trade unionist

Figure 5: Quality of measures - Italy25 Source: Quality rating national expert

in Ancona). When available, indicators on outputs and results are included in the analysis. Figure 5 summarises the progress on the implementation of the Recommendation on the integration of the long-term unemployed in the labour market by comparing the picture prior to the Recommendation (H1 2015) with the situation since25.

2.1.1 Registration of long-term unemployed

Baseline and development

In 2013, in Italy, there was a low share of the long term unemployed registered with PES26 (52%), and it has largely remained consistently low since, with a rate of 48% recorded in 2017 (EU28 72.8% and 71.8% for these years respectively). According to the mapping of policy changes, the national legislation (Law No 92/2012) already envisaged measures devoted to the registration of long-term unemployed at the baseline for the evaluation (H1 2015). These formally included: new services for non-registered people, services to encourage the long term unemployed to remain registered (even if they are no longer entitled to benefits), multichannel possibilities for initial registration (online registration, telephone, etc.), and changes in eligibility for activation measures were other measures planned and implemented. The quality rating provided by the national expert for coverage of registration improved from 1 in H1 2015, to 3 in October 2018.

Case study findings

Given the consistently low registration rates of the long term unemployed with the Public Employment Service, the need to increase the coverage of registration for this group remains high in Italy: in 2017 less than one out of two longterm unemployed people over 25 was registered with a public employment service, against am EU28 average that is closer to 3 out of 4.27 Even though national legislation existed prior to the baseline with the aim of encouraging registration (as outlined above) important gaps existed however, regarding the implementation of such measures.

The positive rating results from the introduction of new national measures, following the establishment of the Agency for active labour market policies (ANPAL) introduced with the Decree Law n. 150 in September 2015. In particular, the ‘Re-integration Voucher’ envisages that ANPAL contacts unemployed persons directly when the possibility to benefit from the main unemployment benefit (NASPI) is expiring. They use different means (SMS, email, even WhatsApp), to inform the unemployed about the possibility to receive a voucher to receive tailored and intensive job search support from public or authorised private employment services. This is intended to incentivise the unemployed to maintain a relation with employment services even after they cease to be entitled to monetary benefits – thus increasing the registration of the long term unemployed and preventing people from transitioning from unemployment to inactivity.

Furthermore, improvements to IT infrastructure have been made to allow for the registration of the unemployed in Italy. In 2017, a new national online registration of unemployed people was launched in the context of the creation of the national ANPAL website (www.anpal.gov.it) which also collects information regarding job opportunities for the unemployed and offers job-search support services. According to ANPAL, this should contribute to making more visible the advantages to being registered with the Public Employment Service, thus increasing registration. Starting from 4 December 2017, registration to the website allows individuals to acquire an unemployed status and to declare their immediate availability to work (so-called "Didonline"). This was followed by the creation of a new national IT System of public employment services, called the Unitary Information System (Sistema Informativo Unitario) managed by ANPAL in co-operation with Regions and Autonomous Provinces.

The idea of an IT database originates with the 2003 Biagi Law, but this had resulted in the creation of twenty-one different regional databases that were not able to communicate with each other. The creation of the Unitary Information System (Sistema Informativo Unitario) provides a solution to this problem, finally creating the possibility for effective monitoring and evaluation of the Italian services for longterm unemployed.

To ensure the maximum dissemination of information on the new service system and labour policy measures, ANPAL has also activated a specific telephonic contact centre called the "Single work number", which has been operational since December 2016.

Despite these novelties, key barriers continue to hinder the implementation of measures to increase coverage of registration. Barriers have included a shortage of Public Employment Service staff, as well as budgetary constraints, and outdated software (including poor internet connection). Whilst most public employment services set performance targets for assisting jobseekers to re-enter the labour market, Italy is one of few countries where the Public Employment Service does not do this. More specifically, according to the interviewees at the local level both in Marche and in Lombardy, until now the outreach ability of public employment services in Italy has remained quite low. At the local level, both in Marche and in Lombardy operators argue that no major changes occurred in this dimension in the 2015-2018 period. According to the operators a problem is that, with time, many unemployed lose faith in the ability of the Public Employment Service to support their labour market inclusion. Furthermore, especially in Lombardy, institutional fragmentation (i.e. the availability of other providers of labour and social inclusion services, such as social services and private associations, for profit and non-profit) decreases the number of people registering with the Public Employment Service according to interviewees consulted at the local level.

2.1.2 Individualised support

Baseline and development

In the 2015 Commission Staff Working Document accompanying the proposal for a Council Recommendation it was considered that the Recommendation on the individualisation of support would have a strong impact in Italy. Prior to the Recommendation, the profiling of jobseekers registered with the Public Employment Service, in-depth individual assessments or elaborated individual action plans were rarely implemented in the local Public Employment Service and with great territorial heterogeneity. As with coverage of registration, key barriers to the implementation of measures to implement individual assessments have included a shortage of staff, as well as budgetary constraints, and outdated software (including poor internet connection).

According to the mapping of policy changes, measures were already formally in place in H1 2015 for individual assessments and personalised guidance of the long-term unemployed at the latest at 18 months of unemployment. These assessments covered education/work experience, distance from available jobs, health/substance abuse, and family situation/obligations.

The quality rating provided by the national expert regarding individual assessments improved from 2 in H1 2015, to 3 in October 2018.

According to the mapping of policy changes, Job Integration Agreements or equivalents targeting the long term unemployed that have reached 18 months of unemployment did not exist at the baseline for the evaluation (H1 2015). Italy has not yet provided any data on Job Integration Agreements users and thus, its use and effectiveness cannot be assessed.28 The quality rating for Job Integration Agreements provided by the national expert therefore improved from 1 in H1 2015, to 2 in October 2018.

Case study findings

After the policy changes introduced in the Decree Law 150/2015 and defined in the implementing regulation on December the 21st 2017 (Ministry Decree 4/2018), Italy formally provides personalized support to all unemployed people, including in the form of a Job Integration Agreements. These legislative changes introduced in the Decree Law 150/2015 and defined in Ministry Decree 4/2018, introduced ‘Basic Levels of Quality Services’ consisting of minimum standard to be guaranteed throughout the country regarding the organisation of employment services; declaration of immediate job availability (DID); definition of the ‘Customized Service Pact’;29 initial vocational guidance; counselling on job search (also through collective vocational guidance) within three months of registration at the Public Employment Service; individual and specialised guidance for self-employment; identification of training paths and stages; assistance and tutoring for enterprise-creation incentives, business management, work-life balance mechanisms; participation in projects of public utility.

A new “Italian Strategy for Labour Market Integration of Long-Term Unemployed”30is defined within the Ministerial Decree 4/2018 and has been approved by the ANPAL. Although the plan is not yet public, the Ministerial Decree 4/2018 establishes that this new strategy should be based on a new competence assessment and the new ‘Customized Service Pact’ between the Public Employment Service and the recipients, to be signed between the thirteenth and eighteenth month of unemployment, which has to include at least one active inclusion service. The Strategy is currently under discussion with Regions and Autonomous Provinces, and once it will have the final approval by the Regions – which is attended by October 2018 – it should be automatically transposed into a Ministerial Decree.

On paper, the ‘Customized Service Pact’ (CSP) defines mutual responsibilities and combines services and measures offered by different organisations and territorial institutions. The new guidelines introduced with the Ministry Decree 4/2018 require regular up-dating and frequent follows-up of the CSP, which are differentiated depending on individual profiles (i.e. the more distant the individual to the labour market the more frequent the meetings). In this regard, Ministry Decree 4/2018 specifically requires that between the 12th and the 18th month of unemployment a new indepth individual assessment be conducted and a new CSP negotiated between Public Employment Service and the unemployed.

Overall, the system should work as follows: the unemployed can register either directly to the Public Employment Service or with the new online procedures through the new ANPAL website. With the registration, they sign an ‘Immediate Declaration of Work-Availability’ (‘Dichiarazione di Immediata Disponibilità al Lavoro’, DID). Afterwards, the Public Employment Service organises the first meeting, including a quantitative (i.e. based on standardized basic criteria such as age, level of education, months of unemployment) and a more in-depth ‘qualitative’ profiling test. This is followed by the signature of a ‘Customized Service Pact’ (Patto di Servizio Personalizzato), which contains the mutual commitments agreed between Public Employment Service and the unemployed. Then, according to the ‘new’ guidelines, the Public Employment Service should follow recipients in the realisation of their customized integration paths, which differs depending on individual assessment. THe unemployed closer to the labour market should be inserted in one of the various programmes offered at the national (e.g. the Youth Guarantee and/or the Re-Integration Voucher), regional (e.g. the socalled ‘Work-experiences’, regional ‘apprenticeship’, or the so called ‘bonus system’ in Lombardy) or even at the local level. If the unemployed is considered not immediately suitable for work, a different integration path is pursued, based on orientation, training and/or cooperation with social services or NGOs. In all cases, a ‘tutor’ with specific competences is identified to collaborate in the design and follow-up of the individual plan.

To support greater territorial standardisation in terms of the provision of individualised support, ANPAL has also launched a new ‘profiling toolbox’, i.e. two new measures that should support local Public Employment Service in the realisation of the profiling function throughout the country. First, since 2016, guidelines for the realisation of the ‘quantitative’ assessment have been provided by ANPAL. This was followed with Resolution N. 19 of May 2018, and by the creation of guidelines available to PES staff for qualitative profiling, both for the unemployed requiring more straightforward placement and for people with disabilities who may require more targeted support. Second, from July 2017 to May 2018 a new profiling tool – consisting of a ‘lighter’ version of the PIAAC (Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies) - has been experimented in 181 PES in 18 Italian regions. The results of the trial on the effectiveness of the PIAAC online tool are currently under the examination of the ANPAL research unit in view of a possible extension to the whole country.

Views from different actors at the regional and local levels testify that the implementation of these new guidelines has been gradual in the period from 2016-2018 and, moreover, followed different territorial paths. At the regional level, in Lombardy, a Public Employment Service director stressed that this ‘individualized’ approach has been part of the working logic of the PES since at least 2007, when the ‘bonus system’ (Sistema delle Doti) was introduced. This is based on regional calls that allocate specific regional resources, define four different ‘need situations’ depending on an individual assessment and provides accordingly with a specific range of services (i.e. skills assessment, coaching, advice and support to self-entrepreneurship, training, scouting company and active job search, tutoring guidance and counselling) that recipients can benefit from both public and/or credited private providers through vouchers. Given this tradition, operators in Milan argue that, nowadays, there is a medium-high realization of the guidelines introduced in the Law 150/2015 described above. Conversely, in the Marche region, local and especially regional institutional actors agree that new guidelines were innovative and led to the introduction of new practices, from the ‘Customized Service Pact’ (CSP) to the individual assessment. However, regional actors emphasize the provision of basic services is already quite demanding for local public employment services, so that the realisation of more in-depth activities – such as the ‘qualitative’ assessment or the tutorship – rarely materialises. Also, physical infrastructure – the offices of the Public Employment Service – are sometimes inadequate to support all the registered unemployed.

Even though measures were already in formally in place for individual assessment and personalised guidance for the long-term unemployed at the baseline, as mentioned above, a lack of resources (as well as coordination problems – explored below) has prevented the full implementation of these directives. A common remark in all the interviews carried out in Lombardy and in the Marche related to the lack of adequate staff to fully realize the personalised support. The Public Employment Service capacity is generally restricted in Italy31 which is one of a handful of countries with less than 40% of PES staff specifically serving jobseekers (countries32 with the largest share had around 70-80% of staff dedicated to this role). In the Marche region, the ratio between case workers and total number of registered unemployed is one for every 438, and the ratio is even higher in Ancona, with one Public Employment Service employee for every 749 registered unemployed. Numbers are only slightly different in Lombardy, as in Milan the ratio is one for 553 registered unemployed. To improve the effectiveness of the PES, ANPAL and Regions have defined a ‘Plan to strengthen services and active labour policy measures’ which also envisaged the hiring of 1,600 new Public Employment Service operators, among which around 600 highly qualified in labour insertions programs.33 However, operators both in Marche and in Lombardy argues that so far, no Public Employment Service office has been reinforced with new trained staff.

Local Public Employment Service Offices in the Marche region emphasise the inability to organize and finance adequate ALMP programmes at the regional level: the ‘workexperience’ projects or the regional calls for apprenticeship and training - mainly financed through the European Social Fund - are defined as a ‘drop in the ocean’, that is inadequate to provide individualized support to all the recipients. The common perception among actors at all territorial levels is that the new measures are thus being implemented very differently throughout the country, depending on institutional legacy, administrative ability and territorially specific conditions of the labour market.

2.1.3 Coordination of support Baseline and development

In the 2015 Commission Staff Working Document accompanying the proposal for a Council Recommendation it was considered that the recommendation on coordination34 and transition to employment would have a relevant impact in Italy.

Indeed, according to the mapping of policy changes, coordination mechanisms35 between government levels dealing with the long term unemployed were already in place in H1 2015, with European Social Fund (ESF) financial support for 2014-2020 also helping to increase horizontal coordination between social and employment services, with post-baseline developments outlined in more detail below.

The quality rating provided by the national expert for interinstitutional coordination therefore improved from 1 in H1 2015, to 2 in October 2018. The quality rating provided by the national expert for Single Points of Contact improved from 1 in H1 2015, to 2 in October 2018 to reflect a move towards potential improvement via greater interinstitutional coordination - albeit yet to be fully implemented (outlined in more detail below with regards to horizontal integration).

Case studi findings

To provide an assessment of the improvement made in the coordination of support In Italy, it is useful to distinguish between vertical coordination (i.e. between different government levels: the central State, Regions, Provinces and Municipalities), and horizontal coordination (i.e. between different organizations: INPS, Public Employment Service, social services, private service providers, etc.).

Concerning the first dimension, the creation of the ANPAL and of the Unitary Information System (Sistema Informativo Unitario) has certainly favoured a greater vertical integration. The ANPAL created new guidelines negotiated between the State and the Regions, while the Unitary Information System allows the single Public Employment Service to pool individual information, support history and individual assessments from the Public Employment Service located in different regions, and a more effective guidance and monitoring system at the centre. Furthermore, the introduction of L. n. 56/2014 involving the transformation of the Italian provinces, resulted in a more defined territorial organization of active labour market policies in Italy. Yet, local operators emphasise that these organizational transformations were quite burdensome and created administrative difficulties. In particular the creation of the ‘national’ online system and database created several technical problems which have only recently been overcome. A new ‘governance’ of the system has thus been designed, though it is still not yet fully realised.

As for horizontal integration, it is the intention of the legislator for the Public Employment Service to become the Single Point Of Contact, though it is still an issue for debate in the Labour Ministry whether this has to be a ‘virtual’ or a physical Single Point of Contact. In the period between the second half of 2015 and 2018, important advances were made in the coordination between income support benefits managed by INPS and local public employment services: the long term unemployed may apply for social benefits directly in the Public Employment Service and the coordination between these two institutions regarding conditionality (and sanctions) associated with the main unemployment benefit (NASPI) is now fully operational. As for the integration between private and public employment service providers, the situation is more territorially differentiated. In Lombardy, where coordination with private providers was already wellstructured, once the unemployed sign the DID (‘Immediate Declaration of Work-Availability’), they can decide whether to refer to public or private services for the realization of the Customized Service Pact (CSP). In other regions the situation is different. In the Marche region, regional policy-makers and local providers emphasize that the cooperation between public and private providers is not structured, though ‘informally’ at the local level there has been a sort of division of labour, with private providers focusing on the labour market inclusion of more easily ‘employable’ unemployed and PES focusing on the most ‘disadvantaged’ social groups.

The Re-Integration Voucher (Assegno di ricollocazione, Legislative Decree No. 150/2015), introduced on the 14th September 2015 and implemented on a structural basis since 2018, aims also at fostering the integration between private and public employment service providers. This is a voucher available for unemployed beneficiaries who have been in receipt of the main Italian unemployment benefit (NASPI) for more than 4 months, to be used to receive tailored and intensive job search support from either public or authorised private employment services, as a way to prevent unemployment becoming long-term. The monetary amount of the voucher (e.g. from €250 for hiring with short-term fixedterm contracts to €5,000 for hiring with open-ended labour contracts) is inversely related to the employability profile of the unemployed person concerned.

As well as the greater coordination efforts between private and public employment services outlined above, since 2017 there have also been improvements in the integration between social services and public employment services .This is a particularly relevant issue for long term unemployment, due to the recent policy changes introduced in the anti-poverty field, and the introduction of the Inclusion Income (Reddito di Inclusione, REI; Decree No 147/2017) in September 2017. The REI is managed by the social services, but recipients must agree upon customised projects, which include in certain cases activation measures for labour (re)insertion, to be realised by multidisciplinary teams envisaging the collaboration between different public services (social, employment, training, housing, health and education, etc.) and third sector organisations (e.g. non-government organisations). This led to the creation of ‘new’ networks of institutions for social inclusion (including also the ‘social’ and the ‘labour’ departments) at both the national and the regional level, and to the establishment of locally-based agreements between social services and employment services. This increasing horizontal integration between social and employment services – favoured also by the new funds made available by the Partnership Agreement with Italy for the new budget cycle 20142020 of the European Social Fund (ESF) – constitute innovative practices for all the institutional actors interviewed, regardless of the geographical area.

Local operators of the Public Employment Service in Ancona (Marche) emphasize that this integration is very positive but, considering the shortage of staff, increase the risk of functional overload of public employment service. In Milan, AFOL emphasize that their service is traditionally structured as a ‘House of Welfare’ (i.e. as a single point of contact) and that traditionally within their staff there are operators with specific competences (psychologists, experts in orientation, etc.) necessary to work with more disadvantaged groups. At the same time, also in this more equipped context, horizontal co-operation with social services constitutes a ‘new challenge’. The operator of the local social services emphasizes that, rather than working together, in Milan there was previously a ‘duplication’ and an overlapping of services provided by the Public Employment Service and local social services, as also the former in the early 2000s created a department specifically devoted to the labour market insertion of the long term unemployed.

In short, one may argue that Italy is moving in the direction of creating a Single Point of Contact and fostering greater vertical and horizontal coordination, though these new practices are not fully institutionalized and fail to be routinely implemented across the whole country.

2.1.4 Cooperation with employers and businesses Baseline and development

Among the interventions included in the Recommendation, two mechanisms were considered to enhance employment support: enhancing services to employers and focusing labour market policies (ALMPs) on the competitive labour market and reducing to a minimum public works.

According to the mapping of policy changes, few national measures were already in place in H1 2015 to establish closer links with employers related to the placement of the long term unemployed. These formally covered screening of suitable candidates and placement support.

The quality rating provided by the national expert suggests that no improvements with regards to establishing closer links with employers have taken place over the period from H1 2015 to 2018: it remained at 1.

Case study findings

As outlined above, there were few national measures in place before the baseline to establish closer links with employers however the introduction of Law 150/2015 and the Ministry Decree 4/2018 (see section 2.1.2 and below) saw the introduction of workplace mentoring and training included in such measures. Although so far it has had limited impacts at the operational level, ANPAL has taken some initiatives in an effort to comply with the Recommendation:

• In November 2017 it launched an online consultation to ask for suggestions from businesses and employers on how to bring PES closer to their needs.

• Among the new ‘three-year guidelines’ approved with Ministerial Decree n.4/2018, there is ‘strengthening of information desks and services dedicated to businesses’, outlining that ameliorating the collaboration between Public Employment Service and private employers has entered the government agenda.

• ANPAL - in collaboration with the Excelsior Information System36 - is building an online infrastructure that should allow private companies to insert their needs in terms of competences, skills and positions and to make this information immediately available to local public employment services . Through this cooperation, local public employment services may select different lists of companies according to the placement probability of recipients selected, according to their professional profile. They may also identify clusters of companies with high employment potential differentiated according to location and sector of activity.

However, providers at the local level emphasize that the only institutional innovation to facilitate the Public Employment Service in their approach with private companies is the already mentioned Unitary Information System (Sistema Informativo Unitario), which provides information regarding the long term unemployed working, education and training experiences, thus supporting the Public Employment Service in the pre-selection procedures. So far, according to regional Public Employment Service in Marche, these innovations have not substantially modified the long-standing suspicion of employers regarding the usefulness of building a strong cooperation with the Public Employment Service.37 The perception is slightly different in Lombardy, where local operators emphasize the existence of strong relationships with private companies active in the area, though this is not formally structured. A number of services are indeed offered to private companies, including pre-selection and screening of suitable candidates, support in the realization of apprenticeships, creation of enterprise specific vocational training, and support for individual and/or collective outplacement for companies in crisis.

Furthermore, in January 2018, a new ‘Marketing Operating Unit’ was introduced in the AFOL Milan public employment service, which is specifically devoted to the creation of new partnership and in the daily communication with private companies, moving beyond the traditional organization of Job Fairs. In the Marche regions these relations appear less developed, devoted in particular to respond to legal obligations in relation to the labour market insertion of disabled individuals (Law N.68/99) and to support in the outplacement for companies experiencing a crisis. Notwithstanding, the PES guarantees that the pre-selection and screening of suitable candidates is also realised upon employers’ demand. In addition, in the 2015-2018 period, local public employment services organized job fairs and bi-lateral meetings with employers’ representative organizations in the tourism field (Confturismo), to support matching between demand and supply of seasonal workers in hotels and restaurants.

2.2 Examples of measures

The following measures are briefly outlined here given their thematic link to the Recommendation. They are presented here as an interesting example of relevance to the Recommendation but also given their direct link to it (see section 3): As referenced in more detail in section 3.5, the decision to launch the new “Italian Strategy for labour market integration of Long-term Unemployed” as well as the launch of some of the national initiatives to bring closer employers and the Public Employment Service were direct consequences of the Recommendation. The new national strategy is currently under discussion with Regions and Autonomous Provinces, and when fully implemented is designed to support both registration processes and the provision of individualised support for the long-term unemployed.

2.3 Use of the ESF to implement the Recommendation

According to Eurostat, the Public Employment Services are traditionally comparatively underfinanced in Italy which spent on average EUR 2 per capita labour market services in 2015, against a EU15 average close to EUR 28. Measures to support the long-term unemployed were introduced without providing the necessary financial resources to guarantee their implementation and as a result, many implementation gaps remain.

In this regard, it is important to emphasize also the relevance of the European Social Fund in providing much needed funds to regional and local actors to implement labour market policies. For example, the ESF provided resources to implement the organizational changes introduced by the D. Law 150/2015. Indeed, in the interview at the ANPAL it emerged that the ESF co-financed the national plan for the reinforcement of public employment services in all its dimensions: the creation of the Unitary Information System (Sistema Informativo Unitario), the launch of the ‘new standardised profiling toolbox’, and even the (planned) hiring of additional human resources.

ESF resources were particularly important to foster the implementation of the Recommendation at the regional and at the local level, providing important incentives to make initiatives coherent with the aims of the Recommendation. This has especially been in terms of increasing the individualized approach, strengthening horizontal coordination between social and labour market services, and monitoring the implementation of new labour market programs.

The ESF co-financed 27 programs – limiting analysis only to those financed with more than 1 million - specifically devoted to strengthening institutional ability of the local public employment services and/or supporting the long-term unemployed.38 Yet these programs of considerable size tended to be concentrated in only a few regions – especially Emilia Romagna, Piemonte and Liguria – whereas other regions, such as Campania or Sicily, notwithstanding the higher incidence of long term unemployment, did not activate any. Less costly ESF co-founded programs were indeed similarly relevant at the local level, favouring in particular and for the first time, coordination between social and labour market programs. In the Marche region, for example, regional policy-makers emphasized the relevance of such projects, mentioning in particular the ‘SIL’ (Sportello Integrativo Lavoratori Disabili) project which in Fermo and Pesaro fostered horizontal coordination between labour and social services for the first time.

Furthermore, as outlined above, horizontal integration was enhanced in Italy in particular with the introduction of the REI. The national operational programme (NOP) “Inclusion” within the ESIF (European Structural and Investment Funds) Partnership Agreement 2014-2020 provided specific financial resources to support social services associated with its implementation and its coordination with the Public Employment Service.

2.4 Monitoring of implementation

The national public employment services database, the Unitary Information System (Sistema Informativo Unitario) became fully operational between 2017 and 2018. This created the possibility of monitoring progress made in the effective implementation of the ‘basic quality services’ introduced with the Ministry Decree 4/2018. Indeed, this decree established a minimum set of indicators (19 in total) for monitoring the achievement of the annual objectives alongside Public Employment Service. these can be grouped into seven different ‘areas’: 1) indicators concerning the effective implementation of the Unitary Information System; 2) number of registered unemployed; 3) number and types of active inclusion programs activated; 4) transition to the labour market; 5) services for the long-term unemployed; 6) registered vacancies in the Public Employment Service; 7) customer satisfaction. In particular, concerning services for the long term unemployed, the monitoring process scrutinises the share of long term unemployed who have been effectively included in new active labour market programmes and the share of registered long term unemployed who have found a job. The first results of this monitoring process should be available before the end of 2018.

This national monitoring system is complemented by regional monitoring systems. These are generally less structured, but both in Lombardy and in the Marche regions social partners and regional administrations meet on a yearly basis to discuss data regarding the functioning of the local labour market and of the public employment services. Furthermore, all local operators have emphasized that regionally based active labour market programs co-financed by the ESF always require a monitoring and evaluating process. In Milan, AFOL reported that regular monitoring of single labour market programmes (and also on the ability to insert the long-term unemployed onto different programmes) is conducted, and that from 2019 there will also be a new system to monitor ‘customer’ (both individuals and employers) satisfaction.

3. CONCLUSIONS
3.1 Relevance

In Italy, higher than EU28 average poverty and unemployment rates and the tendency for unemployment to become longterm constitute some of the country’s significant structural problems. According to the national expert, the severity of these issues is exacerbated by the traditional underdevelopment of active labour market services and the low effectiveness of public employment services. This contributed to making the Council Recommendation on the labour market integration of the long term unemployed quite relevant among government decision-makers in Italy. Furthermore, the contents of the Recommendation were important in Italy for at least two different reasons: they contributed to creating awareness regarding the weaknesses of the Italian system to support the labour market integration of the long-term unemployed (e.g. it legitimized traditional claims by high level bureaucrats and experts regarding the necessity to invest more resources in this policy field); and it provided a clear multi-dimensional framework as well as a policy agenda to Italian policymakers specifically designed to solve such weaknesses.

3.2 Effectiveness

In Italy, there is empirical evidence for the efforts taken by institutions to comply – at least formally - with the policy suggestions included in the Recommendation. Evidence provided in the previous paragraphs outline efforts made in particular by the Italian ANPAL to build a strategy for the labour market integration of the long term unemployed. The Italian strategy has prioritised strengthening the governance structure through the creation of a national agency (ANPAL), the introduction of new procedures and the enhancement of the IT infrastructure. In all the dimensions included in the Recommendation – registration of the long term unemployed, individualised approach, coordination of services and (less so) cooperation with employers – policy initiatives were taken that are in line with the inputs provided by the Recommendation. Therefore, in terms of progress in the process, the Recommendation seems to be effective.

However overall, whereas action has been taken to introduce policy changes in line with the scope of the Recommendation, a number of obstacles have impeded the adoption of several government proposals (and subsequent implementation) in practice.

At least three main obstacles have so far prevented the full realisation of the government agenda. Firstly, the complex institutional governance of ALMPs policies has so far slowed down both the approval of new legislation and/or directives – since an agreement between the government and the twenty-one regions had to be reached – and the implementation of such measures. The second main obstacle is the fact that the introduction of new legislation has not been sustained by an adequate investment. Italian Public Employment Service still face infrastructural deficiencies and a lack of human resources. Finally, Italy has experienced inefficiencies concerning structural capacity to implement all the measures promoted in the Recommendation. As such it would not have been possible to overcome such widespread weaknesses in such a short amount of time. As a result, legislative changes do not always have immediate effects at the regional level, and even less so at the ‘operative’ local level.

Therefore, despite clear efforts to formulate a strategy for the integration of the long-term unemployed, these obstacles have impeded the adoption and implementation of the measures proposed in the Italian context.

3.3 Efficiency

In Italy, overall investment in this policy field was limited. Given that a number of legislative proposals have been made in line with the Recommendation since the baseline, one might argue that changes have been made efficiently. On the other hand, the obstacles outlined above have undermined the ability to fully implement proposed measures, thereby compromising overall efficiency as changes (albeit relevant) have not been fully implemented in practice.

It is important to underline that all territorial levels underwent important organisational transformations in the 2015-2018 period, and it takes time for the administrative machine to metabolize such relevant changes in the governance system. At the national level, the ANPAL and the associated Committee of Active Labour Market Policies were created between 2016 and 2017. Furthermore, ANPAL’s role and function – as well as the overall coherence of the new ALMP system – had to change because of the failure of the Constitutional Reform. Important institutional changes also took place in regional governments, which from 2018 had to directly manage the Public Employment Service, which were previously organised by the Provinces.

Finally, local Public Employment Services (and service providers) had to adjust their procedures to the new national IT infrastructure, which between late 2017 and mid-2018 created several technical problems. Local Public Employment Services had several problems concerning implementation because the introduction of the new measures outlined above has not (yet) been combined with an adequate investment in infrastructures and, above all, human resources.

In sum then, and as outlined with regards to effectiveness above, many of the policy proposals made since the baseline did not incur a significant cost. Despite being broadly in line with the scope of the Recommendation, it is however difficult to gauge the overall efficiency of these measures as a number of obstacles have prevented their full implementation in practice. As Italy is currently undergoing a series of organisational transformations it is too early to present further detail on the efficiency of the implementation of recent policy proposals.

3.4 Coherence

The measures included in the Recommendation were in line with reforms in the field of labour policy and anti-poverty introduced by the different Italian governments between 2012 and 2018 – which indeed were also clearly influenced by European input39 The measures included in the Recommendation were coherent with labour market reforms undertaken by the Monti (Law n. 92/2012) and Renzi (D. Law n. 34/2014; D. Law 22/2015; D. Law 149/2015; D. Law 150/2015) governments, and also with the reform of anti-poverty policies introduced by the Gentiloni (D. Law 147/2017) government. As for the labour market reforms, they all aimed to render the Italian labour market more flexible through a deregulation of employment relationships coupled with increased welfare protection, also investing in the traditionally neglected field of ALMP.40 In particular, and as outlined above, the D. L. n. 150/2015 introduced a ‘basic level of quality services’ and a new governance structure that was in line with many of the policy suggestions included in the Recommendation.

Similarly, the long-awaited introduction of the Inclusion Income (D. Law 147/2017) aimed (also) to foster the coordination of social, education, health and labour market services in the anti-poverty field as well as to create local partnerships between public and private (for profit and non) service providers to enhance the social and labour inclusion of disadvantaged groups, including the long-term unemployed.

3.5 EU added value

This report emphasized that, in Italy, the Recommendation influenced national policies tackling long-term unemployment. In an overall policy environment that was favourable to strengthening active labour market policies and services, the Recommendation shed light on long-term unemployment and on the importance of creating a stronger means of collaboration with employers. In particular according to interviews with senior staff – especially within the ANPAL – they were fully aware of the content of the Recommendation and launched initiatives with the aim to comply with it.

The decision to launch the new “Italian Strategy for labour market integration of Long-term Unemployed” involving a new competence assessment and a new ‘Customized Service Pact’ between the Public Employment Service and the long term unemployed, as well as the launch of some of the national initiatives to bring closer employers and the Public Employment Service were driven forwards by the Recommendation, namely by giving ANPAL greater political leverage when pressuring the government for the introduction of such measures. In addition, the European Semester governance framework – and especially the frequent reference in the Country Specific Recommendations to the necessity to ensure more effective, active labour market policies, also had similar effects.

At the same time, it is important to underline that the decision to create the ANPAL, to improve Italian ALMPs as well as to strengthen the ability of the central State to steer such policies in Italy were already part of the government agenda before the issuing of the Council Recommendation. Indeed, the so-called Jobs Act, introduced in 2015, aimed to compensate workers from an across the board, with greater flexibility of the labour market with better income protection benefits and active labour market policies.41 Thus, one may argue that, in Italy, domestic political competition dynamics actually worked to make EU requests and “soft” policy instruments like the Recommendation less likely to be ignored.42

4. List of interviewees Level Role / Position Type of stakeholder
NOTE
1 Long-term unemployment refers to unemployment (ILO/Eurostat definition) lasting for more than one year, with Eurostat data presented here including adults between the ages of 25 and 64 years old.
2 Labour Force Survey.
3 Ibid.
4 Based on Eurostat data for Q1 2018.
5 It should be noted that only data for Q1 2018 is included in Figure 1.
6 The very long-term unemployment rate is the share of persons unemployed for 24 months or more in the total number of active persons in the labour market.
7 Provided by the National Statistics Office
8 ISFOL (2016), Monitoraggio dei servizi per l’impiego 2015, Roma, Istituto per lo Sviluppo della Formazione Professionale dei Lavoratori.
9 Hemerijk, A. (2012) Changing welfare states, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
10 https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/docserver/e5d510c2-en.pdf?expires=1543404261&id=id&accname=guest&checksum=68851959CA8DE6A4CA9F7CF7AE51B718
11 Sacchi, S. and Vesan, P. (2011), Interpreting employment policy change in Italy since the 1990s: nature and dynamics, Collegio Carlo Alberto working papers, at http://www.carloalberto.org/assets/working-papers/no.228.pdf
12 Madama, I., Natili, M. and Jessoula, M. (2013) National Report: Italy, COPE ‘Combating Poverty in Europe’ project, at http://cope-research.eu/?page_id=377
13 ANPAL (2017) Monitoraggio sulla struttura e il funzionamento dei servizi per il lavoro 2017, Rome Hemerijk, A. (2012) Changing welfare states, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
14 Jessoula, M., Pavolini, E. and F. Strati (2015), ESPN thematic Report on Integrated Support for the Long-term Unemployed – Italy. Brussels: DirectorateGeneral for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.
15 According to the ISFOL (2015) in Italy there are 536 PES, one for every 5657 unemployed. The number of PES employees is 8,798 (with a ratio between workers and potential beneficiaries of 1 to 345), of which 7,760 on a permanent basis, 755 with fixed term contracts and 283 independent contractors. Almost half of the PES employees work in the Southern regions (48.3%).
16 ANPAL (2017) Monitoraggio sulla struttura e il funzionamento dei servizi per il lavoro 2017, Rome Hemerijk, A. (2012) Changing welfare states, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
17 http://www.oecd.org/els/soc/Faces-of-Joblessness-in-Italy.pdf
18 More precisely, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs define basic guidelines, while the Regions have the fundamental role of guaranteeing, monitoring, and programming their own model. Public Employment Services (in Italian, Centri Per l’Impiego), which are the service provider, are guided and coordinated by the Provinces.
19 Marocco M. (2013), La doppia anima delle politiche attive del lavoro e la Riforma Fornero, WP CSDLE “Massimo D’Antona”.IT-192/2013; http://csdle.lex.unict.it
20 Jessoula, M., Pavolini, E. and F. Strati (2015), ESPN ematic Report on Integrated Support for the Long-term Unemployed – Italy. Brussels: DirectorateGeneral for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.
21 Sacchi, S. and Vesan, P. (2011), Interpreting employment policy change in Italy since the 1990s: nature and dynamics, Collegio Carlo Alberto working papers, at http://www.carloalberto.org/assets/working-papers/no.228.pdf
22 Natili, M. (forthcoming 2019) the Politics of Minimum Income. Explaining Path Departure and Policy Reversal in the Age of Austerity, Palgrave Macmillan.
23 Jessoula, M., Pavolini, E. and F. Strati (2015), ESPN ematic Report on Integrated Support for the Long-term Unemployed – Italy. Brussels: DirectorateGeneral for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.
24 European Union, European Commission, Commission Staff Working Document, Document Accompanying the document Proposal for a Council Recommendation on the integration of the long-term unemployed into the labour market (2015) 176
25 Quality ratings ranged from 1– 5 whereby: 1 (low) = no or basic implementation only, only on an ad hoc basis or not fully integrated into the overall services package; significant room for improvement; 2 (low-medium) = More than just a basic implementation but falls short of being routinely implemented at national level and integrated into the overall service package; significant room for improvement; 3 (medium) = Routinely implemented and integrated into the overall service package but recognise that the service/function falls short of guiding elements of the Recommendation guidance; 4 (medium-high) = Established and well developed service/function that fulfils most guiding elements of the Recommendation but falls short of realising all of them; 5 (high) = Established and well developed service/function that fulfils all the guiding elements of the Recommendation. is implies that mechanisms to constantly monitor performance and develop the service/function on the basis of what is or is not working well should be in place.
26 See Commission Staff Working Document, Document Accompanying the document Proposal for a Council Recommendation on the integration of the longterm unemployed into the labour market (2015) 176, p. 10. Figure 7. Long-term unemployed by Member State, stock and share registered with the PES, 2013.
27 Data collection for monitoring the LTU Recommendation: 2017
28 EC (2018): Data collection for monitoring the integration of the long-term unemployed into the labour market 2017. Country Fiche: Italy.
29 Italian JIA
30 As this strategy is not yet public, there is limited further detail on it at the time of writing.
31 http://www.oecd.org/els/soc/Faces-of-Joblessness-in-Italy.pdf
32 Slovakia, Sweden, Lithuania, and the Netherlands.
33 According to the interviewee nobody had been hired yet, with no further information available.
34 Coordination refers to coordination of support between support services of relevant to the long-term unemployed, including employment, social, physical and mental health, housing support services for example.
35 European Commission (2015) specifies two mechanisms: a systematic referral system to the support needed and data sharing mechanisms across organisations.
36 There is no official timeline for this.
37 Until October 2018 no additional strategy for employers beyond what is outlined here has been launched.
38 Source https://opencoesione.gov.it/it/
39 Madama, I., Natili, M. and Agostini, C. (2018) Lucky timing and propitious conditions: Italy’s anti-poverty policy under Europe 2020 in Jessoula, M. and Madama, I. A chance for social Europe. Europe2020 and the fight against poverty and social exclusion”, Routledge; Sacchi, S. (2015) ‘Conditionality by other means: EU involvement in Italy’s structural reforms in the sovereign debt crisis’, Comparative European Politics, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 77–92.
40 Picot, G. & Tassinari, A. (2017) ‘All of one kind? Labour market reforms under austerity in Italy and Spain’, Socio-Economic Review, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 461–482; Sacchi, S. (2018) the Italian Welfare State in the Crisis: Learning to Adjust?, South European Society and Politics, 23:1, pp. 29-46.
41 Picot, G. & Tassinari, A. (2017) ‘All of one kind? Labour market reforms under austerity in Italy and Spain’, Socio-Economic Review, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 461–482; Sacchi, S. (2018) e Italian Welfare State in the Crisis: Learning to Adjust?, South European Society and Politics, 23:1, pp. 29-46.
42 Madama, I., Natili, M. and Agostini, C. (2018) ‘Lucky timing and propitious conditions: Italy’s anti-poverty policy under Europe 2020’ in Jessoula, M. and Madama, I. A chance for social Europe.

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TITOLO DEL WORKSHOP: Il microcredito come base per l’attrazione di grandi investimenti

COORDINATORE: Michele De Gasperis - Investment Association of China

PARTECIPANTI: Francesco Marcolini - Workshop Eurasia

Giovanna Palma - Camera dei Deputati, Commissione Agricoltura

Marco Berardo Di Stefano - Confagricoltura, Presidente Rete Fattorie Sociali

Fabrizio Migliorati - FederLazio - Responsabile Confidi

Lucio Coggiatti - ITA ICE - Partenariato e Analisi Settoriali per Investimenti Esteri

Carlo Capria - Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri, Dipartimento Programmazione Economica

Michele De Gasperis, rappresentante italiano dell’Investment Association of China, ha salutato il pubblico presente e introdotto i relatori della tavola rotonda. Ha poi presentato l’organismo che rappresenta, che afferisce al National Development and Reform Commission della Repubblica Popolare Cinese, e che come funzioni è in parte accostabile al nostro Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico, rappresentandone la divisione dedicata agli investimenti cinesi. L’organizzazione è inoltre presente in tutte le città cinesi e in 120 paesi. Ha infine introdotto il tema dell’incontro, “Il microcredito come base per l’attrazione di grandi investimenti”, evidenziando quanto i temi dei microfinanziamenti e quello dei grandi investimenti siano in realtà strettamente legati: queste piccole erogazioni di denaro, infatti, rivestono oggi un ruolo molto importante per le MPMI per sviluppare il proprio business, dando loro la possibilità di aggregarsi, crescere e trasformarsi in realtà più importanti e attrattive per gli investitori esteri. Successivamente, la parola è passata al Dr. Francesco Marcolini, referente di Workshop Eurasia, che si è concentrato sul concetto di microcredito applicato nel campo della cooperazione internazionale, portando gli esempi del suo utilizzo in India e in altre parti del mondo, e in ambito italiano, elencando gli attori principali nel nostro paese, evidenziando i numerosi pregi ed elencando alcune criticità del nostro modello: poco supporto alle aziende nelle fasi successive all’erogazione del microcredito, progetti che ricevono finanziamenti non sempre validi, comunicazione poco efficace, collegamento con le associazioni delle imprese del territorio, grandi e piccole, da migliorare. E’ intervenuto poi il Dr. Marco Berardo Di Stefano, Presidente Rete Fattorie Sociali di Confagricoltura, che ha illustrato il concetto di agricoltura sociale, il funzionamento della Rete, la struttura dell’organizzazione e le sue relazioni con gli altri organismi del settore. Molte attività che vengono svolte nell’ambito delle reti sociali avvengono attraverso piccole iniziative, che coinvolgono giovani che tornano all’agricoltura o persone in difficoltà o di altri paesi che necessitano di piccoli investimenti per iniziare una determinata attività. L’utilizzo del microcredito garantisce i finanziamenti necessari per avviare progetti che coinvolgano questi soggetti, e che in caso di successo rappresentano un risparmio per le casse dello Stato sui costi di assistenza che andrebbero sostenuti nel caso in cui queste persone non trovassero un impiego. Inoltre, nelle fattorie sociali è possibile produrre beni di produzione particolari e non di massa, che possono rappresentare opportunità interessanti per gli investitori stranieri. Per permettere questo tipo di attività lo strumento del microcredito è essenziale. L’Onorevole Giovanna Palma è intervenuta per raccontare l’utilizzo del microcredito in realtà territoriali ancora depresse. Ha fatto riferimento all’origine del microcredito come strumento di supporto delle fasce più svantaggiate della popolazione, e ha portato alcuni esempi di piccole erogazioni rilasciate a realtà imprenditoriali del suo territorio di origine affinché queste tornassero a emergere. L’Onorevole ha inoltre esortato affinché lo strumento del microcredito sia usato non solo come semplice supporto per le imprese in difficoltà, ma anche come mezzo che consenta di unire le aziende di uno stesso territorio perché possano aggredire non solo il mercato nazionale ma anche i mercati internazionali con maggiore competitività. Il Dr. Fabrizio Migliorati, Responsabile Confidi – FederLazio, si è focalizzato sull’esperienza della sua organizzazione con l’iniziativa “Fondo Futuro” della Regione Lazio. Tra il 2005 e il 2014, in Italia sono state effettuate 102.000 operazioni di microcredito, per un valore di circa 1,2 miliardi di euro. Il fenomeno è importante, e ha assunto una rilevanza maggiore a causa del processo di deindustrializzazione avvenuto anche nel Lazio, che ha portato il numero di nuove attività commerciali e di soggetti che si avvicinano a forme di lavoro autonomo a essere in costante aumento. Non fornire assistenza adeguata a questa vastità di microimprese, che potrebbero in futuro diventare PMI e grandi imprese, equivale a lasciare morire le attività produttive di domani. Il diritto al credito, in un contesto come quello presentato, va perseguito, poiché spesso soggetti che non possono offrire garanzie sull’investimento sono portatori di idee imprenditoriali brillanti. E’ inoltre importante far precedere una valutazione oggettiva dell’idea imprenditoriale presentata, e accompagnare le imprese stesse nelle fasi successive al rilascio del finanziamento: spesso, invece, una volta terminata l’attività di microcredito, i soggetti coinvolti sono lasciati soli, riscontrando difficoltà a proseguire la propria attività d’impresa. Pertanto, sarebbe opportuno creare un sistema di rete che fornisca assistenza e supporto a questi soggetti, consentendo – auspicabilmente – alle microimprese di crescere e diventare PMI. Inoltre, coinvolgendo soggetti fragili e che necessitano di supporto finanziario, sarebbe auspicabile accorciare i tempi di erogazione del microcredito. Il Dr. Lucio Coggiatti di ITA ICE, dell’Ufficio Partenariato e Analisi Settoriali per Investimenti Esteri, ha evidenziato come esista una complementarietà temporale tra l’attività della sua organizzazione e quella del microcredito: quest’ultima, infatti, consente a start-up e microimprese di crescere e svilupparsi fino a diventare realtà imprenditoriali importanti che attraggano grandi investimenti esteri. Quello degli investimenti esteri per ICE è un tema piuttosto recente, attribuito all’Agenzia dal 2014, e che ha portato alla creazione di una struttura più articolata rispetto al passato, che accompagni l’investitore estero dalla proposta iniziale fino all’assistenza post-insediamento. In questa attività, ICE riceve degli indirizzi strategici dal MISE, e si relaziona con tutte le amministrazioni competenti nel campo: Presidenza del Consiglio, Ministeri, Ambasciate, Regioni, Associazioni di Categoria e i propri uffici ICE nel mondo. Presso alcuni uffici internazionali ICE sono stati inoltre costituiti desk dedicati proprio all’attrazione degli investimenti esteri. Infine, negli ultimi anni sono state avviate attività di promozione e comunicazione dell’offerta italiana in diverse occasioni pubbliche e online. Infine, il Dr. Carlo Capria, del Dipartimento Programmazione Economica della Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri, ha sottolineato come il nostro sia un Paese di micro, piccole e medie imprese, evidenziando la necessità che queste siano supportate. In questo senso, il Governo ha realizzato diverse iniziative per favorire l’aggregazione delle microimprese in rete d’impresa, affinché queste siano in grado di presentarsi competitivamente sui mercati esteri. Successivamente ha dato evidenza, rifacendosi a quanto detto dal Dr. Di Stefano, di come i dati sul comparto agricolo siano molto positivi (+10% del lavoro autonomo nel settore). Ha inoltre auspicato una riforma della giustizia che semplifichi il quadro normativo italiano, oggi meno attrattivo per un qualsiasi investitore straniero rispetto a quello di altri paesi. E’ stata poi esposta una panoramica dei fondi destinati al supporto delle MPMI e alle attività di microcredito, con l’augurio che vengano presentati progetti adeguati e di qualità che possano avere accesso ai finanziamenti. Ha elencato una serie di attività di collaborazione già avviate con l’estero, specialmente con la Cina, nel campo dell’innovazione, della cultura e dello sport. Infine, tornando sul microcredito, si è concentrato sulla nascita di questo modello, su come sia nato per dare supporto alle fasce più bisognose nei paesi in via di sviluppo, e ha evidenziato come l’Italia sul panorama internazionale abbia tutto il potenziale necessario per imporsi in ogni settore.

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