Roma, 11 febbraio 2021 – Il Vice presidente della Commissione europea, Valdis Dombrovskis, e il Commissario all’Economia, Paolo Gentiloni, hanno risposto alla Lettera inviata a Bruxelles il 20 gennaio scorso dal Ministro dell’Economia e delle Finanze, Roberto Gualtieri, per illustrare alla Commissione Europea la decisione di proporre al Parlamento italiano una Relazione per ottenere l’autorizzazione allo scostamento dal deficit programmatico previsto nella Nadef 2020. Lo scostamento è finalizzato all’adozione di misure volte a sostenere ulteriormente gli operatori economici, i settori produttivi e i cittadini maggiormente colpiti dagli effetti della pandemia da Covid-19.
Nella loro risposta il Vice presidente Dombrovskis e il Commissario Gentiloni esprimono apprezzamento per gli sforzi compiuti dall’Italia per contenere la pandemia e limitarne l’impatto sull’economia, per le informazioni fornite dal governo italiano sulle nuove misure e per la loro prevista natura mirata e temporanea. È importante che le misure di supporto siano regolarmente monitorate per garantire l’uso efficiente delle risorse. La Commissione ribadisce l’orientamento espresso in base al quale l’impostazione della politica di bilancio, deve rimanere espansiva, a sostegno della ripresa, anche nel corso del 2021. La guidance fiscale sarà aggiornata in primavera nel quadro della valutazione dei Programmi di Stabilità e Convergenza. Infine, viene apprezzata l’impostazione generale del Piano di recupero e resilienza e il dialogo attualmente in corso con i servizi della Commissione europea. I servizi della Commissione restano a disposizione per proseguire il confronto e supportare il governo nel lavoro di specificazione e finalizzazione delle riforme e degli investimenti previsti dal piano.
Ecco il testo della lettera
Thank you for your letter of 20 January informing the Commission of Italy’s decision to take additional fiscal measures, in light of the restrictions needed to prevent the worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We appreciate the important efforts that Italy and its citizens have undertaken for almost a year to limit the spread of the pandemic and its impact on the economy. We trust that a rapid rollout of the vaccination campaign will lay the basis for putting an end to the contagion and will pave the way for the recovery.
As you know, at the European level an important political agreement has been reached on the Recovery and Resilience Facility at the end of last year. We are now working towards the operationalisation of the new facility, which if properly implemented can provide an important fiscal impulse to the European economy in the coming years. It also represents an opportunity for Member States to take ambitious reforms and set the basis for solid and sustainable growth. We take note of the efforts that Italy is making in the preparation of its plan and welcome its general approach and the constructive dialogue undertaken so far with the European Commission. Further work remains to be done on specification of key reforms and investments to ensure a robust Recovery and Resilience Plan. Our services remain available to continue the discussions and support you in the finalisation of the plan.
In our letter of 19 September 2020 providing orientations for fiscal policy in 2021, we informed the Member States that the general escape clause will remain active in 2021. We also indicated that Member States’ fiscal policies should continue to support the recovery throughout 2021, with well targeted and temporary support measures.
The Commission Opinion of 18 November 2020 on the Draft Budgetary Plan of Italy concluded that the Plan was overall in line with the recommendation adopted by the Council on 20 July 2020, while it cautioned that some measures do not appear to be temporary or matched by offsetting measures.
Against this background, we take note of the revision of Italy’s fiscal targets for 2021. We appreciate receiving the details provided on the additional fiscal measures planned by Italy as a response to the worsening of the pandemic, as well as the explanations on their targeted and temporary nature. It would be helpful if you could keep the Commission updated on the detailed implementation of these measures. In particular, the promotion of tax compliance in the design of support measures should continue to inform policy decisions, in line with the important efforts already made by Italy in this regard.
Given Italy’s high government debt, it is particularly important that the effectiveness and adequacy of the support measures are regularly reviewed, also with a view to ensuring the most efficient use of resources.
We also take note that, in light of the revision of fiscal targets for 2021, the government projects its debt ratio to remain broadly stable this year, before starting to decline as of 2022.
We also note that you keep unchanged the deficit targets for the following years, as well as the medium-term strategy for debt reduction, and notably the commitment to bring the debt ratio to its 2019 level by 2030. Relaunching Italy’s potential growth is particularly important also in this perspective. The Commission will assess the consistency of Italy’s reform and fiscal strategy in the context of its assessment of Italy’s Recovery and Resilience Plan and Stability Programme.
Finally, we take this opportunity to inform you that in spring the Commission intends to update its fiscal policy guidance as part of the assessment of Stability and Convergence Programmes. We will certainly have the possibility to discuss this important matter in the subsequent Ecofin/Eurogroup meetings.