There is still a conflict between Balneari, Brussels and Rome.

Beach concessions fuel tensions between Brussels and Rome. “We learned from the press that the enactment of the Milleproroghe decree, which will further expand the existing beach concessions in Italy – until at least 31 December 2024 – has been announced by the Italian President, with particular reservations. EU executive spokesman Ansa with ‘profiles of non-compliance with European law’. He explained to Ansa, underlining that the “European Commission” will “carefully consider the content and implications of the provision, which has not yet been notified, with regard to the appropriate response”.

Why the conflict between Brussels and Rome

But let’s take a step back. On February 24, President Sergio Mattarella signed into law the decree “Milleproroghe”, which also approved the extension of state concessions until December 31, 2024. It’s a postponement that the majority parties have been hoping for for some time. On the subject, Italy does not comply with European laws, Italy does not comply with European laws.

The European Commission has repeatedly threatened infringement procedure because the Italian State has not implemented a directive approved in 2006 – the Bolkestein directive – and accordingly the management of public assets must be appointed through a tender procedure. In Italy, by contrast, beaches as state-owned public assets are allocated with ten-year concessions, which are very advantageous for establishments and not very profitable for the state. Even Quirinale expressed skepticism about the reform, precisely because it contradicts European legislation. Therefore, the government and parliament are urged to intervene in the concessions, although they cannot refer the law to parliament.

Fears of beach resorts wanting to meet Mattarella

In the face of non-compliance with European legislation on the extension of the beach concession, a spokesperson for the Brussels administration recalled that national legislation, which is currently the subject of a pending infringement lawsuit, began in December 2020 and subsequently led to a first. In an important step with the passage of competition law in July 2022, it should “ensure equal treatment of service providers, without any direct or indirect advantage for any particular operator, promote innovation and fair competition, ensure a fair return on investment, and enable consumers to and protection against the risk of monopolizing public resources for the benefit of businesses”. Highlighting the need for transparency and fair competition, the spokesperson for the European Commission hopes for government intervention that moves in the right direction.

But what is learned is that the government is ready to intervene. According to reports from an authoritative executive source, the decision is to speed up. And to do so in the next few weeks. That is, long before summer arrives, with the parties specifying the date of July 27 as the kickoff whistle, to await the results of the beach mapping process. And therefore, continue after the completion of the inter-ministerial table envisioned in the “Milleproroghe”.

The warning from Brussels is fueling anger and fear over the future of the seaside resorts, which met today in Carrara on 27 February to demand an urgent meeting with President Mattarella. The same thing that casts doubt on the provision contained in the “Milleproroghe”.

Source: Today IT

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