Italy’s Reorganization of Public Investment Appraisal: Findings and Perspectives for Large Projects and Cohesion Policy


  • Stefano Maiolo Agenzia per la Coesione Territoriale, Rome, Italy
  • Pasquale Lucio Scandizzo Facoltà di Economia, Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata, Italy



public investment, large projects, Europe, externalities, territorial cohesion


There is a common perception that large projects are not only difficult to implement, but often unsuccessful, not generating the expected benefits, compared to the costs actually incurred. If from a side, large projects succeed, fail or the impact is reduced compared to expectations in terms of positive externalities on the territory and on the economy in general, on the other hand it becomes very interesting to investigate the ways in which these effects are generated. The introduction of this work analyzes the unrealized picture of the Italian legislation on planning and ex-ante evaluation of public investments, against a worrying decline of this component in order of 4% average year that is being registered in the last decade. The second part is dedicated, in the broad framework of territorial cohesion policies, to the not very positive experience in Italy of the European major projects of the past programming period 2007-2013. In the third part are compared the main studies that have highlighted the success factors and the risk factors of a large public investment project. In the penultimate section are proposed the activities necessary to achieve a link between the levels of design and the implementation of a work and / or an investment program. The conclusions contain the recommendations aimed at simplifying and speeding up the procedures of the interventions still in progress, as well as measures to strengthen the capacity building in order to strengthen the territory of the necessary technical and operational support for the implementation of public investments and cohesion policies.