all 35 billion by the end of the year –

all 35 billion by the end of the year –

An agreement was reached on the issue of student housing beds, which should release the third tranche of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, albeit months late. The agreement, which Europe Minister Raffaele Fitto will present to the PNRR control room today, is divided into several phases to solve a fundamental problem: according to the European Commission, Italy has not met the quantitative target of adding 7,500 beds in student accommodation by the end of 2022.

The compromise on student dormitories

The parties have been stuck on this issue for months, in the truest sense of the word. Now there is a similar compromise as with the kindergartens, where the dispute from Brussels about the fourth tranche (targets June 2023) looked similar: part of the funds ran the risk of flowing into the renewal of existing kindergarten places. The compromise is as follows: the quantitative target of creating 7,500 university places by the end of 2022 is dropped; It is replaced by a qualitative objective, which refers to having initiated all the necessary procedures (tenders, permits) so that Italy can create a total of 60,000 more university beds by the end of 2026. In addition, this qualitative target is no longer linked to the deadlines of the third tranche (December 2022) but to those of the fourth tranche (June 2023).

When will the resources arrive?

In this way, the payment of the third installment will be made without taking into account the amounts related to the creation of student housing. However, this part of the funds (between 300 and 500 million euros, depending on the interpretation) will be integrated into the goals of the fourth tranche and paid out with it, provided that the requirements are met. Therefore, the total amounts paid to Italy for the implementation of the Pnrr remained unchanged. There would also be the hypothesis of simultaneously paying the third and fourth installments to the state in the second half of the year, a total of 35 billion euros (on paper the third installment is now worth 19 billion and the fourth 16 billion) or, as an alternative that seems much more likely, an attempt is made to pay the third installment as quickly as possible and also the fourth within the year, a total of 35 billion euros, which would therefore not change overall.

The note from Palazzo Chigi

After in-depth discussions with the European Commission, at the Pnrr Control Room meeting, the Italian government presented an amendment on student accommodation reform to: insert a new milestone in the fourth tranche; clarify the conditions and objectives of the measure; correct some key errors, explains Palazzo Chigi in a note. In agreement with the Commission, the proposed changes will not affect the total amount of payments that Italy will receive in 2023 with the third and fourth installments (i.e. a total of 35 billion euros). The third tranche provided 54 targets for 18.5 billion euros, the fourth 28 targets for 16.5 billion euros. The total of 35 billion euros planned by the Pnrr in 2023 would be collected in full, the statement said. With today’s decision of the control room, the government will officially submit the proposal to amend the fourth tranche to the European Commission. The proposal will be examined by the Commission itself and then by the Council of the European Union along with the other ten fourth-tranche amendment proposals already examined by the Steering Committee and presented to the Commission on 11 July. The EU Commission will assess the proposed change in the context of the regulatory framework for revising recovery and resilience plans. We do not expect that the total amount of payments Italy will receive in 2023 will change taking into account the third and fourth payment requests, a spokesman for the EU Commission said.

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