A cura di Maryam Turrini e John Shehata
On19 May 2020 the Law Decree no. 34 has beenpublished in the Official Gazette (“Rilancio Decree“). The new emergency decree is in line with the previous Cura Italia and Liquidità Decrees, introducing inter alia measures to support the liquidity the capitalisation of enterprises, incentives and tax credits as well as measures in the context of indirect taxation, tax assessment and tax litigation.
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I) Internationalization Measures
Measures on exports and internationalization – Article 48
Article 48 of Law Decree No. 34 of 19 May 2020 (“Decree”) is aimed at supporting export and internationalization of enterprises, in order to increase aids to one of the sectors most affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.
Therefore, in order to favor the economic revival of companies in foreign markets, the Decree provides for the refinancing of Fund 394/81 and an additional increase of its resources equal to 200 million euros for the year 2020. In particular, Article 48 of the Decree allows to temporarily increase up to twofold the maximum limits of subsidized loans, referred to Article 2 of the Law Decree of 28 May 1981, No. 251 converted, with amendments, by the Law of 29 July 1981, No. 394.
The Decree also allows ICE (“Agency for the promotion abroad and the internationalization of Italian companies”) – pending the insolvency procedures under Article 1 of Law of 27 December 2019, no. 160 – to hire, within the limits of the staff required (dotazione organica), maximum 50 units of non-executive personnel with fixed-term employment contracts with a maximum duration of 12 months. This provision has been enacted due to the extraordinary and immediate commitment required to ICE for the promotion of the Italian economic system, especially in this Covid-19 crisis context.
Furthermore, in order to promote the Italian participation in European and international research projects, Article 48 of the Decree, has authorized the expenditure of Euro 10 million for the year 2020 and Euro 15 million for each of the years 2021 and 2022, for the realization of the Tecnopolo of Bologna.
The Decree, finally, sets forth certain measures aimed at making the Italian legal system compliant with the requirements provided by the Government of the United Arab Emirates due to the Covid-19 emergency, in connection with the postponement to 2021 of the Dubai International Expo. In particular, Article 48 of the Decree lays down: a) a one-year extension of the General Commissariat of Section, in order to allow the dismantling of the Italian pavilion at the end of the event; b) provisions on flexible employment contracts and procurement contracts, in order to ensure the continuity of procedures and appropriately address the emergency.
Extraordinary measures in support of research activities– Article 238
The Italian Government sets out specific measures to support the National Research System and Italy’s competitiveness.
Article 238 of the Decree is oriented in a twofold direction: on the one hand, a huge investment in human capital is provided and, on the other hand, the promotion of the most innovative research projects is encouraged.
In particular, the Decree has provided the increase of resources for the recruitment plan of researches, according to Article 24 of the Law of 30 December 2010, No. 240, within the expenditure limit of Euro 200 million per year from 2021.
Furthermore, Article 238 of the Decree provides for an increase in the “Fund for investment in scientific and technological research” (FIRST), referred to in Article 1 of the Law of 27 December 2006, No. 296, and in the Financing Fund for universities, referred to in Article 5 of the Law of 24 December 1993, No. 537.
In order to improve Italy’s competitiveness, Article 238 of the Decree provides for exceptions, for the benefit of universities and research institutions, to the new limits of expenditure, introduced by the Law of 2019 No. 160, on the purchase of goods and services, for the three years 2020-2022.
Utilization of the Development and Cohesion Fund for Covid-19 Emergency – Article 241
Article 241 of the Decree provides that the resources of the Development and Cohesion Fund may, exceptionally, be allocated to national, regional or local interventions, in order to properly address the health, economic and social emergency resulting from the pandemic.
The aim of Article 241 of the Decree is to make the interventions of the Development and Cohesion Fund consistent with the important amendments recently made by the European regulations relating to the ESI Funds. Article 241 of the Decree provides for the possibility to allocate the resources of the Development and Cohesion Fund, as well as those of the ESI Funds, to measures to address the health, economic and social emergency resulting from Covid-19.
Article 241 of the Decree is effective starting from 1 February 2020 and the national, regional or local administration may use the resources of the Development and Cohesion Fund within the limits of the resources reprogrammed for the emergency Covid-19 under the ESI Funds’ operational programmes.
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