In Calabria many free beaches, the council says no to the Bolkestein directive

In Calabria many free beaches, the council says no to the Bolkestein directive
In Calabria many free beaches, the council says no to the Bolkestein directive

The Calabria Region is the first in Italy to have decided not to apply the Bolkestein directive regarding beach concessions issued by the Municipalities. President Roberto Occhiuto said this at the end of the council meeting in which, having noted that in Calabria the “beach resource” is not in short supply as 87% of the beaches are currently free, it was decided – “first Region in Italy to make a decision of this type and put it in black and white” – that the Bolkstein directive will not be applied in Calabria.

“Calabria – states Occhiuto – is surrounded by the sea to the east, west and south, and has almost 800 kilometers of coastline. Our regional plan, regulated by a 2005 regional law, provides that 70% of the beaches can be granted under concession for tourist-recreational purposes, compared to 30% which must remain free. From the data updated to December 2023, it emerges that only 13% of Calabrian beaches are given under concession – sometimes even assigned but not active – by the Municipalities: at least 87% of our beaches are therefore currently free”.

“It seems clear – he continues – that in the Calabrian territory there is no shortage of ‘beach resources’ and therefore today we have officially decided – the first Region in Italy to make a decision of this type and to put it in black and white – that it will not apply in Calabria the Bolkestein directive regarding the concessions issued by the Municipalities in which the local non-existence of scarcity of the resource and the absence of certain cross-border interest will be assessed at present. The 2006 EU directive places emphasis on the concept of ‘scarcity of beach resources’. A subsequent Italian state law approved in 2022 regulates a mapping of the beaches, which however was carried out at a national level. Logic rejected by an opinion from the European Commission: for Europe the assessment of the ‘scarcity’ or otherwise of beaches must be made at a regional or even municipal level. We want to respect these instructions to the letter. And from the numbers it is clear that in Calabria, considered as a whole, there is no shortage of ‘beach resources'”.

“Following the decision taken today by our Council – states the President of the Region – the Calabrian Municipalities will be able to proceed, if there is no scarcity of the ‘beach resource’ in their territory and there is not even a cross-border interest in issuing the concession, to the direct application of national legislation on the extensions of beach concessions; in the absence of these conditions, the same Municipalities will be able to proceed with a ‘technical extension’ of the previous concessions expiring on 31/12/2023, and at the same time they will be able to launch new tenders for the lots not yet assigned”.

“For months – concludes Occhiuto – we have been talking about differentiated autonomy and regionalism, why must we always talk about it according to the interests of some? In this case Calabria does not have the problem that other regions have. In Calabria the ‘beach resource’ is not scarce. Someone in the past said ‘masters in our house’. In this case it is we Calabrians who softly say: ‘on the Bolkestein we are masters in our house’”.

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