Breaking news

Puglia, the Poc to save tourism and culture

Puglia, the Poc to save tourism and culture
Puglia, the Poc to save tourism and culture

BARI – The reform of cohesion funds contained in the Southern decree of Minister Raffaele Fitto has deprived the Region of the source of financing on which tourism and culture incentive policies are based. It is the money that finances the fairs (over which a bitter controversy developed last week between the council and the centre-right), but also the music and film festivals and the support for productions: 26 million euros a year which, so far, they were taken from the FSC fund and will no longer be available from 2024.

In order not to interrupt the activities delegated to the Pugliapromozione agency, the TPP consortium and the AFC foundation from next year, the money must therefore be found elsewhere. The most likely solution is that they will be found in the Poc, a little-known acronym that represents the complementary operational plan approved in 2020 as a “complement” (precisely) to the European ERDF and ESF funds of past programming. A little treasure worth 2.67 billion euros and 70% fed by the state revolving fund and 30% by own funds.

It is on this hypothesis that the budget councilor, Raffaele Piemontese, and the head of cabinet Pinuccio Catalano have been working for days. The verification of compatibility of the incentives for tourism and culture with the structure of the Poc had a positive outcome, but now it is necessary to make sure (with the head of the Management Authority, Pasquale Orlando) that there is material space within the 13 axes in which the Plan is divided: the commitments made so far have in fact saturated the financial capacity, even if the payments made at the end of 2022 are still at a very low level (451 million, equal to 16.79%). And therefore the hypothesis is to carry out a remodulation that will allow, in good time, to guarantee the agencies the budget for 2024 and for the following two years.

The most important sum (20 million) must be allocated to Pugliapromozione, which from here must draw the 2.2 million necessary to support the plan of the fairs in which the Bit of Milan stands out but also the financing necessary to keep the info points open and to carry on the «Puglia365» strategic plan. The other six million represent the shares of TPP and Apulia Film Commission. Although it is an instrument relating to the 2014-2020 period, the law left the possibility of using POC financing by 2026: it would therefore be sufficient to guarantee coverage until the material availability of FSC arrives, which the minister Fitto subordinated a prior discussion on financeable projects between Regions and ministries. But even after the signing of the program agreement, it is by no means certain that cohesion funds can be allocated to intangible incentives such as culture and tourism: cohesion resources will almost certainly have to be reserved for infrastructures and material goods. The alternative hypothesis, that of loading the 26 million into the autonomous budget, is considered simply untenable: the allocations intended for the departments are in fact reduced to a bare minimum, and already today they are barely sufficient to guarantee the payment of the salaries of agencies and corporate companies. house.

The issue will have to be addressed and resolved in a few weeks, because – in keeping with the alarm raised on tourism – the programming of the 2024 fairs will not be able to go beyond January: before booking the exhibition spaces (the Bit is the most expensive fair) it is necessary to announce and award the relevant tender. The same goes for the organization of festivals and variously named cultural support activities. The structural problem remains, linked to incentive choices and priorities in the use of European funds.

PREV Aprilia problems at Motegi, watch out for HRC
NEXT An urban stage of the Enduro Marche Series in Treia