The Governance of PNRR: the Return of Technocratic Centralism

May 31, 2021

The control tower that will have to manage around 200 billion in funds for the next five years has been designed to perfection around the authoritative figure of the premier. The starting point is multilevel governance: the political direction is concentrated in the hands of Palazzo Chigi (which will be able to avoid going through the stormy party storms), the control and reporting phase to the General Accounting Office while the "material" execution is distributed among ministries, regions and other local authorities. The structure with variable geometries is instead envisaged as regards the participation of ministers and undersecretaries. They will intervene when strictly competent even in the first phase, that of setting the policies. 

Furthermore, great importance is given to the issues of digital and sustainability, reflecting the investment hierarchy imposed by the EU. The inter-ministerial committee for the digital transition and the inter-ministerial committee for the ecological transition will in turn carry out the functions of direction, impulse and technical coordination, keeping the control room informed periodically. 

This set-up was designed to manage a large and one-off amount of investments such as that of Recovery. Yet it seems to perfectly follow the style of Mario Draghi in the management of the executive machine up to now. Rather centralized in providing political guidelines and in the hands of some key nodes, including the MEF and the Ministry for Ecological Transition, from which the practical phases then branch out. Could you assume a different step also with regard to the governance of innovation, with particular reference to industrial policies and the digitalization of production processes?