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Sub-national activities


According with the 2005 Reform of Italian Constitution, some competences in the environment field have been transferred from national to regional and local levels. The national level is competent for the definition of environmental quality objectives and the general criteria for sector environmental policies. Regions are responsible for strategic planning and provinces and municipalities for control and implementation of plans and programs.

Some Regions have adopted during the last few years Regional Strategies aiming at building an overarching framework for their policies and be coherent with European and national level.

At a lower level, in the view of principle of subsidiarity, municipalities are recognised as the direct target of EU policies for urban sustainability and the importance of programmes for urban sustainability has been raised during the last few years.

The role of local governments has been enhanced and promoted also through the provisions of the NSDS, by empowering local authorities to play a more effective role in local sustainable development and providing support for programs and partnerships to deliver more effective sustainable development outcomes.

Regional and local administrations play an important role in environmental management. Not only do these administrations issue permits that adapt (in a regional context) objectives determined through national legislation, as well as monitoring environmental performance, but they also define environmental priorities for environmental action, introduce specific policy instruments, carry out investment programmes, and respond to non-compliance. The provinces take part in all regional plans, such as those on waste, air and noise pollution. An elaborate system of regional environmental agencies supports subnational administration. This system includes 19 regional environmental protection agencies (ARPAs) and two provincial environmental agencies for the autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano (APPAs). These agencies carry out planning and regulatory activities, as well as monitoring and inspections, on behalf of both levels of local administration (provinces, municipalities) and local offices of health authorities.


This Country Profile has been last updated on: Monday, 27 May 2013

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