All comparisons are with the figures for 10 December 2020, the previous reporting date.
The last 2 years, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Member State authorities to address pressing priorities and affected their performance in transposing EU rules to some degree. In this context, the Commission has taken a number of extraordinary measures aimed at relieving the strain on Member States’ administrative resources. Nevertheless, it has also made clear that the Member States’ legal obligations to transpose EU directives in time remain unchanged.
Transposition deficit (percentage of all directives not transposed): 1.2% (last report: 0.4%) – a significant increase of 0.8 percentage points. Italy is one of 6 Member States whose deficit has more than doubled in the last year and consequently among those that missed the 1% target set by the European Council.
EU average = 1.6%; proposed target (in the Single Market Act) = 0.5%
Italy's performance on this criterion is generally good. It managed the unusually large number of directives the Member States had to transpose in 2016 well and achieved its lowest ever deficit (0.4%) in 2017 and 2020. However, likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Italy is now above the 1% threshold having doubled last year’s deficit. it did not transpose 5 of the 26 single market directives (19%) due to have been transposed in the 6 months before the cut-off date for calculating the deficit (1 June to 30 November 2021). This delay, together with 3 directives that are more than 2 years overdue (see below), shows that Italy could organise the timely transposition of directives even better, and should also focus on the quality of the transposition (see below).
Overdue directives: 12 (last report: 4), including 3 on social policy and 3 on financial services. Three directives are more than 2 years overdue (Directive 2014/17/EU on credit agreements for consumers relating to residential immovable property and amending Directives 2008/48/EC and 2013/36/EU and Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010, Directive 2014/56/EU amending Directive 2006/43/EC on statutory audits of annual accounts and consolidated accounts and Directive 2013/59/EUR on basic safety standards for protection against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation).
Average delay in transposing directives: 20.8 months (last report: 8.5 months) – a substantial increase of 12.3 months. This is the highest increase in the reporting period, which makes Italy the Member State with the highest average delay in transposing directives.
EU average = 8.6 months
Italy added 3 long-overdue directives (due for 2 years or more) to its backlog and 2 other outstanding directives are being overdue by between 1 and 2 years. The long delay in transposing these directives significantly lengthens the average delay of Italy’s quite moderate backlog.
Conformity deficit (percentage of all directives transposed incorrectly): 1.8% (last report: 1.7%) – a slight increase of 0.1 percentage points and well above the EU average.
EU average = 1.3%; proposed target (in the Single Market Act) = 0.5%
The number of new infringement proceedings that the Commission has launched against Member States for incorrectly transposing single market directives has more than halved in 2 years. Nevertheless, the number of ongoing cases is still high. With 18 directives presumed to have been incorrectly transposed, Italy is among the Member States with the highest average deficit.
All comparisons are with the figures for 1 December 2020, the previous reporting date.
Pending single market cases: 46 (7 new cases, including 3 on employment, social affairs and inclusion, and 11 cases closed, including 4 on indirect taxation and 3 on transport; last report: 50 pending cases) – a decrease of 4 cases but still well above the EU average number of cases.
EU average = 27 cases
After 3 consecutive years of increases, Italy reversed the trend and reduced its number of cases by almost 10%. It is therefore no longer among the 3 Member States with the highest number of single market cases (being in 4th position this year).
The Commission launched 120 new cases against Member States in the reporting period (besides those for late transposition), and these were still pending on 1 December 2021. A total of 7 cases were launched against Italy, which almost double the EU average of 4 new cases launched in the reporting period. However, 11 Italian cases have been resolved since December 2020, which is better than the EU average (8).
Problematic sectors: the environment (16 cases), including 6 on water protection and management, and 5 on atmospheric pollution; transport (7), in particular air transport (3) and road and rail transport (3). Together, these make up 50% of all pending cases.
Average case duration: 48.1 months for the 34 single market cases not yet sent to the European Court of Justice (last report: 46.1 months) – an increase of 2 months. The Italian case duration is longer than the EU average.
EU average = 42.8 months
The average duration of Italian cases has not significantly decreased in the last 3 years (-2%). However, Italy continued to fall in the ranking of the Member States with the longest average duration of cases (sixth position this year, compared to fifth last year and second in December 2019). Italy recently resolved 10 cases with an average duration of almost 4 years (including a 16-year-old case on air transport and a 10-year-old case on services). However, the remaining ones (in particular 11 cases that have been running for between 5 and 12 years) have a considerable effect on the calculation of the average duration. This is partly offset by the launch of 7 new cases whose average duration is less than 12 months.
Time taken to comply with Court rulings: 12.5 months for the 3 single market cases at the Court-ruling stage of the procedure and closed in the last 5 years (last report: 16.4 months).
EU average = 46.8 months
Italy is the only other Member State besides Czechia that is within the 18-month indicative compliance time. It now has the shortest compliance time of the 23 Member States that have complied with the Court’s judgments in the last 5 years. Its 3 cases took respectively 4.8, 7 and 25.8 months to comply with Court rulings.
Evolution of infringement cases
Internal Market Information System (Italy)
Performance – Italy performed moderately well.
- Results for three indicators were above the EEA average.
- Performance on four indicators increased, in particular on requests answered within the deadline and on satisfaction surveys.
- The percentage of requests accepted in 1 week and of requests answered within the deadline remain below the EEA average.
Technical regulations information system (Italy)
- Caseload – very large
Submitted cases: 181 (146 in 2020)
Received cases: 287 (270 in 2020)
Cases not accepted: 203 (233 in 2020)
- Resolution rate: 99% (97% in 2020)
- Handling time (as home centre)
Reply in 7 days: 97% (96% in 2020) – very good
Cases prepared in 30 days: 84% (86% in 2020) – good
Solutions accepted within 7 days: 89% (92% in 2020 ) – good
Cases not accepted within 30 days: 87% (61% in 2020) - good
- Handling time (as lead centre)
Cases accepted within 7 days: 90% (83% in 2020) – very good
Cases closed in 10 weeks: 64% (61% in 2020) – poor
- Staffing level
Payment delays (Italy)
In 2022, the average payment delay (the time exceeding the legal or contractually agreed payment terms) by Italian public authorities was 22 days.
The average number of days needed for a business to have its invoices paid by other businesses (business-to-business payments) was 53.67 days.
Responsive administration and burden of regulation (Italy)
|Burden of government regulation (survey replies: 1 = worst, 7 = best)||3.3||3.6|
|Digital public services to start and run a business (100% = best performing)||78.7%||n/a|
|Payment delays by public authorities||22 days||15.7 days|
|Time to resolve insolvency||1.8 years||2.0 years|
|Impact of regulation on long-term investment decisions (survey replies)||8.8%||n/a|
Access to public procurement (Italy)
|No calls for bids||7%||6%|
|Publication rate (value advertised on Tenders Electronic Daily, in % of GDP)||3.2%||5.9%|
|Cooperative procurement (proportion of procedures with more than one buyer)||11%||5%|
|Award criteria (proportion of procedures awarded to cheapest bid)||42%||64%|
|Decision speed (days)||203||99|
|Procedures divided into lots||26%||31%|
|Missing calls for bids||2%||1%|
|Missing seller registration numbers||94%||29%|
|Missing buyer registration numbers||87%||11%|
Note: A typical (mid-ranking) EU country is used for the EU average for all indicators except the publication rate. Due to delays in data availability, publication rate results are based on 2020 data.
Access to services and services markets (Italy)
|Restrictiveness indicator – architect||3.1||2.5|
|Restrictiveness indicator – accountant||3.3||1.7|
|Restrictiveness indicator – civil engineer||3.3||2.4|
|Restrictiveness indicator – lawyer||3.1||3.4|
|Restrictiveness indicator – real estate agent||2.3||1.3|
|Restrictiveness indicator – patent agent||2.3||2.2|
|Restrictiveness indicator – tourist guide||1.7||1.2|
|Domestic priority letter prices, letter 20 g (2020)||€ 2.80||€ 0.88|
|Intra-EU priority letter prices, letter 20 g (2020)||€ 3.50||€ 1.53|
|Domestic transit times, day+1 performance, priority letters 20 g (2020)||82.7%||84.2%|
Note: The EU restrictiveness indicator (EURI) measures the level of restrictiveness for the cross-border provision of services and the right of establishment for seven groups of professional services with a high share in EU firms’ intermediate consumption or cross-border mobility. The level of restrictiveness is measured on a scale from 0 (least restrictive) to 6 (most restrictive).
Access to finance (Italy)
|Access to public financial support (% of SMEs indicating deterioration)||8.5%||11.3%|
|Time to get paid by businesses (2022 survey)||53.7 days||52.5 days|
|Venture capital investments (% of GDP)||0.42%||0.48%|