Report and video recording | Single Mediterranean SEZ, a challenge that cannot be lost


Single Mediterranean SEZ, a challenge that cannot be lost

The Italian Single Mediterranean SEZ Workshop is born

“Zes Unica”: an unmissable opportunity to connect our South to the rest of the country and to Europe. The prospects of a Special Economic Zone that could give our South a new chance for growth were the theme around which the debate at the conference: ‘Single Mediterranean SEZ. Socio-economic, logistical and geopolitical factors’, promoted by Eurispes in collaboration with the Permanent Forum of the Mediterranean and Black Sea, Lions Clubs International and the Universitas Mercatorum.

The video recording of the meeting is available by clicking here.

Giovanni Cannata, Rector of the Universitas Mercatorum, opened the proceedings, highlighting the topicality of the topic from a geopolitical point of view. In his opening speech, the President of Eurispes, Gian Maria Fara, emphasised that the establishment of the Single European Economic Zone requires a vision and political planning, “a ‘system government’ that, with an adequate and innovative institutional set-up, is able to interact in all spheres: environmental, economic, social and cultural”.

Marco Rettighieri, President of Webuild Italia and lecturer in Project Management at Luiss Business University, observed that ‘without an adequate infrastructure network, the ZES will not be able to bear the hoped-for fruit. In fact, it is difficult to talk about ZES and inland industrial areas if they are not accompanied by land infrastructure investments that can guarantee adequate and functional continuation of goods to their final destinations. Rettighieri also emphasised the most recent events that have brought about geopolitical changes, still in progress, of such magnitude as to determine international scenarios that would have been difficult to imagine just a few years ago. Our country therefore needs first of all to understand these changes and, consequently, to put in place concrete actions to deal with future drifts.

Dario Lo Bosco, President of Rete Ferroviaria Italiana and Professor of Roads, Railways and Airports at the Mediterranean University, emphasised experience as a determining factor in being able to create, in a unicum of management of the country system, mobility and transport networks in a green, digital, interconnected key, favouring integration with the neuralgic systems that are the port and airport systems. He also recalled how Ferrovie dello Stato is currently engaged in a synergic effort to provide an infrastructure network that can support the development of the Single Zones, which over the next ten years RFI has a forecast of investments of more than 130 billion euros, and this is to ensure that Italy can be a leader in the integration processes of the large European transnational networks that with the opening to the East are also the pan-European networks.

The National President of Uniontrasporti, Ivo Blandina, recalling how so many opportunities have already been lost, lamented the state of uncertainty that entrepreneurs who intend to invest in the ZES are currently experiencing due to the failure to issue the implementing decrees necessary for the full operation of these areas.

Marco Ricceri, Secretary General of Eurispes, recalled the paradox that the Mediterranean is still not a ‘recognised’ area as unitary and homogeneous, even according to the UN.

Giovanni D’Alessandro, Professor of Public Law at Cusano University, retraced and outlined the legal nature of the SEZs, while Francesco Fimmanò, Professor of Commercial Law at Universitas Mercatorum, emphasised that the new SEZ could be a useful tool to avert the production of those ‘localisms’ that have generated enormous damage over time, especially in Southern Italy.

Badreddine Toukabri, Chairman of the Euro-Mediterranean Chamber for industry and enterprise, in a video message retraced the organisation of the Tunisian SEZs, hoping for forms of cooperation with the Italian Mezzogiorno’s Single SEZ.

Aldo Berlinguer, President of the Eurispes Observatory on Insularity and Inland Areas, emphasised that in order to make a Single Zes work, it is essential to put ‘the productive areas in dialogue’ in order to have an integrated system, recommending, at the same time, to ‘not throw away the heritage of experience acquired so far with the Zes’.

Giovambattista Palumbo, Director of the Eurispes Observatory on Fiscal Policies, emphasised the importance of the economic chains connected to the ZES because: ‘The aim is to make it a player that can compete with other global players’.

The conference, moderated by AdnKronos deputy editor Fabio Insenga, was also attended by Salvo Iannì, Deputy Director General of ‘District 108L’, and Filly Auriemma, President of Lions Club Nola ‘Ottaviano Augusto’.

Drawing the conclusions of the two morning panels, Salvatore Napolitano, coordinator of the Permanent Forum of the Mediterranean Black Sea, who recalled how “80% of Italian borders are maritime” and how the SEZ must be included in a broader context of the Mediterranean, also recalling the need to guarantee security as an essential element to ensure the effective development of the economies of the territories that affect the Single SEZ. Lastly, Angelo Caliendo, a member of the Eurispes Governing Council, observed how the debate on the Single Economic Zone between the central government and the regions has often taken on the tone of a football dispute, whereas there is a need for conformity and unanimity of vision, together with the ability to project oneself in a broader context and think in Euro-Mediterranean terms. Lastly, Mr Caliendo announced the creation of a Laboratory on the Single European Economic Zone based on the model of the Eurispes Brics Laboratory, an open place for discussion and exchange between experts to monitor the progress and results obtained, suggesting possible improvements to the legislator.




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