The NRRP reforms

The Plan includes 63 reforms

The NRRP's lines of action come with a strategy of reforms designed to boost the country's equity, efficiency and competitiveness.

The reforms are an integral part of the Plan because they are crucial to the actions implementation.

Three types of reforms are envisaged: horizontal reforms, enabling reforms and sectoral reforms.

Riforme

 

The horizontal reforms regard all the Missions of the Plan, improving the equity, efficiency, competitiveness and economic climate of the country.

 

Reform of the Public Administration

To develop administrative capacity at central and local level with the strengthening of the processes of selection, training, promotion, mobility of public employees, the streamlining of bureaucracy, and the digitisation of administrative procedures. In the last decade, the lack of personnel and a large number of articulated and complex rules and procedures have represented an obstacle to the improvement of the services offered by the PA and the growth of public and private investments. The reform aims to streamline and simplify rules and procedures to adapt them to the needs of citizens and businesses for a modern and efficient administration. The reform also aims to guarantee generational turnover in the Public Administration and to reform careers starting from a strategic planning of the needs of the various administrations.

The Reform of the Courts

The Italian justice system works very slowly compared to other Member States in terms of procedural times, as evidenced by the latest report from the European Commission for the effectiveness of justice (CEPEJ). Axis 2 of the M1C1 component of the NRRP includes measures aimed at making the judicial system more efficient by reducing the length of proceedings and bringing Italy closer to the EU average. The digitisation of the judicial system is also an important factor for the digital transition. The justice reform is also included by the NRRP among the so-called horizontal or contextual reforms, which consist of structural innovations of the legal system, such as to affect all the intervention sectors of the Plan in a transversal way. The measures planned by the Ministry of Justice are part of an organic framework that combines regulatory interventions and adequate investments to support them over time. The chosen strategy is based on the close correlation between various measures implemented aimed at improving the justice response by starting a real process of organisational innovation destined to stabilise in the future. The goal of more effective and efficient justice, in addition to being more just, cannot be achieved only through reforms on the procedure of the trial or trials. It is necessary to move forward at the same time following three inseparable and complementary guidelines: on the organisational level, on the non-procedural dimension and on the legal process dimension. Specifically, the reforms concerning the justice system concern the following areas. Civil justice - the reform focuses mainly on reducing the time of civil proceedings, identifying a wide range of interventions aimed at reducing the number of cases in judicial offices, simplifying existing procedures, reducing the backlog and increasing the productivity of the offices themselves. To contain the explosion of litigation in the judicial offices, the use of alternative instruments for the resolution of disputes, primarily arbitration and mediation, is accentuated, and the current system for quantifying and recovering judicial costs is under review. Simplification is pursued with reference to the appeal procedure by strengthening the admissibility filter and increasing the cases in which only one judge is competent to rule, ensuring the effective implementation of binding procedural times. The reform also provides for the elimination of the backlog in the judicial offices, a goal that can also be achieved thanks to the temporary hiring provided. Criminal justice - the reform is mainly aimed at reducing the time of criminal proceedings, identifying a wide range of interventions, simplifying existing procedures and increasing the productivity of judicial offices. Simplification is pursued by expanding the possibility of using simplified procedures, spreading the use of digital technology, ensuring stringent time frames of the preliminary hearing, and re-examining the notification system to make it more effective. Insolvency - the reform is intended to digitise and enhance the enforcement process with early pre-insolvency alert mechanisms and the specialisation of judicial and pre-judicial bodies for more efficient management of all stages of the enforcement process, including through training and specialisation of judicial and administrative staff. Tax Justice - the reform aims to make the application of tax legislation more effective and reduce the high number of appeals to the Court of Cassation. Digitisation of the judicial system - the reform provides for the obligatory nature of the mandatory electronic file and the completion of the electronic civil process. It also aims at the digitisation of the first degree criminal trial (excluding the preliminary hearing) and intends to introduce a free, fully accessible and searchable database of civil decisions in accordance with the legislation. As part of the integrated intervention aimed at allowing an efficiency recovery of the entire justice sector, alongside the properly procedural reforms envisaged by the NRRP, the reforms of the judicial system aimed at exerting effects not only on the legal profile of the organisation of the judiciary, but also on the efficiency of the administration of justice. The measures relating to the justice system provided for by the NRRP also include investment in recruitment procedures for civil and criminal courts. The goal of this investment is to act in the short term on organisational factors so that the reforms under development yield results more quickly, maximising synergies and achieving an epochal change thanks to the extraordinary resources provided for in the Plan. The organisational tool, the so-called "Trial Office", consists in establishing (or reinforcing if they already exist) resources to support judges (recruited on a fixed-term basis) to reduce the backlog and the time required to complete the proceedings in Italy. This measure should also improve the quality of judicial action by supporting judges in their normal activities of studying, researching, preparing draft orders, organising files and allowing them to focus on more complex tasks. The investment also includes training to support the digital transition of the judiciary. As part of this investment, the NRRP provides that the "Investment in human capital to strengthen the Trial Office and overcome disparitiesbetween courts" be allocated resources for € 2,268,050,053.73. A specific section of the website of the Ministry of Justice dedicated to NRRP, which illustrates explanatory schemes, documents and updates on current activities, as well as a series of general FAQs, accessible to all, has been created. The specific section of the Ministry of Justice website dedicated to NRRP is available at the following link https://www.giustizia.it/giustizia/it/mg_2_30.page. The set of reforms and investments was designed by the legislator to respond to the increasingly pressing questions of timeliness of judicial decisions, especially in civil matters, coming from citizens, businesses, investors and international observers. The Italian court system, characterised by solid guarantees of autonomy and independence and professionalism of the judges, suffers from a fundamental problem: the time frames of handling trials. The length of trials negatively affects the perception of the quality of justice rendered in courtrooms and unduly obscures its value, according to the maxim that “justice delayed is justice denied”. The problems related to the "time" factor are at the centre of attention in the internal debate and have been repeatedly pointed out in the competent European offices. In particular, in the Country Specific Recommendations addressed to Italy in the years 2019 and 2020, the European Commission invited Italy to increase the efficiency of the civil judicial system, to encourage the repression of corruption - also reducing the timing of criminal proceedings - and speed up the procedures for forced execution and enforcement of guarantees, while acknowledging the progress made. The main goal in the justice sector is therefore to reduce the time of judgement. All the actions in the field of justice converge on the common aim of bringing the Italian court proceedings towards a model of efficiency and competitiveness. In particular, the main objectives include reducing: by 40% the handling times of all civil and commercial litigation proceedings by June 2026 and compared to 2019; by 25% the time required for dealing with all criminal proceedings; and by 90% of the number of cases pending in the ordinary civil courts (first instance) and in the civil courts of appeal (second instance). The efficiency of the administration of justice is a value in itself, rooted in the European constitutional culture, which requires ensuring "effective judicial remedies" for the protection of rights, especially for the weakest parties. In addition, the judicial system supports the functioning of the entire economy and the efficiency of the justice sector is an essential condition for economic development and for the proper functioning of the market. In this regard, empirical studies show that fast and high-quality justice stimulates competition, as it increases availability and reduces the cost of credit, as well as promoting contractual relationships with companies that still lack a reputation for reliability, typically younger ones; it allows a quicker and cheaper reuse of resources in the economy, as it accelerates the exit from the market of non-productive companies and the restructuring of those in temporary difficulty; it encourages investments, especially in innovative and risky activities which are therefore more difficult to protect; and it promotes the choice of more efficient organisational solutions. It is estimated that a 50% reduction in the length of civil proceedings could increase the average size of Italian manufacturing firms by around 10% (see Giacomelli, S., and Menon, C. (2013). Firm size and judicial efficiency: evidence from the neighbour's court. Bank of Italy Temi di Discussione (Working Paper) No. 898 (page 26)). At an aggregate level, a recent study has estimated that a reduction from 9 to 5 years in the time for deciding bankruptcy proceedings could lead to an increase in the productivity of the Italian economy by 1.6% (see González-Torres, G., and Rodano, G. (2020). Court efficiency and aggregate productivity: the credit channel. Bank of Italy Temi di Discussione (Working Paper) No. 1287 (page 5)). On the other hand, inefficient justice worsens the financing conditions of households and businesses. More generally, the data show a natural and close permeability between justice and the economy: any investment project, to be deemed credible, must be able to count on an economic fabric that is protected and not slowed down by justice, and must be safeguarded from any criminal infiltrations. Therefore, the prospects for relaunching Italy are strongly conditioned by the approval of reforms and effective investments in the justice sector.

Documents to download

To find out all the details about the Reforms, download the Plan (italian version) (PDF, 4,9Mb)