Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

Italy: New Law Aiding Reconstruction Following Earthquakes Takes Effect

(May 10, 2019) On April 19, 2019, new legislation on public procurement and on aiding the recovery of areas hit by earthquakes entered into force in Italy. (Decree Law No. 32, Urgent Provisions for Revitalizing the Public Contracts Sector, [and] for Accelerating Infrastructure Interventions, Urban Regeneration and Reconstruction After Seismic Events) (D.L. No. 32), GAZZETTA UFFICIALE [G.U.], Apr. 18, 2019, G.U. website (in Italian).)

Provisions Addressing Reconstruction Initiatives in Areas Hit by Earthquakes

D.L. No. 32 regulates procedures and modalities for repairing, demolishing, and reconstructing public buildings, churches, and religious facilities owned by ecclesiastical entities recognized by civil law, as well conducting interventions on property belonging to the national artistic and cultural heritage. (D.L. No. 32, art. 13(1).) To simplify procedures for structural interventions in seismic areas, the Law confers on the respective regional technical office the responsibility for determining the minimum content of a project, ensuring that the project complies with applicable technical standards, and ensuring that the structure and architecture of reconstructed facilities cohere. (Id. art. 3(1)(c).)

The Law contains specific provisions for ameliorating the dire condition of Sicily’s railroads (id. art. 4(6)) and appoints a Special Commissioner for reconstructing the municipal territory of the Campobasso province in the Molise region and the Etnea area (which were hit by the earthquake of August 16, 2018) and the Metropolitan City of Catania (which was struck by the earthquake of December 26, 2018) (id. art. 6(2)). Also mandated are the acceleration of plans for the public reconstruction of the Abruzzo, Lazio, Marche, and Umbria regions, which were damaged by seismic events in 2016 and 2017 (id. art. 23) and an additional financial contribution to tackle the devastation caused at the Commune of L’Aquila (id. art. 21).

With respect to the reconstruction of private buildings, the Law authorizes the Special Commissioners to identify the patrimonial damage caused by the earthquakes and establish reconstruction priorities. (Id. art. 9(1).) Under certain financial, architectural, structural, and other conditions, the financial contribution for reconstructing destroyed or seriously damaged buildings may cover 100% of the reconstruction costs. (Id. art. 10(1)(a).)

Specific Provisions for Reparation and Reconstruction of Damaged or Destroyed Buildings

Approval for the contributions for repairing and reconstructing buildings for residential, nonresidential, commercial, or agricultural use; buildings for public or private services; or buildings “of strategic interest” must be based on damage caused by seismic activity in the areas identified in the applicable legislation. (Id. art. 11(1)(a)–(b).)

Finally, D.L. No. 32 contemplates contributions to private individuals and businesses for the recovery of damaged buildings. (Id. art. 15.)