The Italian government is set to embark on an ambitious reform of its port system, drawing inspiration from the Spanish model. Deputy Minister for Infrastructures and Transport, Edoardo Rixi, announced the plan during a conference on the Italian port system organized by Assiterminal in Rome.
The reform process is expected to begin in earnest next summer, following official consultations with trade associations. Rixi highlighted the need for a special enabling law to facilitate the conception of the new standard, adding that the government intends to pursue a Spanish-inspired model. This approach combines the centralized oversight of Puertos del Estado with local autonomy for individual ports.
Rixi emphasized the importance of a national vision in guiding the renewal process, assuring stakeholders that the state will maintain public control over the ports, dispelling fears of deregulation or forced privatization. In Italy, the role similar to Spain's Puertos del Estado could be undertaken by Assoporti, provided its resources and skills are expanded.
Echoing Rixi's sentiments, Zeno D'Agostino, a port expert, expressed support for a differentiated autonomy approach, as long as there is a clear vision of the port system Italy aims to achieve. Luca Becce, President of Assiterminal, initially expressed concerns over differentiated autonomy but later conceded that the Spanish model could work in Italy with strong central coordination.
Becce also identified potential challenges in determining the value of state fees in various ports based on common factors. As the reform process unfolds, stakeholders will need to address these issues to ensure a successful transition to a more efficient and modernized port system in Italy.