The Covid-19 pandemic has put a strain on all governments in the world, placing all institutional levels in a state of extreme uncertainty and forcing them to difficult compromises. Italy was one of the first European countries to face the emergency, having registered a large number of cases of contagion, especially in Lombardy and in the northern regions. The extreme difference in the distribution of infections throughout the country has led the Italian government to take complex decisions. From 22 to 23 February, the first ‘red zones’ were established in Codogno (Lombardy) and Vo’ Euganeo (Veneto). In the following days, the situation worsened especially in Lombardy, and in the Bergamo area in particular, and the government issued the first decrees aimed at limiting travel in and out of some regions and provinces, and then on 10 March the blockade was extended to the whole country. The choices made (and especially those not taken) in those days animated the debate on the competence of the national government, in addition to the local one in Lombardy; the decision-making process implemented in full emergency highlighted serious deficiencies, causing delays in interventions, uncertainties in the actions to be taken and rebounds of responsibility. Above all, the health crisis has brought out the fragility of the local government system, not only in Lombardy, and an attempt has been made to remedy this precarious situation with the enactment of law 56/2014, the last organic attempt in order to regulate in Italy the relationship between national power and local competences. The law has experienced a controversial approval process and still does not guarantee a clear definition of roles. Starting from these considerations, and in the light of what happened in the first months of the emergency, this chapter aims to analyse the role played by national and regional governments in Lombardy, in order to reflect on the role that the different institutional levels must play in the context of the local government in times of health crisis and post-crisis.

(2022). Local and National Government Response Towards COVID-19 Pandemic in Lombardy, Italy . Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10446/232691

Local and National Government Response Towards COVID-19 Pandemic in Lombardy, Italy

Belotti, Sara
2022-01-01

Abstract

The Covid-19 pandemic has put a strain on all governments in the world, placing all institutional levels in a state of extreme uncertainty and forcing them to difficult compromises. Italy was one of the first European countries to face the emergency, having registered a large number of cases of contagion, especially in Lombardy and in the northern regions. The extreme difference in the distribution of infections throughout the country has led the Italian government to take complex decisions. From 22 to 23 February, the first ‘red zones’ were established in Codogno (Lombardy) and Vo’ Euganeo (Veneto). In the following days, the situation worsened especially in Lombardy, and in the Bergamo area in particular, and the government issued the first decrees aimed at limiting travel in and out of some regions and provinces, and then on 10 March the blockade was extended to the whole country. The choices made (and especially those not taken) in those days animated the debate on the competence of the national government, in addition to the local one in Lombardy; the decision-making process implemented in full emergency highlighted serious deficiencies, causing delays in interventions, uncertainties in the actions to be taken and rebounds of responsibility. Above all, the health crisis has brought out the fragility of the local government system, not only in Lombardy, and an attempt has been made to remedy this precarious situation with the enactment of law 56/2014, the last organic attempt in order to regulate in Italy the relationship between national power and local competences. The law has experienced a controversial approval process and still does not guarantee a clear definition of roles. Starting from these considerations, and in the light of what happened in the first months of the emergency, this chapter aims to analyse the role played by national and regional governments in Lombardy, in order to reflect on the role that the different institutional levels must play in the context of the local government in times of health crisis and post-crisis.
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