Corruption in Italy

 Research conducted by the European Commission on the issue of corruption in EU Countries showed corruption strongly affects Italy, ranked before Greece, Romania, and Bulgaria. In order to fight corruption, the Italian government adopted Law No. 190/2012, which establishes provisions for preventing and countering corruption and illegality in Public Administrations. The key points of the Law are:


1)   Prevention – i.e., identify areas most at risk, and accordingly draw up plans that involve solutions;

2) Propose prevention policies and tools;

2) Introduce measures able to ensure public officials’ integrity;

3) Greater transparency;

4) Whistleblowing.


The effectiveness of these innovations depends on the degree of public employees and stakeholders’ awareness of the corruption issue.

Transparency International data rank Italy sixty-ninth, close to Greece and Romania.

The areas currently identified as most vulnerable to climate change are: justice, health, and public spending.


Illegal waste


Illegal waste issues are strongly affecting Italy. The phenomenon is connected to waste management – namely, policies and methodologies aimed at managing the entire waste process (from production to final destination), involving all its phases, such as collection, transportation, and treatment, up to use/reuse of waste materials.

The Consolidated Environment Protection Act (Part Four) describes the priorities to be pursued in terms of waste management. It is worth highlighting that waste prevention is considered a priority action within the waste management cycle. Via Decree dated 7 October 2013, Italy’s Ministry of the Environment adopted the National Programme for waste prevention. The objectives pursued by the Programme are: 5% reduction of municipal waste production; 10% reduction of hazardous waste production; 5% reduction of non-hazardous waste production. The general measures prescribed by the Programme include sustainable production (i.e., Green Public Procurement). Italy is working to bring forth a sustainable waste management system; yet, the Country is not immune from illegal waste traffic, typical of mafia-type criminal organisations. Lega Ambiente (the Italian environmental association) coined the word “ecomafia”. In its 2009 Report, Lega Ambiente highlights 20% of the turnover of mafia crimes in Italy stems from environmental crimes (in 2007, the waste cycle turnover was approx. EUR 23 billion per year).


Italy’s Regions most affected by corruption are: Campania, Apulia, Calabria, Sicily.


Illegal disposal of toxic waste was notably recorded, in particular, Campania. Some areas, known as the “triangle of death” (Acerra, Nola, Marigliano) and the “land of fires” (between Naples and Caserta), respectively, are affected by dioxin-related soil pollution, with ensuing introduction of toxic substances in the food chain involving animals as well as human beings.

“Ecomafia 2013” by Lega Ambiente reported the turnover deriving from illegal waste in Italy is EUR 4.1 billion per year, of which 3.1 billion from waste and 1 billion from contracts in the municipal solid waste management sector in Campania, Calabria, Sicily, and Apulia Regions. The environmental offences ascertained in Italy in 2013 amounted to 34,120 (namely, 93.5 crimes per day; 4 crimes per hour) (Legambiente, ecomafia, 2013).


Maria Pompó

Professor of Economic Policy  

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