Spending the approximately 200 billion of the NGEU quickly and beneficially: this is the decisive challenge faced by the public administration authorities for the recovery and resilience of the Italian economy after Covid-19, which also embodies the expectations of citizens on the use of resources.
To achieve it, you need tools that are instantly in place and functioning, capable of ensuring the timely mobilization of resources, given the goal of making the activities and infrastructures operative by 2026, without however reducing compliance with the standards and controls.
Here lies the economic and social value of the TIC sector (Testing Inspection and Certification), consisting of about 2,000 CABs and laboratories accredited by Accredia: to provide, through accredited certification, inspection, testing and calibration activities, a ready-to-use solution for maximizing the impact of European resources on the GDP, businesses and communities, without bypassing standards and controls.
A tool at the service of the PA that responds to the needs of consumers, as revealed by the new study by the Osservatorio Accredia carried out with Censis “The role of accredited certification in the Recovery Plans”, which focuses on the expectations of Italians on NGEU funds and economic benefits and for the community deriving from a wider use of accredited activities.
What do Italians think of NGEU funds?
For 56.4% of Italians, NGEU resources must be spent quickly, but with reliable mechanisms for verifying compliance with rules and regulations; for 30.4% under strict control by the State, even at the cost of slowdowns, and for just 6.5% by loosening the controls in order to speed things up. Spend quickly and well: this is the prevailing mood of Italians, who say no to speed in exchange for bypassing regulations and controls.
In fact, 75.5% fear that the pressure to spend NGEU resources quickly will lead to reduced controls, for example in matters of corruption, illegality, environmental protection. On the other hand, past experiences of using European funds are a wake-up call, given that by 2020, of the 72.4 billion euros that Europe allocated to our country in the 2014-2020 period, 50 billion have been spent 50.8% (36.8 billion euros), less than the EU average (55.8%) and far less than comparable countries such as France (66.1%) and Germany (61.9%).
If the management of the NGEU becomes the testing ground to demonstrate that you have learned from experience, the use of accredited certifications, inspections, tests and calibrations is the best means to achieve this.
Increase the impact of funds thanks to accredited certification
Accredited certification, inspection, testing and calibration services broaden the economic impact of NGEU funds, generating an additional increase in GDP. Assuming that by 2023 the objective is to reach 150 thousand certified companies under accreditation (60 thousand more than now), the share of GDP growth expected in the same period attributable to this stock would be equal to 28%, in other words, an additional contribution to the GDP of about 30 billion euros.
The annual social benefits would also be greater, with a value of 2.2 billion euros: around 920 million euros for the environment and energy, around 520 million euros for safety in the workplace and around 740 million euros for food safety. More certified companies means more GDP and more social benefits: this is why it is desirable that access criteria be applied to NGEU funds that stimulate the use of accredited certification.
Ultimately, given the results that accredited services ensure to parties holding certification to the community, it would be rational at this point to make the expansion of the number of companies that use them a political objective.
Twelve good reasons to use accreditation
There are twelve good reasons that make it useful for the Italian economy and society to increase the use of the TIC sector activities of certifications, inspections, tests and calibrations, accredited by Accredia, starting with the activities relating to the NGEU.
- the right answer to the dilemma of the public authorities: how to spend the NGEU resources quickly and well to accelerate recovery and maximize its impact on the GDP, businesses and communities, without reducing compliance with standards and controls.
- a ready solution, already tested the public authorities, which has proved efficient, with excellent results in many experiences, from Industry 4.0, to its application in the environmental field and in energy saving, and including local experiences for administrative simplification.
- a tool for the modernization of cultures and practices of the public authorities, because it is a valid alternative to the direct exercise of ex ante controls and verifications by the public authorities which, caught between limited resources and the multiplication of the required formalities, slows down economic action. Thanks to the activities of the TIC sector, the public authorities can refocus on their mission and businesses and citizens see the bureaucratic grip reduced.
- It responds to the fears of citizens, worried that the necessary speed in spending decisions leads to deviations from the rules and/or a relaxation of controls with the risk of improper use of resources, far from the established objectives.
- It amplifies the economic impact of NGEU funds, as it generates a further increase in GDP, thanks to the better performance of certified companies compared to others.
- It amplifies the positive impacts for the community that NGEU funds will generate, for example on environmental sustainability, safety in the workplace and food safety.
- It favors internationalization, thanks to the common reference to consensual technical standards, defined worldwide and applied uniformly by accreditation bodies and accredited CABs and laboratories. A corollary of this aspect are the international mutual recognition agreements EA, IAF and ILAC signed by Accredia.
- Horizontally reactivates the trust among businesses, public authorities and citizens in the markets and in the flow of economic relations with mechanisms in line with the ordinary pace of activity of economic parties, without impairing economic activities.
- It places competence and transparency correctly in the mechanisms of the activity of the many economic parties, since accreditation and certification require high technical skills and recognized impartiality.
- Once activated on a large and growing scale, the activities of the TIC sector trigger a process of upgrading the action of companies, professionals, and in general, of the subjects who use them in the various fields, making their activities conform to international standards.
- It facilitates relations between operators in B2B and B2C markets, since companies can easily report their compliance with criteria relating to significant areas and buyers, in turn, thanks to the symbols of accredited certifications relating to products and/or processes can decide, having all the useful information to evaluate what they buy.
- It is highly appreciated by businesses, because it enables quick and direct access to public resources by cutting bureaucratic/administrative intermediation, removing any ex ante controls. Whatever the purpose of the public resources made available, rapid access to them allows companies to count them as additional investments compared to those financed through other channels, without resigning themselves to receiving them as repayments delayed over time.