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Memoria e Ricerca

Italy: the Common Market and Regional Disparities. EEC Regional Studies in the Sixties

di Laura Grazi
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 45 (2014), p. 177

This essay, which belongs to the field of research on the history of European regional policy, focuses on the regional studies launched by the EEC and the ECSC in the Sixties, with specific reference to certain Italian cases: the region of Umbria and its steel industry, the Piombino area, the touristic destination of Calabria and the Bari-Taranto-Brindisi development hub. In particular, it highlights Italy’s position, characterized by its «Southern question» and by its commitment to bringing this topic to the attention of the Community, in order to obtain additional support for its policy of extraordinary intervention, which was mainly implemented through the «Cassa per il Mezzogiorno». The participation of Italian experts and officials in Community studies was closely related to the debate on planning that began with the preparation of the Vanoni Plan and continued with the economic programs of the center-left governments. Issues and new development strategies, with particular reference to the theories of development hubs (growth poles) and integrated development, passed from the national to the European level, paving the way towards the drafting of an EU cohesion policy for the future. Keywords: Italy, European Integration, Regional Disparities, Southern Italy, EEC Groups of Experts, Regional and Cohesion Policy.