The Bassanini decree and the reform of Title V: decentralisation
Starting from the 1990’s the regionalist/federalist applications affected and directed political debate. As a response to this demand, the government, parliament and almost all the political forces agreed to a significant transfer of competence from the centre to peripheral authorities on the basis of the “subsidiarity” and “integration” principles, so as to bring the solution of problems closer to the citizens and to the representatives of the citizens. As a consequence some important state functions were passed on to the regions and to the local authorities and regional functions were passed onto the local authorities.
In this context the subject of Civil Protection was also redefined. Legislative decree no. 112 dated 1998 – actuating the Bassanini law – redefined the Civil Protection organisation, on the one hand by transferring important functions to the local authorities – also operative ones – and on the other by introducing a profound restructuring also for the remaining state authorities. The reference framework still remained law 225/92.
Civil Protection was considered a mixed competence subject: the Regions and the local authorities were assigned all the functions except the jobs of “national importance of the Civil Protection System”.
The State remained responsible for:
• directing, promoting and coordinating the activities regarding Civil Protection;
• deliberating and revoking – in compliance with the interested regions – the state of emergency for type “c” events;
• issuing orders;
• drawing domestic up emergency plans (to cope with type “c” events) and organising drills.
The Regions were responsible for:
• preparing forecasting and risk prevention programmes, on the basis of national directives;
• actuating the urgent interventions when type “b” interventions occur, also availing of the National Fire Brigade Corps;
• organising and employing volunteers.
The Provinces actuated, on a provincial level, the activities of forecasting and risk prevention; they prepared the provincial emergency plans and ensured that the provincial structures provided the urgent services to actuate in the event of emergency (type “b” events).
The towns activated, on a municipal level, the forecasting and risk prevention activities; they prepared the municipal emergency plans, adopt the necessary measures and ensure the first relief operations and organised the use of volunteers and municipal Civil Protection.
The road to decentralisation was completed with the reform of Title V of the Constitution (Constitutional Law 3/2001). For the first time the Constitutional Charter expressly involved Civil Protection, adding it to the concurrent legislation and thus it became of regional competence (within the fundamental principles dictated by the framework laws). The ordering power of the Prime Minister remained effective, while the Government Commissioner disappeared.
The general organisation of the Civil Protection Department underwent further modifications also in the light of legislative decrees 300/99 and 303/99 that – by reforming the system of the Prime Minister’s office and the organisation of the Government – made profound modifications to the organisational shape of the Public Administration.
With Legislative Decree 300/99 the Civil Protection Agency was created. The whole Civil Protection system was revolutionised: instead of the Prime Minister and the Department of Civil Protection, the Minister of State – with functions of political-administrative guidance and control – and the Civil Protection Agency, with technical-operative and scientific tasks were positioned at the top of the system. The functions of the Civil Protection Department were transferred to the Agency.
The Agency was also created from the will to restore the activity of the Prime Minister to the traditional functions of impulse, directing and coordinating, eliminating the more strictly operative function