Italy invests €30 billion of its recovery plan in education, research

The prime minister also said that Italy wants “hostilities to stop”, adding that the country’s “desire for peace clashes with President Putin’s”. [EPA-EFE/GIUSEPPE LAMI]

Italy will invest more than €30 billion of the national recovery and resilience plan in education and research, Prime Minister Mario Draghi announced Wednesday during a visit to the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (Infn) at Gran Sasso.

“We want to support and facilitate your work, without interference, at least in my case,” Draghi told researchers. “I am willing to create the economic and cultural conditions for you to design and grow. Facilitate international collaborations, of which these laboratories are a virtuous example. And promote a culture of merit,” he added.

With the national recovery plan, Italy will be supported by €68.9 billion in grants and €122.6 billion in loans. For now, Italy has agreed with the Commission that the plan consists of 132 investments and 58 reforms, of which 37.5% will support climate objectives, and 25.1% will be allocated for the digital transition.

“These workers are the concrete effect, a lasting and fruitful investment as always happens when investing in science. The experiments were selected and chosen through a public process in scientific committees. A fundamental comparative evaluation with the ability to choose projects is an Infn’s excellence,” said Giorgio Parisi, the Italian 2021 Nobel Prize winner for Physics.

Over the last two decades, Italy has not made significant investments in education, university, and research. Eurostat data published in December 2021 showed that Italy invests the least in education, which includes compulsory schooling, universities, services ancillary to education, and other types of training.

For instance, Italy allocated 8% of its public spending in this field in 2019, placing it last after Greece with 8.3%, and well below the EU average of 10%.

(Eleonora Vasques | EURACTIV.com)

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