Europe Approves the Italian Proposal on a Unique Sez (Special Economic Zones) for the South Side of the Country

Politics - January 30, 2024

The Italian Government Sets the Guidelines for a Future Where Employment and Industrial Growth Fill the Deficiencies of Welfarism

In the current context of climate urgency, the transition to a low-carbon economy has become a global priority. In this scenario, Special Economic Zones (SEZs) emerge as a revolutionary solution to promote sustainable energy and accelerate the transformation of the energy sector in the promotion of clean energy.

A SEZ is a specific geographic area that benefits from a variety of tax, regulatory and infrastructure incentives to attract investment and foster economic development in a specific sector. In the context of sustainable energy, for example, a SEZ is designed to facilitate the creation, implementation and adoption of clean energy technologies. The SEZs offer a series of incentives to attract investments in the sustainable energy sector and which can include tax breaks, facilitations for land acquisition, simplification of administrative and regulatory procedures, as well as dedicated infrastructure and high quality public services. These advantages create a favourable environment for the installation of clean energy plants, investment in research and development and the creation of infrastructure with low environmental impact, as required by Europe.

SEZs could potentially become active laboratories for innovation and testing of sustainable energy solutions and could act as incubators for start-ups and companies operating in the renewable energy sector, allowing them to benefit from a favourable environment and a network of professional support thus facilitating collaboration between industries, universities, research institutes and government, favouring the sharing of knowledge and the creation of synergies useful for the creation of new specific energy infrastructures.

By nature, SEZs attract international investment in the sustainable energy sector, providing investors with a stable environment and competitive advantages in very diversified fields. Through the creation of public-private partnerships, SEZs can offer unique business opportunities, encouraging the participation of international companies engaged in the transition to a green economy. These investments stimulate technological innovation, have the potential to create jobs and promote sustainable economic development for all related industries.

The main objective of the Sez is to maximize energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and promote the use of renewable energy sources effectively with a consequent positive impact on the environment, contributing to the reduction of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, the implementation of clean energy projects can improve air and water quality in the target region, providing direct health benefits to the local community.

Several countries have already adopted the SEZ concept to promote sustainable energy. China has established several SEZs to encourage the development of renewable energy and green technologies on its territory while, in Europe, countries such as Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany are experimenting with SEZs focused on the production of offshore wind energy and hydrogen green. Italy has just presented to the European Commission a plan for the creation of a single Sez for all of southern Italy in order to strengthen the local industry. The European Union welcomed the Italian proposal and some southern Italian regions will already be able to benefit from the facilitations and bureaucratic simplifications envisaged by the programme. The Government’s goal is to minimize welfarism with a more concrete and diversified job offer, encouraged by the advantages created by the Sez throughout the territory.

These examples demonstrate that SEZs can act as catalysts for the transformation of the energy sector and accelerate the transition towards a more sustainable future that responds to the demands of the ecological transition. The positive impact of Special Economic Zones, on the environment and on the local community, makes them a powerful tool in the fight against climate change and with their growing global diffusion, SEZs can significantly contribute to the creation of a sustainable energy future.


Alessandro Fiorentino