Occhiuto “cancels” the Bolkestein directive. “In Calabria 87% of the beaches are free. We are masters in our own home”


By John

“The Council of the Calabria Region, during today's meeting, has approved an important resolution on beach concessions. Calabria is surrounded by the sea to the east, west and south, and has almost 800 kilometers of coastline. Our regional plan, regulated by a 2005 regional law, provides that 70% of the beaches can be granted under concession for tourist-recreational purposes, compared to 30% which must remain free. From the data updated to December 2023 it emerges that only 13% of Calabrian beaches are granted under concession – sometimes also assigned but not active – by the Municipalities: at least 87% of our beaches are therefore currently free”.

This is what the president of the Calabria Region, Roberto Occhiuto, stated in a note.

“It seems clear that in the Calabrian territory there is no shortage of the 'beach resource' and therefore today we have officially decided – the first Region in Italy to make a decision of this type and to put it in black and white – that in Calabria the Bolkestein directive will not apply regarding the concessions issued by the Municipalities in which the local non-existence of scarcity of the resource and the absence of certain cross-border interest will be assessed at present. The 2006 EU directive places emphasis on the concept of 'scarcity of beach resources'. A subsequent Italian state law approved in 2022 regulates a mapping of the beaches, which however was carried out at a national level. Logic rejected by an opinion from the European Commission: for Europe the assessment of the 'scarcity' or otherwise of beaches must be made at a regional or even municipal level. We want to respect these instructions to the letter. And from the numbers it is clear that in Calabria, considered as a whole, there is no shortage of the 'beach resource'. Following the decision taken today by our Council, the Calabrian Municipalities will be able to proceed – if there is no shortage of 'beach resources' in their territory and there is not even a cross-border interest in issuing the concession – with the direct application of the national legislation on extensions of beach concessions; in the absence of these conditions, the same Municipalities will be able to proceed with a 'technical extension' of the previous concessions expiring on 31/12/2023, and at the same time they will be able to launch new tenders for the lots not yet assigned. For months we have been talking about differentiated autonomy and regionalism, why must we always talk about it according to the interests of some? In this case Calabria does not have the problem that other regions have. In Calabria the 'beach resource' is not scarce. Someone – concludes the head of the regional executive – in the past said 'masters in our house'. In this case it is we Calabrians who softly say: 'on the Bolkestein we are masters in our house'.