Conte Morningfuture
Guiding The Case 9 October Oct 2019 0730 9 October 2019

Labor and innovation, here's what to expect from the second Conte government

Nunzia Catalfo at the Ministry of Labour, Paola Pisano at Innovation. Here's what to expect from the new PD-M5s government

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Work and innovation are two of the biggest challenges that the new government led by Giuseppe Conte, striving for the discontinuity compared to the previous version, is facing. It is no coincidence, therefore, that two newcomers are both from the M5S world: Nunzia Catalfo (who takes the place of Luigi Di Maio) and Paola Pisano (former councilor of the municipality of Turin). They are tasked with building the government's programmes and undoing some of the knots that, in some cases, have been building up for decades.

Among the 29 points of the agreement between M5S (the anti-establishment Five Star Movement) and PD (the center-left Democratic Party), labor and innovation seem to be interlocked. This comes through in point three, where the solution to the low growth and productivity of our industrial system is presented in the Agenda 2030 deadline and the strengthening of the Industry 4.0 plan. Or in step 7, which is devoted to the Green New Deal, a multi-year strategy that channels entrepreneurial initiatives towards a sustainable transition. And finally, points 23 and 24 in which the second Conte government commits, on the one hand, to promoting access to full democratic participation, information and technology through the recognition of digital citizenship while at the same time attracting more private investment in innovative start-ups and SMEs.

Among the 29 points of the agreement between M5S and PD, labor and innovation are often interlocked

Some big targets that clash with some critical issues. As far as labor is concerned, there is still no mention of a number to substantiate minimum wage but the general idea - which the trade unions agree - is to give erga omnes effectiveness, that is for all workers, to collective agreements signed by the most representative unions. A solution that is not limited to wages, but also looks to the extension of protections, sick leave, accidents, welfare, holidays and bonuses to workers. Such an approach has the direct consequence of the passing of a law on trade union representation.

In the meantime, the navigators and the system conceived by Mimmo Parisi's Anpal, which has not yet deployed the effects of active policies related to the income of citizenship, continue to be effective. Finally, there's the tax wedge cut. The resources to implement it, however, need to be found within the strict constraints of a budget law that is still not active. And in any case, the measure excludes self-employed and temporary workers by focusing more on permanent and dependent work.

These are goals which Nunzia Catalfo, considered the “mother” of the citizenship income, will face by relying on a professional experience prior to her work in Parliament (since 2013, re-elected in 2018) in the world of work guidance and staff selection. Sicilian, born in Catania in 1967, Catalfo was appointed president of the Commissione Permanente Lavoro e Previdenza Sociale (Permanent Commission of Work and Social Security) and is the first signatory of the Bill on fair compensation and recognition of service to the local police.

Regarding the minimum wage, the guideline is to give effectiveness to all workers to collective agreements signed by the most representative trade unions

In terms of innovation, the biggest challenge is to bring the digital transition into public administration by making it more accessible to citizens. To do this, however, it’s necessary to build a unique digital identity from different information systems. In addition, it will be important that it is real digitization, process simplifications rather than simply dematerialization.

More generally, the newly formed Department for Digital Transformation will be at full capacity from 2020 with the task of supporting the Prime Minister in the promotion and coordination of the government's actions regarding digital transformation. A tool that could welcome the inputs from the best specialists in the field. In continuity with the other governments, the Industry 4.0 plan and the highspeed internet plan are still on the table.

Also promising is the fact that, after the first and only precedent in 2001-06 headed by Lucio Stanca, the government has established a Ministry of Innovation, entrusted to Paola Pisano. Born in 1977, Pisano has experience as an advisor to innovation of the municipality of Torino. A lecturer in Innovation Management at the University of Turin, Pisano has been chairman of the Commissione Aziende del Dipartimento di Informatica (Commission of Companies of the Department of Computer Science) of the University of Turin since 2013 and, since 2014, director of the Centro di Innovazione Tecnologica Multidisciplinare (Centre for Multidisciplinary Technology Innovation). Her resume also includes 70 international publications on innovation and business models.

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