Why a NATIONAL operational programMe for social inclusion?

Lifting at least 20 million people out of poverty and social exclusion within 10 years is one of the goals set by the Europe 2020 Strategy adopted by the European Union. The Italian National Reform Programme is planning to contribute to this goal → 2.2 million poor people less by 2020.

The overall aim of the NOP Inclusion is to combat poverty and to define personalized paths of social and labour inclusion that, moving from the identification of families' and vulnerable people's needs, leads beneficiaries to self-reliance.

The Programme, negotiated with the European Commission when the measure called SAI (Sostegno per l'inclusione attiva - Support for Active Inclusion) was in place, complemented the national reform that brought in 2018 to the new national anti-poverty measure, the REI (Reddito di Inclusione - Income for inclusion) and that will support the implementation of the most recent minimum income measure, the Reddito di Cittadinanza - Citizenship Income - in 2019.  The purpose of the Programme, regardless of the different measures to be implemented, aims at combating poverty and at creating a model of welfare based on active inclusion.

In fact, the implementation of the Programme is particularly focused on activities strengthening local services and their role in the activation of beneficiaries of income support.


In particular, the OP is addressed to the "Territorial Areas", the aggregation of municipalities responsible for social services planning. At present the biggest share of the NOP resources has been allocated to the territorial areas with two public notice: Public notice n. 3/2016 almost 490 million of euro and Public notice n.1/2019 PaIS, almost 250 million of euro.

The actions, in line with the National Guidelines set by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies in agreement with the Regions in 2016, will be financed on all the national territory, according to the specific social and economic needs of the local context.  

The actions will, in particular, aim at:

→ empowering support schemes in order to strengthen the services involved in the personalized projects set with the family and to develop the integrated network of interventions. They will involve a variety of local public services as well as non-profit organizations;

→ ensuringmeasures such as training, internships, employment grants and social support actions, addressed to the members of the families benefitting of the economic support.

The following picture summarizes the logic of the National OP scheme


Main Stakeholders

Beneficiaries → Municipalities and so-called "Territorial Areas" (consisting of groups of municipalities that organize integrated services together).

Final recipients → The families or individuals who receive the income support as well as the social services involved in the activation and personal care planning projects.

Other actors involved → Third sector organizations and/or private bodies operating within the social policies sector.

Municipalities and "Territorial Areas" receiving financial support to implement the measures foreseen by the Programme can acquire the services and/or the expertise they need from the third sector organizations and/or from private bodies already active in the social policies area.

The National OP supports and promotes social innovation and complementary use of public and private resources. The objective is to define effective models of intervention addressed to the most vulnerable people and to the ones at risk of social exclusion. The main aims are:

  • strengthening the network of services for homeless people in urban areas;
  • defining and testing models for integrating people at risk ofsocial exclusion (victims of trafficking or violence, Roma people, unaccompanied foreign minors, prisoners and former prisoners, etc);
  • promoting economic activities within the social field.

Other National OP resources
Other resources are allocated to actions empowering the administrative capacities of the public bodies involved in the implementation of the Programme.

Actions funded through the National OP are inspired by the principle of ACTIVE INCLUSION. The Commission Recommendation 2008/867/EC provides for the adoption by Member States of global and integrated strategy for Active Inclusion based on the combination of three pillars:tre.jpg
More recently the European Pillar of Social Rights confirmed those basic principles essential to foster social progress, to promote labour market and a fair and functioning social systems. Crucial in this framework is the right to adequate minimum income benefits that, combined with social inclusion policies, can ensure a life in dignity at all stages of life and an effective access to enabling goods and services. 


The active inclusion principle, in more general terms, enshrines the implementation in the welfare scheme of all the three pillars, regardless of their integration in one unique measure.

In particular, strengthening the services' system is one of the overarching objectives of the National OP and it requires the identification of specific models of interventions addressed to the most vulnerable population.


→ Reduction of poverty and social exclusion

→ Promotion of social innovation

An enhancement in the activation projects as well as a growth of the networks that take care of families and vulnerable people are expected through the National OP. Another expected result is the support to the implementation of the social infrastructure necessary for a paradigm shift in welfare provision, that will lead to higher quality social services in Italy and will enhance the outcomes of the national measures to combat poverty.

Key steps

Introduction of a structural measure to combat poverty based on active inclusion principle  identifying appropriate models of intervention for the most vulnerable population → sharing and fostering innovative models of social intervention through system actions and pilot projects → rethinking the organizational model of social services, ensuring adequate expertise and strengthening cooperation with other public, private and third sector actors in order to ensure  an integrated and multidimensional personalized project for people in state of need  building the appropriate organizational and social infrastructure necessary to manage the new policies for active inclusion and tackling poverty → fostering the process to define basic levels of social benefits  building a new welfare model.

European reference objectives
Thematic Objective OT 9Fostering social inclusion and tackling poverty and discrimination
Thematic Objective OT 11Strengthening institutional capacity and fostering an efficient public administration



The European Commission approved with Decision C(2021) n. 6257 on 20th August 2021 the seventh version of the NOP Inclusion for a total budget of €, including EU and national resources. The European Social Fund’s resources are € 916.418.305, and the national resources are € 352.621.246.  

Tab. 1 – New ONP inclusion's financial framework after Riprogramming

Financing share​Resources ESF
Less developed Regions​610.138.305​​80%
Region in transition​45.700.000​​60%
More developed Regions168.300.000​50%
Total (€)​824.138.305
Financing share​National cofinancing
Less developed Regions​152.534.578​20%
Region in transition​30.466.668​40%
More developed Regions​168.300.000​50%
​​Total (€)​351.301.246
Less developed Regions​762.672.883​100%
Region in transition​76.166.668​100%
More developed Regions​336.600.000​100%
​Resources REACT EU​92.280.000
National cofinancing​1.320.000 

Tab. 2 Breakdown by Axis and Regions

Axis 1: Support for people in poverty and extreme marginality - more developed regions
Less Developed Regions​-
Regions in transition-
More developed Regions257.011.752
Axis 2: Support for people in poverty and extreme marginality - less developed and in transition regions
Less Developed Regions​633.570.233
Regions in transition​46.441.667
More developed Regions-
Axis 3: Systems and models of social intervention
Less Developed Regions​93.558.848
Regions in transition​22.511.879
More developed Regions​53.335.034
Axis 4: Administrative Capacity
Less Developed Regions​11.570.487
Regions in transition​2.315.280
More developed Regions​4.556.862
Axis 5: Technical Assistance
Less Developed Regions​23.973.315
Regions in transition​4.897.842
More developed Regions​21.696.352
​​Axis 6: Operations to contrast Covid 
National territory​90.000.000
Axis 7: Technical Assistance REACT EU
NOP total
Less Developed Regions​762.672.883
Regions in transition​76.166.668
More developed Regions​336.600.000
​​​National territory​​93.600.000

Less Developed Regions: Basilicata, Campania, Calabria, Puglia e Sicily

Regions in transition: Abruzzo, Molise e Sardinia

More developed Regions: Valle d'Aosta, Piedmont, Liguria, Lombardy, Independent Provinces of Trento and of Bolzano, Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria, Marche, Lazio.

Axis 1 e Axis 2 "Support for people in poverty and extreme marginality"

These Axes are devoted to improving the services for social inclusion dedicated to the recipients of the minimum income measures (Sostegno per l'inclusione attiva, Reddito di inclusione, Reddito di cittadinanza) in particular Axis 1 is focused on more developed regions, Axis 2 on less developed regions and regions in transition.

Furthermore Axes 1 and 2 are focalized in reducing extreme marginality within urban areas by strengthening service networks devoted to homeless people.

Dedicated resources Axis 1:257.011.752 € (20.3% of the total)

Dedicated resources Axis 2:680.011.900 € (53.6% of the total)

Axis 3 "Systems and models of social intervention"

It is meant to foster the definition and the dissemination of more effective and adequate models of intervention targeted to communities and people at risk of exclusion (migrants, women victims of violence and trafficking, unaccompanied foreign minors, prisoners and ex-prisoners, etc.), through the promotion of social innovation and complementary use of public and private resources.

Dedicated resources: 169.405.761€ (13.3% of the total)

Axis 4 "Administrative Capacity"

It aims at innovating processes and organizational procedures, at strengthening personnel's skills and at providing administrative structures with the appropriate tools needed to guarantee a higher management efficiency.

Dedicated resources18.442.629  (1.5% of the total)

Axis 5 "Technical Assistance"

It is aimed at supporting the Managing Authority in the implementation of the Programme with professional resources, in order to make planning, management, monitoring, controlling and assessment activities more efficient.

Dedicated resources50.567.509€ (4% of the total)

Axis 6 "Operations to contrast Covid effects"

It is aimed at supporting operations to contrast Covid effects, at least people in 

extreme marginality or homeless.

Dedicated resources90.000.000 € (7.1% of the total)

Axis 7 "Technical Assistance REACT EU"

It is aimed at improving governance and implementation of 

the Programme with REACT EU resources on the national territory.

Dedicated resources3.600.000 € (0.3% of the total)
Resources for axisAxis 11/720.3%13.3%53.6%

LanguageSpeakers (in millions)
Axis 1257,011,752
Axis 2680,011,900
Axis 3169,405,761
Axis 418,442,629
Axis 550,567,509
Axis 690,000,000
Axis 73,600,000

The N.O.P. has been defined in accordance with

  • Recommendation 2008/867/EC on active inclusion of people excluded from the labour market
  • The 2020 European Strategy
  • Position Paper of the European Commission on the preparation of 2014 – 2020 Programme
  • The European Council Recommendations for the years 2013 and 2014
  • Partnership Agreement
  • European Social Pillar

The National OP for Inclusion also dialogues with the Regional Operational Programmes ESF (POR), with the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD), with the National OP Metropolitan Cities and with the National OP on Governance and Institutional Capacity.


Ministry of Labor and Social Policies

Managing Authority – Responsible of the Programme

Direzione Generale per la lotta alla povertà e per la programmazione sociale, Divisione III