SAPE - the Inter-municipal coordination body for European Policies - promotes synergic competences of municipalities coordinated by Livorno Province
(A) A common challenge is represented by the limited human and other resources within municipal institutions to be devoted to European policies, internalisation and acquisition of financial support.
Municipalities also face inadequate methodological and language-conversancy experience as well as limited planning and joint programming capacities when scouting for EU funding opportunities
(B) The answer has been to create an active network among public bodies (beneficiaries) in order to work jointly along strategic and programme lines by setting up combined inter-municipal services. This network assembles tools, methods, shared resources, making common assets available to all members thus achieving economies of scale, avoiding duplications or concurrent individual initiatives
(C) All Municipalities of Livorno province are members of SAPE, acting as stakeholders as well as direct beneficiaries of its activities. Other stakeholders are associations, NGOs and local private entrepreneurs. The group has proved to be an effective forum for preparing a joint investment dossier for the Recovery Plan, in late 2020-early 2021, as well as being actively engaged in ThreeT project Action Plan concertation and formulation.

Resources needed

Cost of internal human resources assigned to each service, plus financial inputs in the range of Euro 50k to 200 k for external support and other specialized services as required

Evidence of success

- Created larger opportunities for 20 municipalities and a greater ability by public/private stakeholders to “set a system”
- Enabled wide-area objectives being achieved via territorial institutional coordination
- Ensured, through a unified management of public funds human & other resources, scale efficiency and a more rational spending at local level
- Pursued a strategic path for territorial growth relying on EU Next-Generation-focused 91 interventions grouped in 4 strategical missions

Difficulties encountered

A main difficulty was to secure active and constant participation. Member municipalities are scattered (7 are in islands). Overlapping commitments do not always allow all members to participate in Technical Committee meetings and activities; several techniques were put in place to offset it

Potential for learning or transfer

The experience is potentially exportable and transferable to other sectors and to other territories by sharing working tools, management documents, adaptation of good practices, provided a strong durable commitment is assured by SAPE representatives. The Italian Province Union (UPI) is spearheading such transfer at national level.
UPI is adopting SAPE, in fact, as a model to be promoted inside the project "Province & Municipalities“ (2020). This project is divided into four lines of intervention:
 Development of models for services to municipalities
 Training and capacity building
 Development of IT supporting tools
 Networking and transfer of models.
In ThreeT project tutoring activity phase, SAPE Good Practice was recognised by several partners of potential replication and profitable guidance in their region; a special tutoring session was therefore held to facilitate such adaptation process in their Action Plan.
Main institution
Livorno Province
Toscana, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
January 2017
End Date


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Good Practices being followed by

Manuel Heinrich

Regionalmanagement Mittelhessen GmbH