BFM2013_4_06_Past forecasts, current realities

The side-effect forecast in 2004?

  • most technology-only services or the resulting information will progressively be “hosted” remotely on a central, government-sponsored infrastructure, that will increasingly be able to automatically “classify” companies according to their operational behaviour
  • more and more “one-stop” services will be requested to local authorities, which will try to use them as a way to compete for business investment, as more of their revenue and services will need to be financed locally.

In 2013, those are almost everywhere a reality (or becoming so, as shown e.g. in Italy in 2012).

The increased de-coupling of national and supra-national authorities from the ones that will have actual contacts with the providers of funding (companies and citizens) is already resulting in some unheard-of alliances between local authorities.

As an example, in the early 2000s in UK some local authorities whose ruling council is Labour partnered on e-government initiatives with other that are Conservative, and together negotiated with the Labour government as their counterpart.

The same applied in Italy for over a decade, where the Governor of Piedmont (centre-right) partnered with the Turin mayor (centre-Left) to negotiate with the government (centre-right) as counterpart.

In mid-2010s… the only difference is that now the government is a centre-left/centre-right coalition.

Machiavelli stated that the prince was supposed to maintain control of his constituency.

Subsidiarity within the country, instead of just between the EU and Member States, implies that governments and political parties represented at the national level are losing some of the power that was related to their capability to award or deny funds, replacing this power with more “national standards”.

These “standards” are embedded in rules, and also by linking local authorities’ internal processes to the central government through e-government, to enforce the rules.

This approach is also used to avoid the development of de-facto transnational economic enclaves, that would feel limited or no attachment to central governments.