The Cape Town Convention and Italian Law: A First Assessment in the Prospect of a Future Ratification by Italy
The Economic Advantages of Ratification
First of all, the potential economic significance of the Cape Town Convention for Italy should be addressed.
As regards the aircraft industry, and similarly to what happened in other jurisdictions, present-day air transport regulations in Italy opened the market to competition and forced participants to operate on an entrepreneurial basis. The need to make recourse to private financing has considerably grown, also in view of the restrictions to State aids provided by the European legislation. Competition of services has, moreover, extended to foreign companies and in particular European ones. The Protocol would facilitate the obtaining of financing at lower rates and strengthen the competitiveness of Italian actors in the market.
Similar consideration appear to apply in regard to the Rail Protocol, though it is difficult at present to gauge their potential extent. The private market is still much more limited, the role of institutions is prevailing and the financing of construction and operation of rail rolling stock equipment follows alternative routes. The introduction of a measure of market competition and the need for investments in this sector, however, point to a growing relevance of private or mixed financing and to a possible important role to be played by the Rail Protocol in this respect. In order to provide economic benefits the Rail Protocol should be implemented on a wider European scale. The recent approval of the Rail Protocol by the European Union opened the way for European States to ratify (or access to) the Protocol.
Finally, concerning the Space Protocol, facilitating the influx of private capitals in this rapidly growing sector would certainly be of great benefit to the Italian industry, that is currently one of the major actors in Europe in this area.