NH2.2 | Improving resilience to volcanic risk: the contribution of feedback and training
Improving resilience to volcanic risk: the contribution of feedback and training
Convener: Loredana Nada Elvira Giani | Co-conveners: Vinicio Brigante, Vanessa Manzetti, Giovanna Iacovone, Beniamino Murgante
| Mon, 24 Apr, 08:30–10:10 (CEST)
Room 1.15/16
Posters on site
| Attendance Mon, 24 Apr, 14:00–15:45 (CEST)
Hall X4
Orals |
Mon, 08:30
Mon, 14:00
The panel's objective is to examine the multiple dimensions associated with risk by adopting a perspective examining the reference regulatory framework and the organizational and procedural repercussions of a vision in which risk (its assessment) is assumed to be a necessary component of administrative decision-making.
The consideration of risk must find an appropriate place within the processes of defining the planning lines of the territories, following a line of continuity that from it passes through the decision to find the balance between the possibility of an event occurring and the costs related to the adoption of prevention and precautionary measures often relegate the consideration of risk to a secondary level.
The aim is to verify, with specific reference to volcanic risk, the different dimensions mentioned above, going in search of the degree of risk assessment at the regulatory, programmatic, and planning stage and the regulatory and procedural instruments aimed at guaranteeing the effectiveness of the dialogue between law and technique, a prerequisite for the correct application, and therefore the effectiveness, of the principles of precaution and prevention.
This relation will be examined in depth, highlighting, for example, the role that permanent monitoring and observation systems, possibly also in collaboration with the operational groups envisaged for seismic emergencies, can play in defining that framework of knowledge and procedures for the dissemination and transmission thereof, which is indispensable for proper territorial planning. A focus will be reserved for the data collected from the observations of the monitoring networks to verify the degree of penetration they have within public decision-making processes, including urban planning decisions and specific planning decisions for managing emergencies such as plans and red evacuation zones.
The analysis of the data, which includes the verification of the costs that failure to consider volcanological risk entails, is functional to the formulation of proposals for the identification of guidelines that define tools and methods through which to ensure stability and convergence between administration, prevention and technical knowledge from the volcanic risk perspective, drawing on recent experience to renew the vision of a truly resilient administration and response.

Orals: Mon, 24 Apr | Room 1.15/16

Chairpersons: Loredana Nada Elvira Giani, Vinicio Brigante, Giovanna Iacovone
Virtual presentation
Antonio Barone

A peculiar aspect of the precautionary principle lays right in the reassessment and renewal of authorization provisions. Precautionary measures are provisional and subject to review upon acquisition of “new scientific information” or development of “best available technologies”. In the European administrative integration process, the re-examination of public decisions adopted in situations of scientific uncertainty reflects the idea of a permanent correspondence between the administrative function and the public interest (in cases of human and environmental safety). Because of such on-going correspondence, the administrative function cannot be fossilized in one single administrative provision (e.g., the authorization), but rather must adapt to the (ever changing) need of the public interest. Such idea also shows the need to reconsider the principle of administrative continuity: from an organization-based moment to a functional one.

The authorization of an industrial activity potentially harmful to human and animal health or the environment initiates an administrative relationship that is “unstable” ab origine. Such relationship with the Administration has a “procedural” character (maintained even after the authorization’s grant), which is characterized by a permanent modification of the administrative function. Therefore in a risk-based logic, all procedures of authorization, renewal and re-examination cannot be strictly separated one from each other and take the shape of an administrative function that gradually and permanently creates the features of the very administrative relationship itself. This happens along a continuum that seems not to distinguish between procedures of “first” or “second” degree.

Similarly, also risk management cannot be exhausted in the single authorization procedure. Risk management sets itself aside from the single administrative procedure and performs its many potentialities before, during and after the authorization’s renewal and re-examination.

Precaution, as a principle of administrative action, calls for the duty to evaluate thereby enhancing or (arguably) exacerbating the duty to pursue the public interest. In “risk law”, the action of public authorities cannot exhaust itself in one single administrative provision. The global relevance of the administrative function finds its expression in the continuous re-examination of the decisions taken in light of the evolution of the scientific and technological datum. It is right in the duty to evaluate and re-assess the scientific datum that the sociological concept of “reflexive” Administration becomes legally relevant.

How to cite: Barone, A.: The "reflexive" public administration, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-3120, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-3120, 2023.

On-site presentation
Marco Macchia

What are the characteristics of emergency organisation? Emergency-generating events are extraordinary occurrences that do not fall under the general provisions of the administrative order, the resolution of which requires an ad hoc derogation from the existing order. Although it is not possible to make an exhaustive list of the events capable of generating an emergency, given also the variability of the historical and factual framework of reference, the different and heterogeneous origins of potential emergencies activate a reaction of the order that tends to be uniform. The reaction is the disruption of the order through suspension, which translates into a momentary freezing of the effectiveness of rules and principles, or exemption.
Emergency must be distinguished from risk. While risk is inherent in the predictability of the event, which can be regulated by law insofar as it is referable to a general and abstract case, the emergency is configured as an unforeseen and unforeseeable situation that is normally not explicitly regulated by the law in force and that must be dealt with as an exception to the system of legally recognised values. 
The administrative organisation must know how to plan for possible emergencies in order to prevent them, or mitigate their possible effects, by working on the level of prevention. This requires experts. The lack of preventive planning in many sectors forces us to focus on emergency planning itself, which is not aimed at avoiding the emergency but, where it has already occurred, at responding in the most appropriate way. The civil protection plan must, in fact, identify the tasks and responsibilities of administrations, expert structures and organisations with regard to the activation of specific actions in the event of impending danger or emergency, ensuring clarity with regard to the chain of command. It must then define the human resources, materials and means necessary to deal with possible emergencies, thus planning upstream the available equipment.
Downstream from the planning, the need for coordination of management competences between administrations emerges when the serious and extraordinary situation has already occurred. The competences inherent in the emergency change at the moment when the expected event materialises, thus creating a real dichotomy between the subject in charge of avoiding or reducing the severity of the emergency before it happens and the subject that materially deals with the emergency now in progress. In order to achieve specific objectives or for particular and temporary needs of operational coordination between administrations, commissioners perform extraordinary functions by managing large public resources. 
In short, emergency organisation has the most modern characteristics. It must be able to deviate from the system while respecting certain essential elements. It must be able to foresee risks and plan how to deal with emergencies. Finally, it is a mission administration that challenges complexity by coordinating a plurality of management skills. 

How to cite: Macchia, M.: The Modernity of Emergency Administration, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-12425, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-12425, 2023.

Virtual presentation
Valentina Santarsiero, Antonio Lanorte, Gabriele Nolè, Giuseppe Cillis, Francesco Vito Ronco, and Beniamino Murgante

Forest and interface fires change the dynamics of land cover because of the combination of various environmental and socio-economic factors that make Mediterranean regions particularly vulnerable to fire. They represent one of the main causes of environmental degradation and have an important negative impact on the landscape, strongly influence ecological processes and compromise ecosystems. Fires are a problem that, while varying in severity and frequency, affects all European countries. However, the Mediterranean countries tend to be the most affected, in Italy for example, the issue of fires is an important issue and addresses the problem through laws, policies and fire prevention measures. The Italian legislation reiterates the obligation for each municipal administration to adopt a simple and fast tool that allows the safety of the population in the event of an interface or forest fires that threaten settlements, sensitive places or local infrastructures. The estimation of fire danger is very important for quantifying the impact on the territory and plays an important role in mitigation framework programmes, representing a strategic support for policy makers for planning fire prevention strategies and policies and for monitoring fire areas. The National Manual for the Processing of Civil Protection Plans establishes the guidelines for a methodological approach with the aim of suggesting the minimum requirements to be met for the drafting of risk maps on the Italian territory. The Puglia Region is among the Italian regions particularly affected by the phenomenon of fires, the civil protection in 2019 identified around 600 fires. Fire danger estimation is very important for quantifying the impact on land and plays an important role in mitigation framework programs, representing a strategic support for policy makers in planning fire prevention strategies and policies and monitoring fire-affected areas. For this reason, the Apulia Region and the other regions of central and southern Italy have expressed the need to create a permanent Technical Table of Forest Fire Prevention Actions (AIB) in order to design strategies shared with the different stakeholders to improve the AIB system. The AIB Plan is produced using spatial and satellite analysis models and techniques appropriate for the interpretation of forecasting, monitoring, and supervising systems that can be used to improve forecasting, prevention, and active management of wildfires. Through the Plan for Forecasting, Preventing and Actively Fighting Forest Fires, the Apulia Region supports municipal planning activities in the field of forest fire risk by providing municipal-scale risk zoning expressed in terms of an overall risk index calculated on a municipal basis. This paper presents an experimental methodology carried out within the framework of the research agreement with the Apulia Civil Protection Department to update the fire risk classification at the municipal level calculated by formulating, in the form of weighted and normalized indices, risk factors such as forest cover, potential risk, actual risk, road infrastructure density, land cover, historical fire occurrence and climate variability. All indices were processed in a GIS environment and validated with the tools currently in use by the Apulia Region Civil Protection Department.

How to cite: Santarsiero, V., Lanorte, A., Nolè, G., Cillis, G., Ronco, F. V., and Murgante, B.: Wildfire risk map of Apulia Region (Italy), EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-8564, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-8564, 2023.

Virtual presentation
Marco Calabrò and Alessandro Di Martino

The issue of exceptions to the ordinary public contracts rules in the management of risks and emergencies resulting from volcanological phenomena allows for numerous considerations on aspects of public contract law and administrative law in general. The topic must obviously be analysed through an interdisciplinary approach focused on the relationship between technology and law. For example, in fact, in order to verify the legitimacy of the application of the derogatory rules (Article 163 of the Italian Public Contracts Code) it is necessary to consider the three-phase structure of volcanic risk: risk assessment, hazard assessment and mitigation of the event. The centrality of the technical issues requires firstly an examination of the legal profiles involving the use of Article 163 in the case of volcanic phenomena. The first aspect concerns the delimitation of both the concept of "paramount urgency" - a prerequisite for derogating from the ordinary discipline - and which events (whether those that have already occurred or those that have not yet occurred) are susceptible to be included in the field of the provision. In this context, the investigation focuses on the practices of individual local authorities that make use of Article 163, from which a significant interpretative and methodological distance emerges. A further profile of interest is certainly the one concerning organisational issues: up to now, the discipline provides that not only the Regions, but also the metropolitan cities and municipalities can carry out emergency works under article 163. This study, instead, intends to examine the benefits deriving from a centralisation of competences in the responsibility of the Regions, from two points of view. The first one concerns an attempt to reduce potential corruptive phenomena that could occur in territories (think of Sicily or Campania) in which unforeseeable maintenance events occur frequently and which could see a total detachment from the supranational principle of rotation. The second one is based on the consideration that leaving the choice to the individual local administrations could mean that one municipality could consider the conditions of 'paramount urgency' to exist, while another municipality, possibly a neighbouring one, could consider them not to exist in the exercise of its own discretionary power. Centralisation would thus move in the direction of uniformity of decision. There are, in conclusion, two other aspects that deserve further in-depth analyses. The first one concerns the necessity of the ex-post controls, which is linked to the centrality of the assessment of the conditions of extreme urgency, and which runs the risk of not being effective considering the extremely restricted time profiles. The second one, seeks to understand whether the exception to the procurement regime also drags in the regime of landscape authorisations or environmental impact assessments: if this were not the case, and if the ex-ante intervention were therefore still necessary, the simplification process of economic operators activities would be inevitably frustrated.

How to cite: Calabrò, M. and Di Martino, A.: The award of public contracts in the emergency context, with particular reference to volcanic risk, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-8663, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-8663, 2023.

On-site presentation
Andrea Di Muro, Hamadiu Toiwilou, Valerie Ferrazzini, Benoit Smets, Hamid Soule, Jean-Luc Froger, Sam Poppe, Bhavani Benard, Marco Liuzzo, Valerie Cayol, Shafik Bafakhi, Lise Retailleau, Frederic Lauret, Moussa Magne, Christophe Brunet, Thomas Lecocq, Corentin Caudron, Nicolas d'Oreye, Delphine Smittarello, and François Lötter and the Interreg Project Hatari Team members

Karthala shield volcano (Grande Comore) is the most frequently active volcano of the Comoros Archipelago. On a centennial scale, Karthala alternates phases of dominantly eccentric activity, when eruptive fissures open along the rift zones cutting the northern and southern volcano flanks, with phases of dominantly summit activity. As a whole, the volcano alternates periods of intense activity (4 eruptions in the 2005-2007 period) with decade-long periods of total rest. Since 1926, the activity of the volcano has occurred inside or close to the summit caldera, with the notable exception of the 1977 eruption located at a low altitude on the SW flank, close to the village of Tsingani. The last eruption occurred in 2007 in the northern part of the summit caldera.

The Centre National de Documentation et de Recherche Scientifique (CNDRS) of Comoros is in charge of volcanic and seismic monitoring for the three islands of Grande Comore, Anjouan and Moheli. The headquarters of the Karthala Volcano Observatory (OVK) are located on Grande Comore. Geophysical and geochemical volcano monitoring and educational programs are performed in collaboration with international partners, while communication during seismo-volcanic events is performed in collaboration with the Civil Defence and a panel of stakeholders.

Since November 2021, the OVK seismic network has detected the beginning of a new phase of unrest, after 14 years of quiescence. Swarms of deep eccentric seismicity below the western flank and minor shallow seismicity below the summit during June-October 2022 have been associated with significant movement of the western flank of the volcano towards the satellite as detected by satellite radar interferometry. A continuous trend of subsidence is measured inside the summit crater, possibly related to cooling of the 2007 lava lake. Geochemical monitoring has confirmed the absence of major changes in composition or temperature of the summit intra-caldera fumaroles and the occurrence of CO2 soil emissions mostly focused on the volcano flanks.

On one side, the early detection of a possible dyke injection below the edifice, the progressive awakening of the volcano and the existence of major international cooperation programs (Interreg “Hatari”) have facilitated the rapid consolidation of the scientific and operational framework and have permitted to inform the national authorities and the population regularly. Conversely, the long duration of the alert represents a major challenge in maintaining a permanent and efficient scientific-operational interface able to face the several possible scenarios associated with the reawakening of Karthala volcano.

How to cite: Di Muro, A., Toiwilou, H., Ferrazzini, V., Smets, B., Soule, H., Froger, J.-L., Poppe, S., Benard, B., Liuzzo, M., Cayol, V., Bafakhi, S., Retailleau, L., Lauret, F., Magne, M., Brunet, C., Lecocq, T., Caudron, C., d'Oreye, N., Smittarello, D., and Lötter, F. and the Interreg Project Hatari Team members: Managing the progressive awakening of Karthala volcano (Comoros Archipelago) after 14 years of quiescence: lessons learned from a long phase (2021-2023) of unrest., EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-8962, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-8962, 2023.

On-site presentation
Francesco Italiano

The assessment of the volcanic and seismic hazards is still a huge problem for the entire humankind, since every year hundreds of human lives are lost and damages to the economy and to the cultural heritage for billions of euros are recorded. Any natural or industrial risk assessment takes into account two parameters: the probability that an event may occur “P“ and the damage “D” that the event may induce. The scientific community operates to better assess the P parameter either with a probabilistic (earthquakes) and a more deterministic (volcanoes) approach. For the volcanic risk assessment, the P parameter is currently tackled using multidisciplinary observation systems aimed of reconstructing evolution sceneries of ongoing phenomena. The damage parameter “D” is basically evaluated using economic factors that combine the vulnerability factors with their intrinsic value (e.g. buildings, infrastructures, economic activities, human casualties). The better is the evaluation of P and D parameters, the better will be the risk minimization capacity. The risk minimization has severe consequences on the population safety and on the activities planning (including economic, territorial, social etc.) for those area prone to the natural risks. Therefore, to minimize the risk it is necessary to affect the “damage” parameter besides the continuous enhancement of the monitoring methods. In coincidence of volcanic and seismic crises, however, a range of “hidden” effects occur and, unfortunately, they are not yet considered for the evaluation of the D parameter although they are closely related to the territorial planning of the volcanic and seismic-prone areas. Some examples, such as the contamination of drinkable waters, the anomalous degassing of CO2 and radionuclides during seismic and volcanic crisis of the recent past, highlight the necessity of an accurate territorial planning where exposed and hidden natural processes are both considered to gain the result of a correct and effective territory management.

How to cite: Italiano, F.: Exposed and hidden geohazards: contribution to the volcanic and seismic risk evaluation, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-12706, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-12706, 2023.

On-site presentation
Claudia Principe and Costanza Marini

The CorVo project[1] (Corpora for Volcanoes) aims at building an innovative tool for volcanic risk forecasting, impact assessment, and resilience planning. Exploiting technologies coming from the digital humanities and computational linguistics, a flexible digital interface will be developed to query a body of documents (the CorVo corpus) containing extensive descriptions of the past activity of one of Italy’s most high-risk volcanoes: the Vesuvius. The methodology proposed is an innovative type of approach and the resulting prototype is likely to be extended to other volcanoes in multi-hazard settings.

By querying the linguistically annotated corpus, end users (such as Civil Protection units and other stakeholders) will be able to quickly obtain important information from past eruptive scenarios, such as precursors, phenomenology, deposit distribution, and damages, as well as their social impact and the reactions they provoked in the institutions. In this way, they will be able to tackle future emergency scenarios, assess area vulnerability, and plan their response strategies in the best way.

In order for the CorVo tool to return useful information, the CorVo corpus linked to it needs to contain a balanced selection of documents that describe the different types of eruptions the volcano may experience: Plinian-type, fissural or mixed (explosive-effusive). Therefore, the first three eruptions that are going to be included in the pilot are going to be the Plinian-type eruption of 1631, the fissural eruption of 1794, and the most recent mixed eruption of 1944. In order to test the validity of the obtained tool, the selected eruptions are in the number of the best-studied Vesuvius eruptions, also from the point of view of the information retrieved from historical sources. The bulk of the documents to be included in the corpus is going to be selected from the BIBV Database (http://libero.area.pi.cnr.it/libbiv/aboutBIV.html). The testing phase of the tool will be carried out in cooperation with other units of the PNRR EPOS MEET project.

[1] The CorVo project is funded as Operating Unit CNR-IGG, WP11 Action 11c of the MUR PNRR EPOS MEET project, which started November, 1st 2022.

How to cite: Principe, C. and Marini, C.: Using text corpora for volcanic eruption impact assessment and resilience planning: The first steps of the CorVo project, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-15120, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-15120, 2023.

On-site presentation
Aristide Police

The paper focuses its attention on the functional interconnections that arise between unforeseen events, infrastructure planning and public contracts. Distortions are noted that alter infrastructure planning with respect to the emergence of unforeseen events that also affect the awarding of public contracts, with absent or sloppy procedures that in the long run betray the assumption for which they were called.
Biases are likely to generate negative consequences in the long run, for the accountability of administrations, for the management of procedures, and of course on the infrastructure itself. It is a matter of establishing the derogation regime, the possibility of concentrating many powers under one person also in order to check the trajectories of public authorities' approach to unforeseen situations.

How to cite: Police, A.: Risks, major infrastructure and public procurementLu, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-17275, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-17275, 2023.

Virtual presentation
Emanuele Fratto Rosi Grippaudo

This contribution aims at delving into the ways in which the Italian Court of Auditors avoids the risk of irregularities that may affect the economic performance of budgets approved by local authorities. It also aims at analysing the role of the Italian Court of Auditors in addressing the non-compliance with parameters of financial legality. These objectives will be reached through an analysis of current Italian legislation and its interpretation by the Italian Court of Auditors. First of all, this contribution will propose an expansion of the concept of jurisprudence of the Italian Court of Auditors, which also includes the deliberations of the regional audit departments of the abovementioned Court. In particular, it will be argued that these decisions are the result of the integration of judicial and audit activities and, a positive view will be taken towards the possibility of a substantial assimilation with judicial measures. Secondly, this contribution will build upon legislative texts and decisions enacted by the Italian Court of Auditors in order to establish the rules governing the audit activity on the financial management of local authorities, which is undertaken by the regional sections of the abovementioned Court. In particular, this contribution will focus on the rules aimed at avoiding or mitigating the risk of failure to reach a balanced budget. Moreover, this contribution will examine the sanctioning activity of the Italian Court of Auditors, which is addressed both to local authorities and their administrators. This sanctioning activity is aimed at preventing specific risks, which undermine the financial stability of local authorities. In conclusion, this contribution will argue that the Italian Court of Auditors has an effective set of tools to prevent risks and deal with emergencies related to the accountancy of local authorities and will call upon the legislators to intervene in an area of accounting law dominated by the interpretative choices of the abovementioned Court.

How to cite: Fratto Rosi Grippaudo, E.: Audit and prevention in the jurisprudence of the Italian Court of Auditors, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-12260, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-12260, 2023.

Civil protection management of volcanic risk in Sicily: three different cases
Salvatore Cocina

Posters on site: Mon, 24 Apr, 14:00–15:45 | Hall X4

Chairpersons: Loredana Nada Elvira Giani, Beniamino Murgante, Giovanna Iacovone
Vinicio Brigante

For years now, proliferation of technological tools has been taking hold, albeit with some resistance, in the public sector as well, since as reflected in the agendas and public policies of EU member States, digitalization is a non-deferrable need, a prerequisite for the implementation of further reforms. This report’s purpose is to ascertain whether and how, data in IA can support administrations and stakeholders in coping with unforeseen events, such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Among disaster protection risks, volcanic activity is often considered a foreseeable risk because it is thought that phenomena that presage rising magma to surface can be recognized and measured, which is why they are called precursors although this is, however, a simplification that does not take into account the complexity and extreme variability of volcanic phenomena and the difficulty in assessing and interpreting them.

Precursor phenomena only as indicators of an ongoing process that if properly and adequately studied, analyzed and monitored, can give an idea of the state of volcano activity and its possible evolutions, allowing for the detection of possible anomalies. For this reason, data and processing by AIs can provide support and decrease errors in the calculation of phenomena even if it could only be a quantitative reduction.

Data and their processing can provide a reliable index to support prevention activities. Potential issues for the jurist involve ownership of database management, interoperability, errors in the management of the same knowledge. Grading operated by AI and data has the advantage of being rapid and devoid of operator discretion. Machine learning, in fact, has a capacity of about 98 percent to hit the attribution of a rock of unknown origin.

Central node within the discussion is to determine the ownership of data and the AI tools deputed to process them, whether to endow public facilities or outsource this function to the private sector.

How to cite: Brigante, V.: Artificial intelligence and volcanic data management: a dialogue between technique and administration, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-3141, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-3141, 2023.

Annarita Iacopino

The paper aims to analyse the path of administrative jurisprudence on how the principles of prevention and precaution behave, the role they assume for the public decision-maker and the judge's review. In this perspective, priority is given to examining the nature and ratio of the two principles, as well as the relationship between them. It is then necessary to define their sphere of operation and the essentially “methodological and bidirectional” dimension in which they move. They, in fact, offer rules for proceeding and not for deciding, thus allowing the identification of the path of proceduralisation of public decisions in situations of danger (prevention) or in situations of risk (precaution), enabling the minimisation of risks, respectively, through intervention on the causes of the possible emergence of danger and through the identification of the solution that makes it possible to balance the minimisation of risks with the maximisation of benefits (or, in an emergency phase, as in the case of compulsory vaccination, by operating in a “counter-intuitive” manner with the imposition of instruments-therapies- that ensure more benefits than risks, since the potential risk of an adverse event for an individual is far less than the actual damage to society as a whole). In all these hypotheses, the scientific basis represents a guarantee of the reasonableness of the choices, since the public decision-maker's assessment must be based on the acquisitions of the best science of the moment and on the rigour of the relevant method; a “reserve of science” whose reasonableness and proportionality is subject to the administrative judge's review.

How to cite: Iacopino, A.: Precaution and prevention in the jurisprudence of the administrative judge, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-8671, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-8671, 2023.

Loredana Giani Maguire, Beniamino Murgante, Valentina Santarsiero, and Alessandra Cutolo

The aim of the paper is to identify a key to understanding that allows us to overcome the regulatory trilemma that has emerged, seeking to offer a perspective according to which the exceptional event, an expression of the (ineliminable) complexity of reality, is included (in the competent political and institutional fora) in a broader case, encompassing contingencies. And this is not to foresee them, often asking science to do the impossible, nor to block activities considered dangerous through an exaggeration of the principles of prevention and precaution, but simply to allow the legal system to assume a broader vision, inclusive of the unusual case in point, to provide a toolbox of possible reactions to be triggered in the event (even remote) of the occurrence of an exceptional event.

And moving from the awareness of the impossibility of zeroing out the uncertainty attributable to complexity, the aim is to propose a key to understanding that allows us to overcome that binomial 'exceptional event/ordinary nature' of the intervention, including the regulatory one, which has characterized emergency law until now. If one considers the manifest inadequacy of positive law to govern exceptional events through extraordinariness (extra ordinem), and if one moves from the consideration of the complexity of society in terms of social structures and interacting systems, it becomes clear how the occurrence of the unusual event, if correctly contemplated within the framework of the evaluation of complexity, can be managed through instruments that are certainly exceptional, but which the legal system has incorporated, has provided for within it.

Therefore, the correct assessment of risk and the institutionalization of its evaluation within the legal system of virtuous processes and procedures require a different perspective of a dialogue between science and law that allows a normalization of unusual cases. It is essential to have a view of risk law that allows the system to acquire an approach able to guarantee not the occurrence of the exceptional event but a damage reduction in the case of its occurrence and a strengthening of the system's reaction capabilities.

Emblematic, in a non-positive sense, in the Italian situation is the relationship between territorial planning and volcanic risk management, with regard, for example, to evacuation plans and land management (e.g., building amnesties).

In order to experiment with this different approach, the evolution of the settlement system has been analyzed at different times, comparing this expansion with the legislative apparatus at the related time.

How to cite: Giani Maguire, L., Murgante, B., Santarsiero, V., and Cutolo, A.: Trilemma, complexity, administration, and exceptional events, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-17106, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-17106, 2023.

giovanna iacovone

Administration appropriateness within the government of risk and emergency, and hence in its full application of precautionary model requires a preliminary thought about the precaution and prevention criteria that play a fundamental role according to a complementary relational dynamic that presupposes a coordination between parties, including private ones, especially in order to gain an adequate acquisition of essential scientific and technical knowledge that is an indefectible prerequisite for the preparation of measures and procedures adequate with respect to the purpose. There are two profiles involved in this theme, namely one of a general type, relating precisely to the approach one has with regards and weighting of risk, and yet quite of a punctual and operational nature relating to the taking of the single precautionary measure and related relationship between technique and law and the quest, on the part of the latter, for a datum of certainty that the former often fails to offer. In this regard, it seems interesting to note that a very clear message comes from Europe when it states that it is generally recognized that, in some cases, scientific risk evaluation alone cannot provide all the necessary information on which a risk management decision should be based, and that it is legitimate to consider other relevant factors, including social, economic, traditional, ethical, and environmental aspects. A vision of the exceptional event that in the correct assessment of the dimension of risk could not disregard the consideration of the moments prior to its occurrence, that is, in consideration of a flexible programmatic and regulatory template capable of building a fully functional institutional and infrastructural system that would make it possible to guarantee the management of the consequences of the occurrence of the exceptional event with the parameters and guarantees of ordinariness, avoiding the encroachment, or rather the abuse, of exceptional instruments. The paper will focus on the need to adopt models of programming and planning based on the application of a genuine strategic method that, starting from the configuration of cognitive frameworks capable of making in-depth risk prospecting, orient and direct decisions and actions to the pursuit of prevention objectives, providing mechanisms for detecting the impacts of spatial choices and for monitoring and evaluation in order to move away from emergency crisis containment objectives and toward a structural, systemic and long-term approach to vulnerabilities that focuses on forecasting, prevention and preparedness

How to cite: iacovone, G.: Programming as part of risk and emergency governance, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-15070, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-15070, 2023.

Vanessa Manzetti, Giovanna Colombini, Francesca Carpita, and Letizia Colangelo

This paper aims to highlight how the Italian Court of Auditors can help to detect the costs of the recent pandemic emergency.


The Court of Auditors is assigned the scrutiny of the economic-financial balance of the Public administrations in order to protect the economic unity of the Italian Republic.  Such prerogatives have a great importance in the framework outlined by art. 2 §1 of the Constitutional Law n.1/2012, which, in line with the European Union legal system, recalls the Public Administrations as a whole to ensure balanced budgets and the sustainability of the public debt.


This means that the surveys of the Court of Auditors in the performance of its functions (judicial, control and advisory) should indirectly also reveal the emergency costs.


The paper will examine some fundamental documents such as the Report on the financial management of the local authorities 2019-2021, the deliberations of the Regional Audit sections of the Court on budgets of the local health authorities, as well as the Reports on the result of the controls on the financial management of the companies subject to the control of the Court of Auditors ex art. 12 of the Law n. 259 of 1958.


The exam will also focus on the controls that the Regional Control Sections of the Court of Auditors carries out on the budgets and final accounts of Local Authorities to verify the compliance with the annual objectives set by the Internal Stability Pact and the compliance with the obligation provided by article 119 § 6 of the Italian Constitution. These controls aim also to verify the debt sustainability and the absence of irregularities that could jeopardize the balance economic-financial aspects of the Local Authorities.


An important perspective to better quantify the costs of the emergency is also identified by article 103 of the Italian Constitution which attributes to the Court of Auditors the jurisdiction on public accounting, civil, military and war pensions, as well as the jurisdiction on the liability of public accountants, public administrators and public officials in judgements concerning the management of the public money. This approach could also lead to reflect on the relationship between public debt and emergency, and on the possibility of judgments raised by a party before the Court of Auditors. Lastly, the examination of the Opinions drawn up by the Court of Auditors in the exercise of its advisory function could be also useful to trace the unclear perimeter of the costs of the emergency.   The work consists of two parts: a general part carried out by Professors Giovanna Colombini and Vanessa Manzetti and a part of analysis of case studies carried out by Dr. Francesca Carpita and Dr. Letizia Colangelo.


How to cite: Manzetti, V., Colombini, G., Carpita, F., and Colangelo, L.: The costs of the emergency and the role of the Court of Auditors, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-12772, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-12772, 2023.