During the ninenthies Italy has implemented many steps towards enhanced regional decentralisation: a new regional tax on productive activities (IRAP) and a personal income surcharge tax have been introduced; shares of the excise tax on petrol and VAT have been assigned to the regions; existing state transfers have been abolished and a new equalisation fund has been established; new tasks have been assigned to the regions. The aim was to enhance regional autonomy and accountability, in a framework of co-operative solidarism among regions and preservation of reasonably uniform provision of public goods to all citizens. The constitutional reform, which was approved in 2001, appears to be in line with those principles. Its implementation needs the definition of some rules for co-ordination among the different levels of government, in particular in the field of taxation. Recent trends in government initiative are difficult to interpret: the intention to assign new powers to the regions is at odds with continuous government initiatives in the same areas; the recently proposed tax reform severely undermines the regional tax autonomy mainly through the abolition of IRAP.