Days before the “Lampedusa case” erupted with a bang, there were those who had already put forward proposals (not the first) to deal with a deep-rooted problem that requires concrete solutions: the immigration phenomenon. That’s why on 6 September LINK 2007 published a document calling on the Prime Minister to go beyond the emergency approach and convene a National Conference, drawing on the expertise and experience gained in the field, to formulate appropriate proposals for the many outstanding issues. It’s not the first time that LINK 2007 has worked on this issue and formulated proposals and solutions. This time, however, it could be said that the challenges do require an alternative vision to the chaos for which the current centre-right government is only partly responsible. “What is needed is an analysis free of ideologies and vested interests,” says the LINK 2007 document, “which will allow the development of common guidelines and effective strategies for the orderly, regular and safe management of flows. Only through dialogue and listening will it be possible to develop solid strategies and regulations at the Italian, European and international levels to deal with the complexity of migration in the 21st century. For the development of more immediate responses, regular consultation tables between national and regional institutions and interested social entities remain essential”.
“Immigration”, continues the LINK 2007 document, “is a structural fact and must be addressed as such, pragmatically and not from a nationalist perspective that focuses interventions on security and weakens the reception and integration system”. The organisation hopes for a “political truce” involving all of Parliament to radically change the current approach. In short, the crisis can also be an opportunity to look for serious proposals, abandoning once and for all the short-term electoral, securitarian and emergency approaches.
Among the proposals already on the table for the management of migration, LINK 2007 recalls some of the most important: The creation of a Minister for Migration, Asylum and Integration to coordinate the fragmented competences of several ministries; the extension and simplification of regular entry to combat human trafficking; the spread of reception throughout the territory, the strengthening of the Reception and Integration System (Sistema di Accoglienza e Integrazione SAI); the promotion of the third sector, religious organisations and organised diasporas; the introduction of regularisation mechanisms on an individual basis for those already stably integrated in Italy; respect for the principle of non-discrimination and opposition to any form of racism and hatred; protection of victims of trafficking, violence and exploitation; partnership agreements with Countries of origin and transit to define multiannual programmes for sustainable development; the development of community competencies in migration matters. It will also be important to valorise the new generations of immigrants by implementing proposals for citizenship based on the ius culturae, ius scholae or ius communitatis, and to provide for active and passive suffrage in local elections for legally resident foreigners.
Moving away from the emergency approach of recent years, the document adds, also requires reflection on the narrative and public discourse, which remains partial and incomplete. “It could be a mistake to erase any distinction between refugees fleeing wars and violence – who have specific needs protected by international conventions – and anyone who moves because of a natural desire to improve their living conditions. This would inevitably devalue the conventions themselves, based on which it remains indisputable that anyone seeking protection must have the right to an impartial examination of their claim. Citizens’ perceptions and fears, even if they do not correspond to the facts, should not be underestimated, but seriously taken into account to provide answers to overcome them, thus countering the propaganda aimed at fomenting and instrumentalising fear”.
LINK 2007 is a consortium coordination association that brings together important and historic Italian Non-Governmental Organizations:
AMREF, CESVI, CIAI, CISP, COOPI, COSV, ELIS, FONDAZIONE CORTI, ICU, INTERSOS, LE RÉSEAU, LVIA, MEDICI CON L’AFRICA CUAMM, SOLETERRE, WEWORLD, WORLD FRIENDS.
It was created to share and consolidate values, knowledge, experience, and know-how, to give greater strength to development cooperation and humanitarian aid, enhancing their diverse specificities while maintaining their profound meaning.
The cover photo is of the Resq team, the rescue ship currently involved in the rescue of dozens of migrants