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Italian mayors meet with Conte on Security Decree

On 14 January 2019, a delegation of Italian mayors from the National Association of Municipalities (ANCI) met with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. During the meeting, the mayors underlined four problems with the implementation of the controversial Salvini Security Decree, issued 24 September 2018. They put forward the four following proposals:

1) Allow municipalities to stay informed about the number, age, and sex of guests in reception centres.

The Salvini Security Decree established that asylum seekers do not have the right to enrol in municipal registry offices. Consequently, mayors will not be informed about the number of asylum seekers present in their territory. They ask to be informed in order to be able to plan their activities.

2) Standardise the procedures of local health authorities regarding asylum seekers.

The Italian National Health System is not a single administration but a set of national and regional entities. Thus, there may be differences in the way local health authorities provide services. The mayors ask for a guarantee that local health authorities will take charge of asylum seekers even if asylum seekers do not have the right to enrol in municipal registry offices.

3) Ensure access to the SPRAR system for vulnerable people.

There are two systems in Italy for the reception and integration of asylum seekers. The first is known as SPRAR—a system of reception and integration programmes managed by municipalities with funding from the interior ministry. The second system is that of the Extraordinary Reception Centres (CAS) coordinated by prefectures, which have made headlines for their dysfunctional nature. The Salvini Security Decree has downsized the SPRAR system, and only people with refugee status and unaccompanied minors will be allowed to access it.

Previously, women with children and people with psychiatric problems were hosted in SPRAR accommodations. This was because the SPRAR reception centres are smaller and more suitable for these groups of migrants. The mayors ask to maintain this practice.

4) Ensure a complete reimbursement of expenses for unaccompanied minors.

The mayors asked that more resources be provided for unaccompanied minors.

The Prime Minister endorsed the proposals and affirmed that the government will approve implementation rules to clarify the issues raised by the mayors. Read more

By Gaia Testore (FIERI)