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News > Italy

Italy: Mayors of Bologna and Lampedusa Propose Migration Pact

  • African migrants at the Spanish rescue ship Open Arms in Lampedusa, Italy, August 20, 2019.

    African migrants at the Spanish rescue ship Open Arms in Lampedusa, Italy, August 20, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 18 September 2019

The United Nations Global Compact provides guidelines for local policies aimed at facilitating a planned migration.

Virgilio Merola, the Bologna mayor, and Salvatore Martello, the Lampedusa mayor, presented on Wednesday the "Global Compact at the Local Level", a proposal made for the Italian cities which seek to promote "from the bottom up" the principles that the United Nations poses to achieve an "orderly, safe and regular" migration.


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On December 19, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the “Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration” (GCM), which is a non-binding agreement whose contents describe some basic principles to handle contemporary migratory flows without undermining the power of national states to decide on them.

"The most effective way to combat illegal mimgration and traffickers is not to sink ships or close ports... it is to open the discussion about irregular channels," the Lampedusa mayor said and explained that former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini's "Closed Ports" policy has always collided with reality.

"2017, 2018 or 2019, the issue has never changed. There have always been 'invisible' landings of small boats which arrive on the island... we have to stop seeing the migration problem as it were a soccer game... It is time to throw the fanatics out."

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) latest report, only 300,000 Africans arrived in OECD countries in 2018, a figure which forces to correct those false images proclaiming an "Invaded Europe."

The mayors of Bologna and Lampedusa have proposed that Italian cities undertake certain steps to open "humanitarian corridors" which will allow refugees to be distributed among different European cities and countries.

Merola and Martello also proposed that Italian mayors plan the reception of economic migrants following the U.N. Global Compact guidelines.

Migration "is a real issue. To solve it, however, tweets and slogans are not needed. Information is needed to get to know it and then give life to clear answers through laws emanating from parliament on behalf of municipalities," the mayors said on the occasion of the presentation of their proposal at the Italian Senate in Rome.

Through the local application of the U.N. global compact, the mayors of Bologna and Lampedusa hope to improve the availability and flexibility of migration procedures, facilitate fair and ethical recruitment of economic migrants, allow migrants to access decent jobs and eliminate all forms of discrimination.

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