Civil society’s proposals

The question we have asked ourselves at the end of this moment of study and confrontation in Palermo, for the first meeting of the project Lampedusa Berlin, Travel journey, is: how could we improve European migratory policies?

A contribution came from ASGI, an Italian association that elaborated a proposal called “the ten points of reform of immigration rights”: it’s a proposal tailored on Italy’s situation, but which might be interesting for other national contexts, and at a European level.

Here are some of those proposals, specifically concerning the modalities of access to the country and regularizing the rights of the migrants already present in the country who don’t yet have a permit of stay.

Diversify and simplify entry permits

  • Introduce a new entry mechanism, issuing foreign citizens a one-year ‘job seeking permit’ and providing a subsidy to return to the country of origin if unable to find a job.
  • Simplify procedures for the recognition of academical and professional qualifications obtained abroad.
  • Encourage development of bilateral agreements to run professional and vocational trainings in the countries of origin.
  • Amend the existing law that regulate the number of foreing workers that can be employed, and ensure the entrance of foreign citizens in a faster way and effectively match it with the domestic job market.

Develop a mechanism for customary regularization of foreigners

  • Customary regularization for foreigners residing in the country who already have an occupation or holding meaningful family and personal ties in the country.
  • Ensure convertibility of all stay permits.

Along with these proposals (which you can explore in the slides), interesting the experience of humanitarian corridors.

Up to now, this experience, realized and entirely funded by the Community of Sant'Egidio, the Valdez Church and the Italian Gospel Churches, has led to about 500 Syrian refugees from Lebanon.

It was a pilot project that involved mainly vulnerable people, families and individuals with health problems, but showed European states a common way to manage migratory flows and fight trafficking in human beings in some Contexts is possible. The project was entirely funded by its promoters who were also involved in arranging refugees in various hosting projects throughout Italy.

The Italian government has been working to provide a "limited territorial" humanitarian visa for refugees and to regulate bureaucratic issues with the Lebanese authorities. All in all, within this two years, thousands of people with this system, from Lebanon and Morocco, will come and Sant'Egidio has recently announced that it wants to open a humanitarian corridor from Ethiopia, in collaboration with Cei, Caritas and Migrantes . About 500 people from the African country should arrive in the coming year. Some European states such as France and many humanitarian organizations have shown interest in the project that could be emulated in other countries over the next few years.

See the slide of the Proposal of ASGI for a new Migration Policy in Italy

These are some of the examples of proposals that emerge from civil society.

For our part, thanks to the work of the panels and to the research work of the national groups, we have collected some proposals, based on what has been elaborated by various civil society organizations.

These proposals show that alternatives to current migration policies exist, while mass media often present the phenomenon of migrations, as if it something that could not be solved in a different way.