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A European Charter for Immigrants - Proposal by PPI

PPI proposes European Charter for Immigrants

At a meeting in Rome on Tuesday 21 May, the Popolari per l’Italia party announced its proposal to establish a European Charter for Immigrants. Ahead of the launch of this initiative, Senator Mario Mauri spoke with New Immigration.eu about the new Charter. He defined it as an instrument intended to safeguard public security, which was currently characterised by a grave deficiency in the reception and management of immigrants.

Senator Mauri, building on his past experience as an MEP, representative on OSCE (Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe) and former minister of Defence, intends the proposed European Charter for Immigrants to provide a clear profile with criteria for recognising and developing the “human capital” of the individual. Thus, not only will there be the essential details for management of immigration, but more important will be the knowledge that will enable the individual to achieve a positive role in the new society in which he or she has arrived. It should not be a question so much of funds to maintain the immigrant, but of identifying ways to help their integration. The Charter seeks to address guidelines as to how this can be achieved.

The achievement of a satisfactory policy and management of immigration, Senator Mauri claims, must involve also the States of origin. This requires investment of resources and effort to reduce, as far as possible, to zero the risks of a failed integration. Dealing with the problem of tackling States, predominantly in Africa, that tend to refuse repatriation of one of their citizens, Senator Mauri feels that all is possible with good will and in respect of the principle of reciprocity. The goal in any case must be to use co-operation for the purpose of integration as the current demography makes this essential for the future of Europe.

The meeting was chaired by Avv. Antonfrancesco Venturini, who paid tribute also to Rocco Milano for his role in developing the Charter. A video presentation was made of the system, including a somewhat Orwellian Chinese clip of identification technology. For the individual migrant arriving in Italy the Charter would operate in two phases. The first would consist of technologically advanced identification and assessment of health, scholastic and linguistic attainment, capacity for employment and general cultural level. With the availability of these data, the second phase would be for the provision of a campus where the migrant can stay for up to six months, benefiting from the secure accommodation and training facilities necessary to commence a successful integration in the society of the host State.

The Charter is labelled European since once adopted it would be the responsibility of each Member State to open one or more Campuses, according to demand, in order to provide for the structured reception of migrants. It would not be the function of a Campus to be involved in decisions regarding admission or asylum, simply to provide a humane and helpful environment for migrants to find their feet in a new country after the ordeal of transit that many have had to suffer. The fundamental message of the promoters of the Charter is that an immigrant, rather than being seen as a cost and liability in negative political rhetoric and prey to the criminal underworld, will have a greater opportunity to become an asset for his or her new-found society.

Andrew Colvin