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March 25 2011

Appeal in favour of refugees from the Maghreb, for Italian and European political responsibility in the Mediterranean

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In recent months, Europe has witnessed epocal events that have radically changed the life of the countries located in its southern borders: a generation that is not identified in the proposals of fundamentalist Islam, but has a strong and too long humiliated desire of freedom and democracy, has challenged the authoritarian and corrupt regimes, creating a difficult but promising democratic transition.

Facing serious risks and great opportunities that from these new scenarios arise, we need to govern emergency with a vision that is capable of understanding the profound events of today and prepare for future relations with countries that are not the same.

We believe that people landed on Italian shores since the beginning of the year so far, are not only refugees to be welcomed, but also represent an opportunity: today may be time to rethink the policy of hospitality in connection with the company from which they come, not just as an emergency.

Italy is facing the humanitarian consequences of the current crisis in the Mediterranean with a commitment that does not see adequate participation and support of other European countries. A greater European responsibility is a goal. We also believe that action by the government to allow refugees to come to our country a temporary residence permit will ensure the sympathy of their societies of origin and the governments that they will express. Meet a long-repressed desire for freedom is a way to present the best face of Italy and pave the way towards a stable relationship of mutual esteem and friendship in the Mediterranean.


- That the Government adopt a special measure of temporary accommodation, as provided by Article 20 of Legislative Decree 286/1998, where it states that "by decree of the President of the Council of Ministers ... are set ... temporary protective measures to be adopted, even notwithstanding the provisions of this act, relevant to humanitarian needs during conflicts, natural disasters or other particularly serious events in countries outside the European Union". This then would allow the refugees temporary residence permits that may fall in the determination of the annual flows of entry for work purposes, including seasonal, making their presence immediately useful for the benefit of the needs of the Italian economy.

- That Italy advocates for a renewed system of European cooperation in accommodating the migratory flows produced by the current crisis in the Maghreb, anyhow asking the European Council to take the decision foreseen by under Article 5 of Directive 2001/55/EC of 20 July 2001, under which, once ascertained - at the request of member nations - "the existence of a mass influx of displaced persons", the European Council determines how to ensure their "temporary protection".

This would, inter alia, favor the spontaneous tendency for refugees to be reunited with family members already legally residing in other European countries.

- That, immediately, with even greater commitment, be supported the work for first reception of refugees, by lifting from weights and too big responsibilities the people of Lampedusa and give full effect to a positive government decision to transfer the refugees in various Italian regions.

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