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Europe recommends more rights to Italy

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Europe recommends more rights to Italy

Europe is still waiting for the Italian national institution for human rights, and is once again asking for its rapid implementation. An invitation addressed to the Meloni government, since it is in office, which is also asked to allow organizations active in supporting migrants to be able to carry out their work. These are the main recommendations for the country in the latest Commission report on the progress of policies for the respect and protection of fundamental rights.

The document contains remarks for all 27 Member States. Not only Italy is in the magnifying glass, but it is clear that the debate is rekindling on an ever-sensitive issue such as immigration, which the current Italian executive has brought back to the center of the European agenda. There is a section of the report dedicated to what is defined as a ‘safe space’, ie the conditions in which civil society organizations find themselves carrying on their activities. 61% of the subjects questioned report having encountered obstacles of various kinds (verbal attacks, intimidation, aggression, negative narratives, defamatory or disinformation campaigns, cyber attacks on their sites, bureaucratic persistence). If in Poland this type of experience mainly concerned defenders of the LGBTQI community, in the specific case of Italy they declared that they were “particularly targeted”, above all civil society groups working on migrants’ rights.

At a time when Italy is starting to look more critically at those who provide assistance to asylum seekers, especially at sea, the words of Didier Reynders, commissioner for justice, risk influencing the national political debate and also the tone of the comparison between Rome and Brussels. ‘It is not enough to simply allow civil society organizations and rights defenders to exist,’ underlines the Commissioner. These individuals “need to be proactively supported, adequately funded, and consistently consulted during decision-making processes.”

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In any case, the situation updated to 2022 shows that the civic space for the promotion of fundamental rights is “reduced” in half of the Member States, a good 13 out of 27. Italy also appears on the list (the others are Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Latvia, Malta, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain).

So there is a lot to do, then. “A sustained effort by all is needed to ensure that civil society organizations and rights defenders are protected, supported and empowered”, recalled Vera Jourova, vice-president of the European Commission, responsible for values ​​and transparency. An invitation certainly general and not addressed to Italy alone, but certainly valid also for the boot, which is also accused of another criticality.

Even today, “four Member States have not yet established a national human rights institution,” says the report. The list here reads: Italy, Malta, the Czech Republic and Romania. In the Italian case, it is specified, the reason for this lack is due to “delays in the legislative process”, and the recommendation for national institutions is therefore “to intensify efforts” to create this Authority.

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