Bologna has joined Turin in approving a request to suspend the application of the so-called Salvini Decree on immigration and security, in order to reassess its potential economic, social and security impacts.
Bologna councillor says municipality will stick with SPRAR system
"Bologna will not abdicate the model of widespread integration of the SPRAR system (i.e. the system for the protection for asylum seekers and refugees). The suspension of the Salvini Decree , which has been requested by the City Council of Bologna, follows what happened in Turin a few days ago. But unlike Turin, where the 5 Star Movement (M5S), which runs the city, voted in favour of suspending the decree, in Bologna four majority and opposition political groups supported the vote, while M5S abstained", wrote Marco Lombardo, Councillor for the Third Sector of the Municipality of Bologna.
The agenda states that the Municipality of Bologna and the Metropolitan City, like many other areas, "have put in place effective actions aimed at implementing a solid and widespread SPRAR reception network, as well as a fair and sustainable distribution of people received throughout the territory and not only in large urban areas".
Bologna is a leader in accepting new arrivals
The Municipality of Bologna is the leader of the SPRAR project in its metropolitan area. The project involves 43 out of 45 municipalities, providing 870 places for families and adults, 49 of which are for vulnerable adults and 208 for unaccompanied foreign minors. These places are distributed across 114 small buildings. This is in addition to 80 first reception places for unaccompanied minors in four buildings.
Salvini Decree would mean 75% of people would no longer qualify
In the metropolitan area of Bologna, about 2,500 people have been welcomed at reception centres. Of these people, 1,078 are within the SPRAR system. However, as a consequence of the Salvini decree, about 75% of these individuals would no longer meet the criteria for benefiting from the system, which is aimed at ensuring paths of autonomy and encourage coexistence with local communities. The decree creates legal risks and would lead to an increase in the number of people without assistance and housing, especially in the city centre. This would in turn consequences for low threshold services.
Costs of the decree would fall disproportionately on local governments
ANCI (the National Association of Italian Municipalities) has estimated that the Salvini Decree would cost 280 million euros in administrative fees for the assistance to vulnerable people, which would fall on Social and Health Services and Municipalities rather than the national system.