The government experience that has just ended has not been positive for the Third Sector in general and for the world of Development Cooperation in particular.
Together with an aggressive and indiscriminate rhetoric against the NGOs, identified as “guilty” of being accomplices of the traffickers of people operating in the Mediterranean, there has been also the emptying of the foreseen funds for the cooperation and the growing uncertainty for the whole sector.
The reform voted in the previous Legislature proceeds with heavy and guilty delays. There are still no implementing decrees that definitively establish the methods of transformation of thousands of associations, foundations and cooperatives involved in the reform.
In this brief government experience the greatest damage has been done to the world of international solidarity that operates in Italy and abroad to spread the culture of knowledge, respect for diversity and to fight against poverty and for environmental protection. An attempt was made to demolish our image and our reputation, as it had never happened before, with hate campaigns stuffed by colossal fake news which unfortunately partly took root, leading to a decrease in the donations that citizens give to our projects. We were all exposed to the pillory, without distinction, when we worked for the reception of migrants in Italy or when we brought help “at home”. The vision of a part of the outgoing coalition on society and citizenship was strongly excluded, digging furrows, rejecting dialogue, creating enemies, discriminating.
We are asking the new government that is forming in these hours for a change of course with respect to what happened in recent months. First of all, restoring the rule of law trampled upon by the so-called “security decrees”. But also by re-launching the Italian presence in the concert of nations seeking solutions to shorten the distances between countries, to mitigate the effects of climate change, to restore multilateralism and dialogue as a way to make our planet fairer and safer. We hope that the brief “sovereignity” parenthesis in Italy will soon be forgotten. We know that Europe, despite its many difficulties and contradictions, remains a vital dimension to affirm, together with others, a vision of the world and of society based on democracy and development.
In Lombardy, where there is the greatest concentration of Italian solidarity associations, we have worked to safeguard the unitary dimension that sees us all together in Colomba.
Our dialogue with local authorities continued despite the differences that occurred at the national level because we stubbornly believe in dialogue and confrontation.
We have continued to work in Italy and abroad without stopping, thanks to our operators, volunteers and thanks to the support of citizens.
We are now asking for an information action selected to “detoxify” citizens affected by false news on the nature and work of NGOs.
We ask for local authorities pressing for the process of defining the Third Sector Reform to be released as soon as possible and at the same time to restore decentralized cooperation and global citizenship education funds. We have always been convinced that to avoid “emergencies” means investments in education, health and rights, which are always universal values. Today we are confident of a new and inclusive start for the country, and we are ready to make our contribution as a civil society as always, because solidarity never stops, it is part of our nature as human beings “.
Alfredo Luis Somoza,
President of ICEI and CoLomba – Lombardy Cooperation