Forlì migrant associations will be part of the new Foreign Citizens' Council. In the 2010 they participated in a consultation process initiated by the Municipality on the contents of the new regulation of the Consulta. We asked them to tell us theirs.
The representatives of Forlì migrant associations are optimistic and cautious on the new regulation of the Council of Foreign Citizens. They participated in the meetings organized by the Municipality of Forlì to share the contents. Who once, who several times. But everyone found themselves in the proposal to become an integral part of the Consulta. Yes, because the new regulation requires that one-third of its council members be appointed from among the representatives of the associations by the municipality. "I really appreciated this proposal," says Jacques Gnanzou Ahoua, President of the ASCIA African Intercultural Association. "The representatives of the associations can better inform their compatriots about the work of the Consulta, but above all they can clarify what it represents because many citizens have a wrong idea: they believe that it can solve all problems". In truth, as Jacques also claims his action is very limited and it will be difficult to make people understand this aspect. Also Nina Ndyaie, President of the Association of Young Immigrants of Forlì (AGIF), positively evaluates the inclusion of the associations, dwelling on the fact that they will not be able to participate all as it is a question of having 10 representatives in the Council. Nina does not know what the selection criteria are and is cautious in affirming whether the new scheme will work: "one can only say by experimenting it. What is certain is that we will commit ourselves ”.
Most of the consulted associations know little about previous consultations. Corne Obi, President of the "African Christian Choral Group", felt that in the past "everything was fine" and the consultations "have managed to carry out important things even if it was not at all easy". But as Jacques says, "if you are not aware of something you can neither describe it nor ask questions". Along the same lines, but also more detached, Monica Padurean, President of the Romanian Association "Hora": "I have not followed the other consultations. For me it's all new. I should understand what it is about, what this Consulta offers for foreigners and until I know how things are, I'm not so confident ”.
Instead who knows how things are is Rahal Chadli, President of the Association "Il Gabbiano mediterraneo". In the past he was Vice President and President of the Consulta. For Chadli, even with the new regulation the underlying intent does not seem to have changed. In a sense, we want the Consulta to remain a symbol. Therefore “even if it is a representation at institutional level that gives the possibility to express itself, unfortunately it will continue not to affect at a political level. And it is a great limitation ”. During the meetings, Chadli did not share the proposal above all and subsequently the decision to exclude citizens with Italian citizenship from the active and passive electorate of the Consulta. "In this way, those who have more experience, know the functioning of the institutions and the problems of immigration, cannot contribute". We risk it again, above all with the direct elections of "electing representatives with no experience who have no idea what they represent and maybe cannot even express themselves in Italian". Then Chadli invites everyone to nominate and vote for people who know the system and are able to speak. Only in this way the Consulta has a chance to achieve its goals.
Words also shared by Corne Obi of the ACCG Association. On the one hand, it considers the decision to exclude those who have citizenship right: more opportunities are given to young people. On the other hand, it would mean not including those with experience. Instead Jacques of the ASCIA Association, does not agree on the connection between citizenship and experience. "It is said that those with citizenship have more experience. Maybe he did the paperwork, he got citizenship, but he's not interested in public life, as many other Italian citizens aren't. " However, it considers fundamental "the inclusion of people with experience and a continuous commitment to immigration issues".
The priorities of the next Consulta
Obviously being part of the new Consulta also means bringing ideas, projects and initiatives to be undertaken during his mandate. But the representatives of the associations do not get upset about the priorities of the new council "It is still early," says Nina of the AGIF Association. "They have to be decided together. And when the new consultation is elected and the representatives of the associations are also appointed, they will surely come out ”. The same also applies to Jacques of the ASCIA Association and Corne of the ACCG Association. Corne adds that "he will have to work on reception because without the right reception, integration will always remain an unfinished process". For Chadli of the Association "Il Gabbiano mediterraneo", the new Consulta "will have to focus on equality of rights and duties, but also on labor issues given the crisis we are going through". Also for Monica of the Association "Hora", the Consulta should engage on the side of rights, integration and mutual knowledge. And then let so many of the foreign communities talk in Forlì and let them be known to Italian citizens "We must make it clear that we are all human beings and all the same even if they come from different backgrounds. And therefore we must be treated equally ". But also to the institutions: "we must show the Municipality, the Council and the council that we are, we are many and we also give our contribution to the city of Forlì".
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