DG DEVCO accredits Italian Development Cooperation for indirect management of European programs

The Commission's Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) has announced the successful conclusion of the accreditation procedure of the Italian Development Cooperation Agency (AICS) for the indirect management of EU programs.

As a result of the accreditation, the Commission will be able to entrust programs funded by the EU to AICS for indirect management, allowing the agency to act as a 'delegated cooperation' actor. 

Press release -AICS (in Italian) 

Terms of Reference for Pillar Assessments – EU Commission

EU Italy

Italy's president grants Five Stars Movement and League more time to come to government agreement

Following  a call made by Italian President, Sergio Materalla, for a "netural government" to lead the country until the end of the year after two months of deadlocked political negotiations, Italy's two largest political parties, populist and anti-establishment parties League (Lega), and the Five Star Movement (M5S), have been granted more time to come to an agreement to form a joint government.

The League later announced that it would hold an informal referendum for its members to approve a coalition agreement, on May 19-20. Key points of the deal would include scrapping an unpopular pension reform, tougher rules on immigration, tax cuts, and renegotiation of EU treaties, the League said in a statement. The M5S has already said it would put any accord to an online vote for its own members.

If the deal between M5S and the League fails, President Mattarella could try to put together a government of technocrats with a limited mandate, to prepare for early elections in the spring of 2019. Failing that, his last option would be to call elections in the autumn of this year.

News article - New York Times 

News article - Repubblica (in Italian)


Italian President Sergio Mattarella calls for “neutral government” to end political deadlock

Italian President Sergio Mattarella has urged the formation of a “neutral” government to lead the country until the end of the year after declaring there was no hope for a government emerging from a workable political alliance two months after national elections. Mattarella urged Italy’s deadlocked political leaders to back the “government of service” until at least the 2019 budget was passed, by December 31. He said that calling elections any time before 2019 would expose Italy to undue risks, adding that Italy needs a functioning government immediately because of pressing decisions coming up in June regarding the EU budget and immigration matters. 

Italy’s two largest parties – the far-right League (Lega) and the Five Star Movement (M5S) – immediately opposed his proposal, raising the prospect of another election as early as July. Forza Italia, the party leading the formation of a center-right wing coalition with Lega, backed the idea of going back to the ballot but argued it would be a better idea to wait until the autumn. The Democratic Party (PD) has been the only major elected force to support Mattarella's neutral government. 

Mattarella is expected to announce whom he would like to lead the non-partisan administration some time before Friday, May 11. The new Prime Minister could be the first woman to hold this role in Italy: five women are among the names floated to lead a transitional government. Nevertheless, a negative vote by both parties Lega and M5S would mean that the president-sponsored government very likely will fail to secure the required confidence vote.

News article - Washington Post

News article - Corriere della Sera


Italy’s ODA rose from 0.27% of GNI to 0.29% in 2017

According to preliminary OECD data, Italian ODA rose from 0.27% to 0.29% of GNI, reaching the target set by Matteo Renzi in 2015, when as prime minister committed himself to a progressive increase in resources. In absolute volume, Italian ODA increased 10% to US$5.7 billion, largely attributable to an increase in bilateral grants for developing countries and the costs of hosting refugees within Italy.

Detailed summary - OECD


Italian Agency of Cooperation's General Director resigns

The former director of the Italian Agency of Cooperation (AICS) has announced her resignation, effective March 5, 2018. Frigenti leaves the position after having been the director since the organization's inception. At this stage there is no substitute for her position. Leonardo Carmenati, who has previously worked for both the Italian and international Red Cross for a number of years in technical and leadership positions, has been nominated vice-president of the Agency.

News article - Onu Italia (in Italian) 


Doctors Without Borders Italy publishes two new reports on conditions of migrants and refugees in Italy

Doctors Without borders Italy has published the report “Fuori Campo-Out of sight”, about the living conditions of migrants and refugees in Italy.

The first edition was published two years ago. The document is based on Doctors Without Borders (MSF) monitoring of several informal settlements, such as slums, squats and occupied buildings in Italy during 2016 and 2017. MSF attests to approximately 10,000 migrants and refugees living in inhumane conditions, due to inadequate welcoming policies. The report finds that refugees and migrants are living in informal settlement and have limited access to basic services. MSF has asked all the Italian local and national authorities to ensure that all migrants and refugees have access to the medical care, shelter, food, and clean water for the entire period they stay in Italy, regardless their legal status.

MSF Italy also carried out a second study titled “Harmful borders” on the situation in Ventimiglia, an Italian town on the border of France. Of the 287 migrants interviewed by MSF, almost one in four said they experienced episodes of violence at the border.

Report – Doctors Without Borders (in Italian) 

Report – Doctors Without Borders

Italy Global health

Italy to chair Organisation for Security and Co-operation in 2018

Italy is the 2018 chair of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The role involves coordinating decision-making among members and setting priorities for the OSCE’s activities in the field of security and cooperation in Europe. The Italian Chairmanship aims at promoting a stronger focus within the OSCE on challenges and opportunities coming from the Mediterranean region. The Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Angelino Alfano, has indicated Italy's intention of addressing migration, with the goal of fighting intolerance and promoting inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue, which he considers are the foundations of peace and security.


Italy launches first call for proposal for Italian Global Fund 5% initiative

Italy has launched the ‘5% initiative’, whereby it uses 5% of its contribution to the Global Fund for the period 2017 to 2019 for the direct financing of ‘synergistic initiatives’ proposed and implemented by civil society organizations, universities, and public research organizations. The aim is to meet the need for technical expertise in countries in order to assist in the design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of Global Fund grants. The Italian commitment to the Global Fund for the three-year period 2017 to 2019 amounts to 140 million; 5% of the contribution is 7 million.

Website – Italian agency of cooperation


Italian PM claims that "EU's future is at stake in Africa"

From November 24-29, 2017, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni visited four African countries: Tunisia, Angola, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast, where he attended the fifth EU-Africa summit. In a joint press conference with Angolan President Joao Lorenco, Gentiloni said that "Italy clearly sees that the EU's future is at stake in Africa", and voiced his interest in expanding trade with the continent, currently worth 34 billion a year. He also spoke on the need to increase private investment in African businesses. 

Press release - Government of Italy (in Italian)


Italy pledges €4.5 million to fight polio in Afghanistan and Pakistan

The Italian government has announced a contribution of €4.5 million to eradicate polio in Afghanistan and Pakistan, with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledging to match the contribution for a total of €9 million. The funding will be used to train and support vaccinators and social mobilizers in Afghanistan, who are instrumental in generating demand for vaccination, and to ensure the delivery of vaccines. In Pakistan, the funding will be used to support vaccination campaigns in some of the most challenging areas of the country. 

Website - GPEI