Padua inspires Europe with plan to host migrants in families

02 December, 09:00

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, 02 DIC - An Italian reception model to host migrants in families has reached the European Parliament. The project Embracin, led by the northeastern Italian municipality of Padua to experiment migrant hosting in local families, has been applauded by the European Parliament after being presented in Brussels on Wednesday, November 30. As part of this project, more Italian municipalities have signed a Memorandum to form and maintain a network to exchange good practices over the theme of families hosting migrants.

    Initiative shared by other urban centers Padua is just one of many cities in Italy to experiment this possibility. The initiative has in fact attracted the interest of various urban centers including Rome, Milan, Bologna, Naples, Aosta, Verona, Rovigo and many other small cities. The EU-funded Embracin project was created thanks to Antonio Calò, a Treviso high school teacher who in 2015, together with his wife Nicoletta Ferrara and their four children, opened their home to six African migrants. In November 2015, Italian President Serbio Mattarella bestowed the OMRI award on Calò for his work hosting migrants. The European Parliament honored him with the 'European citizen' award in 2018. The teacher's experience inspired a hosting program in families implemented in three European cities thanks to EU funding: Padua, Cadiz and Seville, and in an experimental phase in Thessaloniki (Greece), Hoče - Slivnica (Slovenia), Sala (Sweden) and Engomi (Cyprus).

    Commitment for integration has beneficial effects "This project is a commitment in line with integration guidelines requested by the European Parliament, an important project to fight the pressure coming from conservative policies here and in Rome", stressed Brando Benifei, the head of the Democratic Party (PD) delegation at the European Parliament.

    According to data released by the Polibienestar Institute of the University of Valencia, the results of such projects are clear with an improvement in economic integration and access to better jobs as well as a higher rate of social and political inclusion for migrants. "A model of successful hosting is coming from Italian municipalities" - an "important effort" that was born locally in cities and didn't come from the central government, commented Margherita Colonnello, Padua's councilor for social inclusion.

    (Picture shows the city center of Padua. Photo: ANSA/ARCHIVE/NICOLA FOSSELLA) (ANSAmed).

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