Rome (NEV-SE), January 18, 2018 – Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, in a letter addressed to the presidents of the Community of St. Egidio, the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy (FCEI) and the moderator of the Waldensian Board, expressed his thanks for the realization of the humanitarian corridors that have, so far, enabled safe arrivals of more than one thousand refugees in Italy, so as the start of important integration projects in our society.
Gentiloni spoke of “precious collaboration” expressing his support for the renewal of the ecumenical project which will allow the safe entry of an additional thousand refugees within 2019: “It is our intention – he wrote in a passage of the letter – to continue along this path. For this reason, I wish to underline my appreciation also for the recent renewal of your protocol with the Ministries of Interiors and of Foreign Affairs, which represents a virtuous model of cooperation between the government and the civil society. It will therefore be possible, within the framework of institutional contacts envisaged by the protocol, to evaluate future projects, including humanitarian corridors from elsewhere”.
The president of the Community of St. Egidio, Marco Impagliazzo, announcing the arrival of thirty Syrian refugees from Lebanon scheduled on January 30, commented: “In two years of experience, humanitarian corridors have demonstrated that it is possible to combine the reception of refugees fleeing war, with the starting of precious integration paths. The words of the Prime Minister and the Italian commitment in this direction confirm a fruitful synergy between civil society and institutions which is now becoming a reality also in other European countries, such France and Belgium, and which is turning out to be a model for the European Union”.
Pastor Luca Maria Negro, president of FCEI, recalled with satisfaction how the Italian Government repeatedly proposed this good practice on the international community level, and added: “The opening of the Prime Minister to verify the possibility of studying ‘future projects’ in consideration of the evolution of the Libyan situation, is very encouraging. Let’s continue, in the meanwhile, our efforts to ensure safe and legal arrivals, followed by integration projects for asylum seekers, and educational and informative actions aimed at Italian citizens”.
The Italian version of this press release is to be found here.