Consulta delle Culture del Comune di Palermo
EX SCUDERIE DI PALAZZO CEFALA’, vicolo Sciara (angolo via Alloro)
President’s Office y: PALAZZO MONUMENTALE, piazza Giulio Cesare, 52
e-mail address: email@example.com
The Council of Cultures is a community council that gathers representatives of all the migrant communities present in Palermo. The Council is the representative body of all those who have a nationality other than Italian, and those who have acquired Italian citizenship residing in Palermo.
The council is the fourth institution of the city, taking care of and paying attention to the entire city community and building autonomous spaces of initiative and moments of collaboration with all city institutions; it has been the centre of all activities that have involved foreign communities and at the same time a reference point for all those who have shared the commitment and practice of active citizenship.
As a means of political participation in the city life of Palermo, the Council performs advisory functions for the activity of the municipal administration. The Assembly of the Council of Cultures is composed of 21 members, elected by the communities of citizens living in Palermo.
Target VG and type of host community
Foreigners, third-country nationals, stateless persons and those who have acquired Italian citizenship residing in Palermo.
Application setting: context
The Council was set up in order to have an entity to talk about integration and security, to avoid radicalization phenomena and to ensure the possibility of an open and democratic dialogue.
The council represents the will of Palermo of standing out as a city of dialogue, promoting mutual enrichment between cultures. The council is a political statement of a city that recognizes and protects human rights and that acknowledges and values all cultures.
- To promote Palermo as an Intercultural City and to encourage the creation of intercultural paths in the City of Palermo with reference to: protection of rights, cultural integration, education, health, integration into the labour market, social services in the aforementioned sectors.
- To collaborate with the Municipality in providing the necessary support to foreigners, individuals and organisations so as to enable residents to exercise of all forms of participation or access laws and regular provisions.
- To prevent or eradicate all forms of discrimination and xenophobia by encouraging meetings and dialogue between people with different cultural backgrounds in order to promote an intercultural vision of society.
- To provide migrant associations with advice on how to develop cultural, social and economic project.
Migrants who are legally resident in the municipal territory of Palermo and are over 18 years old can vote for the representatives of the Council of Cultures. The 21 elected members nominate a President who represents the Council and participates in the work of the City Council. The distribution of the seats to representative in the Council of Cultures is defined by geographical areas, referring to existing quotas prepared by the Statistical Office of the Municipality.
- Gathering information to make direct or desk research using the Municipal databases
- Promoting and stimulating opportunities for the realization of intercultural paths in the City of Palermo with reference to: the protection of rights, cultural integration, education, health, integration into labour market, social services. Improving foreigners’ and stateless persons’ knowledge of the regulations governing stay, residence, employment, social and health care, education, employment, social security, education, vocational training, transport and use of public services;
- Meetings between people of different cultures in order to create an intercultural society; Meetings with all foreign communities in the municipal territory and with the constituency councils are scheduled twice a year.
- Providing the necessary support to foreigners, individuals and foreigners’ associations to enable them to exercise effectively all forms of participation or access to documents as required by laws and regulations for resident citizens.
- Issuing mandatory and non-binding statements on City Council’s acts in the aforementioned areas and contributes to making proposals for the City Government.
- Developed initiatives aimed at enhancing the respect and the appreciation of the cultural, linguistic and historical backgrounds of foreigners and stateless persons, as well as, fostering migrants’ knowledge of those of the local population.
- Foreigners’ associations are advised on the drafting and development of cultural, social and economic projects.
Difficulties or constrains for its implementation
The quality of the dialogue depends on the goodwill of the government in terms of collaboration and positive confrontation. For example, in 2016, Consulta President Adham Darawsha resigned so as to protest against the municipality’s inertia concerning different issues: the crisis of the SPRAR system, the difficult situation of reception centres for unaccompanied minors (due to payment delays on behalf of the municipality), the failure to implement agreed compensation plans for peddlers, the lack of multi-religious place of worship (requested by the body in 2014), but above all the death of Ernest, a Ghanaian immigrant, on the sidewalk of one of the main streets of Palermo city centre – “without the competent municipal offices making an effort concerning homelessness”.
- Foreigners and stateless persons are encouraged to become aware of the rules governing residence, employment, social and health care, education, vocational training, transport and use of public services
- Structured organisation
- Proposals accepted by the municipality
- Giving political representation to foreign communities
- Only consultative body: no decision-making power
- No binding opinions in City Council’s acts
- Limited participation of potential voters
- Difficult dialogue with the Municipality
Year and length (duration)
The regulation on the establishment of the Council of Cultures has been approved by the City Council of Palermo with Municipal Act n. 49 of 15.05.13.
CRITERIA actors or stakeholder are using to assess them as a “good practice”
- Gender equality: 7 female members. More than half of the members are women, many of whom are active in local civil-society organisations.
- Representativeness of minorities in the political and public sphere, coming from all continents
- Promotes political representation and participation in the elections