Governing migration through funding and implications of refugee reception reform in Italy
Join this seminar that will address migration governance through funding as well as implications of the 2018 refugee reception reform in small-medium towns and rural areas in Italy.
Sailing against the law tides: implications of the 2018 refugee reception reform in small-medium towns and rural areas in Italy
Over the past decade, asylum seekers and refugees arriving in Italy were accommodated in reception facilities located not only in large metropolitan centres but also in Small-medium Towns and Rural Areas (STRAs). The authors Magda Bolzoni, Davide Donatiello, and Leila Giannetto argue that the reception-territory nexus is a critical dimension to focus on when investigating the implications connected to the arrival of asylum seekers and refugees. This appears particularly true in STRAs where the reception system provided new resources that, when well-managed, showed transformative potential, developing virtuous interconnections with the local territories and communities. These virtuous interconnections have, however, been affected by the continuous changes in reception policies and came to a critical juncture in 2018, when the so-called Security Decree entered into force.
The authors’ situated qualitative analysis – carried out in 2019-2020 – investigates the interconnections between territory and reception in three STRAs before and after this regulatory shift. It does so by introducing a novel analytic framework, focusing on symbolic and material aspects within and around reception. The analysis suggests that the stress and disruptions connected to the regulatory changes have had a negative impact on the internal organisation of the reception as well as on the refugees’ inclusion and on the chances of local development.
Governing migration through funding
Funds are important non-regulatory policy instruments that increasingly form the complex link between policy formulation and policy implementation involving a combination of political and technocratic arena, actors, and interests. This presentation critically analyses the evolution of the EU’s funding landscape in the internal and external dimensions of migration, as well as EU funding’s steering and solidarity potential. Moreover, Lilian Tsourdi discusses what the instrumental use of (EU) migration funding reveals about the EU’s approach to migration and asylum, global responsibility sharing, and the changing nature of the European administrative system and of migration diplomacy. She also critically comments on the impact of these practices on refugee protection, migrants’ fundamental rights, and the rule of law. Finally, she provides insights as to whether and how law and policy should be amended to reform governance through funding to enhance (intra-EU) solidarity and sustainable partnerships with third countries, as well as delimit the negative impact on refugee protection and the rule of law. Analysing migration governance through the instrumental use of EU funding through interdisciplinary perspectives, Lilian draws from law, political science, public policy, and international relations, as well as incorporating empirical insights.