The European Convention on the participation of foreigners in public life at local level. Its application in Italy.
Italy recognizes only a part of the Convention, but not the right to vote.
The Convention on the participation of foreigners in public life at local level, done at Strasbourg on 5 February 1992, entered into force in Italy with Law no. 203 of 8 March 1994. However, Italy does not recognize the application of the entire Convention, but only to Chapters A and B, excluding the chapter C relating to the right to vote.
Under the Convention, each Contracting State is obliged to guarantee to foreign residents, under the same terms as to its own citizens, the following rights:
- the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers;
- the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of their interests. In particular, the right to freedom of association shall imply the right of foreign residents to form local associations of their own for purposes of mutual assistance, maintenance and expression of their cultural identity or defence of their interests in relation to matters falling within the province of the local authority, as well as the right to join any association.
For the purposes of the Convention, the term "foreign residents" means persons who are not nationals of the State and who are lawfully resident on its territory.
Each Contracting State must ensure that there will be no legal or other obstacles to prevent local authorities in whose area there is a significant number of foreign residents from setting up consultative bodies or making other appropriate institutional arrangements designed:
- to form a link between themselves and such residents;
- to provide a forum for the discussion and formulation of the opinions, wishes and concerns of foreign residents on matters which particularly affect them in relation to local public life, including the activities and responsibilities of the local authority concerned;
- to foster their general integration into the life of the community;
- to encourage and facilitate the establishment of such consultative bodies or the making of other appropriate institutional arrangements for the representation of foreign residents by local authorities in whose area there is a significant number of foreign residents.
For more information, please contact Lawyers in Italy
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Published on 14 April 2014
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