[European Union] 'Welcoming Europe' campaign gets 65,000 signatures in Italy

22 Feb 2019

It takes one million signatures across the EU to force European Parliament have a hearing about the respective initiative and impose obligation for Commission to respond to the proposal. The initiative called "Welcoming Europe" started in April last year, and despite it hasn`t met this threshold it was very successful in some European countries. An example is Italy, where in total 65.000 signatures were collected, around 10.000 more than the minimum required.

More than 140 organizations united in calling for “strengthening humanitarian corridors for refugees, abolishing laws "punish[ing] volunteers and civil society organisations for offering humanitarian help or shelter for refugees and protecting victims of abuse and exploitation”. The pressure put on the EU decision makers was effective and some of the proposals are now being implemented. For instance, the initiative supported strengthening sponsorship programs which are essential part of the humanitarian corridors. In addition, the supporters of the proposal called for a reform of system which would allow wide group of entities to access European funds, including local entities, civil society. According to the article “the European Parliament adopted the 2019 EU budget, which allocated part of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) to local authorities in order to allow them direct access to asylum and integration programs, including community sponsorship”. 

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