Analysis. The Democratic Party, LeU and Italia Viva saw 'convergence' around proposals to walk back the most devastating provisions of the Salvini 'security decrees,' particularly the fines for NGO rescue vessels.

Italian parties move to ‘radically change’ the security decrees

The word of the day seems to be “optimism.”

“We have made progress, now we need to speed up in order to end the distortions caused by Salvini’s propaganda measures,” said the Deputy Interior Minister Matteo Mauri (PD) at the end of the second meeting held at the Interior Ministry to amend the security decrees passed by the former Lega minister.

According to the unanimous assessment of the participants, the meeting took place in a climate that was made more relaxed by the observation that, unlike in the past, there seems to be a real possibility of reaching a common agreement at this point. Since the M5S Deputy Minister of the Interior Vito Crimi was absent due to work commitments, he was replaced by the President of the Constitutional Affairs Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, Giuseppe Brescia, a figure close to the President of the Chamber, Roberto Fico, and especially sensitive to immigration issues.

Monday was the day on which the representatives of the majority had to present their proposed amendments to the changes prepared by the Minister of the Interior, Luciana Lamorgese, to the two security decrees, changes that aimed to go far beyond the remarks made at the time of the passage of the decrees by the President’s Office.

LeU came to the ministry with a text that was already put in the form of normative provisions, ready, if accepted, to be included in a future measure. As the two Senate and House leaders of the LeU, Loredana De Petris and Federico Fornaro, explained, these proposals, among other things, aimed to reduce detention times in the Repatriation Centers (CPR) from the current 180 to 90 days, to restore the SPRAR system for the reception of asylum seekers and refugees and to reinstate humanitarian protection.

The three proposals made by the PD through its head of security issues, Carmelo Miceli, concerned the SPRAR system, humanitarian protection and a reduction of the time for awarding citizenship (reduced to 24 months from the 48 months set out by the first security decree).

The requests coming from Italia Viva were much less stringent, even though they came in a package of 15 amendments which, according to the leader of the party’s Senate caucus, Davide Faraone, would “radically change the security decrees.” Among these, we find the introduction of the ius culturae, the citizenship reform that around one million young people born in Italy from immigrant parents are waiting for, but regarding which there are already several bills going through Parliament, making it an issue that can hardly be handled with a decree. At the very least, all were in agreement on the abolition of the enormous fines for NGO vessels.

As always, the Five Stars are holding back—first of all on the timing, but also on the issues. Regarding the former, the Movement would prefer to postpone everything until after the summer. Officially, this is for “technical” reasons: “There are too many decrees to approve, we risk flooding Parliament,” according to Brescia. The real reason behind the request for postponement seems to be the fear that the Lega could take advantage of the inevitable increase in landings during the summer for its propaganda.

On the issues, the president of the Constitutional Affairs Commission was also cautious, saying he was abiding by the mandate he had received from the Movement that called for limiting the changes to the decrees to the observations made by President Mattarella at the time of their passage. “The revision of the security decrees must not be an operation of erasure of the past,” he warned, in unison with the leader of the M5S group in the Constitutional Affairs Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, Vittoria Baldino.

In any case, the prevailing idea is that progress has been made. The next meeting is now set for 10 a.m. June 30, when Minister Lamorgese will present a new text including some of the changes discussed on Monday.

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