Immigration global issue, says Italian politician

Milan, Oct 27 (IANS/AKI) Immigration is an issue affecting the entire world which demands a coordinated response, the Italian Lombardy region’s Parliament Speaker Raffaele Cattaneo has said.

“The major challenge posed by immigration and how this affects social and civil rights is not just an Italian question but a global one that forces us to re-think welfare systems and citizenship,” Cattaneo said on Saturday.

He was addressing the ‘World Forum of Regional and Sub-National Legislative Assemblies: Regional and Local Representation for True Global Democracy’ held in Milan over the weekend.

Cattaneo, who was on Friday re-elected president of the Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies (CALRE), urged regional parliaments in Europe and worldwide to “guarantee democracy a future”.

“To do this, we must get closer to citizens,” Cattaneo said.

“Local communities feel a stronger bond with their own territory than to a nation or a supranational state,” he said.

“Our parliaments need to regroup and we need a rebirth of democracy.”

Piero Bassetti, president of the Globus et Locus think-tank and the Giannino Bassetti Foundation, echoed this theme in a keynote address to to the conference on Friday.

“We live in an era of disaffection towards parties and we need to re-engage with citizens, ” Bassetti said, urging a “global approach” to tackle “a structural crisis of the nation state”.

“We need to enter a different phase, combining resilience and conciliation to give a new meaning to sovereignty from the bottom up,” he said.

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