COUNCIL OF EUROPE
COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS
on the implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities by Italy
(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 3 July 2002
at the 802nd meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)
The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of Articles 24 to 26 of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (hereinafter referred to as “the Framework Convention”), and sitting in the presence of a non-member state Party 1 ;
Having regard to Resolution (97) 10 of 17 September 1997 setting out rules adopted by the Committee of Ministers on the monitoring arrangements under Articles 24 to 26 of the Framework Convention in particular rule 39 2 of Resolution (97) 10;
Having regard to the voting rule adopted in the context of adopting Resolution (97) 10 3 ;
Having regard to the instrument of ratification deposited by Italy on 3 November 1997;
Recalling that the Government of Italy transmitted its state report in respect of the first monitoring cycle under the Framework Convention on 3 May 1999;
Whereas the Advisory Committee accepted the invitation of the Government of Italy to send a delegation to gather further information in Italy; this visit taking place from
11 to 13 December 2000;
Whereas the Advisory Committee’s opinion on the implementation of the Framework Convention by Italy was adopted on 14 September 2001 and then transmitted to the Permanent Representative of Italy and communicated to the permanent representatives of all member states and to the representatives of non-member states Parties as document CM(2001)158;
Whereas the Government of Italy submitted its written comments on the opinion of the Advisory Committee, these written comments having been communicated to the delegations of all member states and the non-member states Parties as an addendum to document CM(2001)158, dated 14 February 2002;
Having examined the Advisory Committee’s opinion and the written comments of the Government of Italy;
Having also taken note of comments by other governments, including written comments by Austria, Croatia and Slovenia,
1. Adopts the following conclusions concerning the implementation of the Framework Convention by Italy:
- Italy has made most commendable efforts in many areas including education, media and effective participation for the German-speaking, Ladin, French-speaking and Slovene minorities living in the regions which enjoy special autonomy. The series of measures taken in favour of the German-speaking minority of Trentino-Alto Adige have led to a commendable level of protection for this minority, and the system of allocating public posts strictly according to the size of the Italian-speaking, German-speaking and Ladin communities in the province of Bolzano has contributed to making the participation of these groups more effective.
- The appreciable efforts recently made have led to the adoption of a coherent legislative framework designed to secure protection, at national level, for the twelve historical linguistic minorities, including the numerically smaller ones for which measures aimed at preserving their identity are of particular relevance. This legislative framework will however not be fully operative until the protection perimeters applying to each minority have been defined.
- Certain national minorities, particularly the Albanian, Franco-Provençal, Walser and Ladin minorities, face additional difficulties in maintaining and developing their identity since they are traditionally settled in several provinces and/or regions under protection arrangements that can differ markedly. In order to remedy these difficulties, special efforts will have to be made to ensure that the new legislative framework is fully applied in practice, and that sufficient protective measures are taken at all levels. Continued attention should also be paid to the implementation of the recently adopted legislation governing protection of the Slovene minority in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region.
- Real problems remain in respect of the implementation of the Framework Convention as concerns Roma, especially as regards access to housing, certain discriminatory practices and socio-economic inequalities and participation in the public affairs concerning them. The existing statutory provisions for safeguarding the identity and culture of the Roma are not yet adequate, and Italy should consider a comprehensive and coherent strategy vis-à-vis the Roma, particularly so as to promote their integration in Italian society.
2. Recommends that Italy take appropriate account of the conclusions set out in section 1 above together with the various comments in the Advisory Committee’s opinion.
3. Invites the Government of Italy, in accordance with Resolution (97) 10:
a. to continue the dialogue in progress with the Advisory Committee;
b. to keep the Advisory Committee regularly informed of the measures it has taken in response to the conclusions and recommendations set out in section 1 and 2 above.