“More funds for cooperation, Migration Compact and to promote culture”.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Paolo Gentiloni, highlighted the main measures in the Budget Bill that strengthen the instruments of Italy’s foreign policy. Development cooperation funds are increased by another 120 million euros. An equal increase was decided in 2016 and it will be repeated in 2018, thus doubling 2015 levels. This will enable Italy to no longer rank among the last of the big countries and to increase its contribution to combating poverty and the causes of instability and migration. The increase of funds will go hand in hand with the increase in the technical personnel of the recently established Development Cooperation Agency.
A further 200 million euros will be allocated to honour Italy’s commitment for the Migration Compact, especially to fund the agreements with several African countries to combat human trafficking, strengthening border controls, repatriation mechanisms and humanitarian aid for migrants. The same agreements are also being focused on by the European Union, which recently allocated 500 million euros.
The Budget Bill also envisages a considerable relaunching of the promotion of the Italian language and culture abroad, thanks to 50 million euros that the Foreign Ministry will co-manage with the MiBACT and the MIUR. The funds are earmarked for financing the Italian Cultural Institutes’ activities to promote Italian and to provide language courses, which represent an extraordinary launching pad for Italy in the world.
“After years of downsizing resources for our international activities, the Budget Bill passed yesterday marks a significant trend reversal,” said Minister Gentiloni.