Holding meetings on a regular basis that bring together the Italian Consuls operating in different areas of the world: this is the novelty that the Farnesina, through the General Directorate for Italians Abroad, has launched as concrete follow-up to the Conference of Consuls, held in Rome in 2018.
The objectives of the meetings are: to further the digitization of consular services, share best practices, renew attention to relations with users (customer care), and deepen specific topics by geographical area.
The Italians living abroad, registered in the consular files of the Farnesina network, are now over six million: a population that is larger than that of the Regions of Lazio and Campania. Offering a variety of services to such a large number of users having different generational needs is a constant challenge for the Foreign Ministry.
For this reason, each of the consular meetings has a specific thematic focus.
At the first of such meetings, held in Vienna on 19 and 20 September, 2019, the representatives of the fifty plus European consular offices attended the presentation of the new Electronic Identity Card (CIE), issued on an experimental basis for the Italians residing in Europe, in three Pilot locations (Athens, Nice and Vienna).
The subsequent meeting was held in Montreal on October 3 and 4, 2019 and was attended by the Consuls of North America and Australia. On that occasion, the meeting focused on the integrated promotion of Italy abroad, on the basis of the program "Vivere all'italiana" (Living according to the Italian lifestyle) and "Turismo delle Radici" (Visiting the places we came from), a strategic tourist segment which is of interest for the over sixty million people of Italian descent throughout the world who are offered the opportunity of rediscovering their places of origin.
The meeting of the 33 Consuls in Latin American took place in Asunción on November 27 and 28, 2019, at the attendance of Undersecretary Ricardo Antonio Merlo. This area of the world hosts the largest Italian communities outside of Europe. In the same days, the “Oceano-Universo” opera made its debut at the Grand Theatre of the Central Bank of Paraguay. The opera staged the epic of Italian migrations to the New World, in the pursuit of personal and professional redemption.
On January 22 and 23, 2020, a meeting took place in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai and Abu Dhabi) focused on visa matters. In 2019, the Italian Foreign Ministry issued over 894,000 visas for Italy, with over 112 million euros paid to the State.