«Urban Policies on Diversity in Milan, Italy Work package 4: Assessment of Urban Policies Deliverable nr.: D 4.1 Lead partner: Partner 6 (UCL) ...»
Governing Urban Diversity:
Creating Social Cohesion, Social Mobility and Economic Performance in Today’s Hyper-diversified Cities
Urban Policies on Diversity in Milan, Italy
Work package 4: Assessment of Urban Policies
Deliverable nr.: D 4.1
Lead partner: Partner 6 (UCL)
Authors: Eduardo Barberis, Yuri Kazepov, Alba Angelucci
Dissemination level: RE
Status: Final version Date: 4 August 2014 This project is funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme;
Theme: SSH.2012.2.2.2-1; Governance of cohesion and diversity in urban contexts Grant agreement: 319970 DIVERCITIES 319970 4 August 2014 To be cited as: Barberis, E., Kazepov, Y., Angelucci, A. (2014), Assessment of Urban Policies in Milan, Italy.
Urbino: DESP – Università di Urbino Carlo Bo.
This report has been put together by the authors, and revised on the basis of the valuable comments, suggestions, and contributions of all DIVERCITIES partners.
The views expressed in this report are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of European Commission.
2 DIVERCITIES 319970 4 August 2014 Contents
2. Overview of the political system and governance structure in Italy and Milan...............6
2.1. The political system and governance structure for urban diversity policy
2.2. Key shifts in national approaches to policy over migration, citizenship and diversity
Institutional map in Milan
3. Critical analysis of policy strategies and assessment of resource allocations................ 14
3.1. Dominant governmental discourses of urban policy and diversity
3.2. Non-governmental discourses of urban policy and diversity
1. Introduction This report aims at assessing the role of diversity in urban policy in Italy, with a focus on the case of Milan. Even though we will provide a general overview of diversity discourses mentioning a number of different groups and targets, our focus will be mostly on in-migrant diversity. This is due mainly to the fact that – as interviews and policy documents analysis will show – there is no wide-scope, cross-sectoral, general and strategic discourse on diversity and its promotion in the Italian policy and public agenda. Instead, there is a plurality of fragmented discourses concerning specific groups and categories (e.g. in-migrants, Roma and in the Italian case also the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender1 community, young people, women) that is reflected in an institutional fragmentation. The resulting fragmented policy practice is reinforced by a weak inter-institutional coordination at the horizontal level between departments and policy-specific organizations, usually referred to as “departmentalism” or “silo-culture”.
A similar fracture can be found also at the vertical level (between levels of government), and this may hinder the generalization of good practices (bottom-up) and the effectiveness of national guidance (top-down). Such a weakness is reinforced by the structure of funding and planning of diversity-related measures: they are usually short-term and unstable, thus hindering long-term visions. The subsections on resources in section 3.1. and 3.2. will address this issue.
Following these fragmented targets and policy arenas would result into a gruelling job. Therefore, we will focus just on in-migration diversities. They are explicitly linked to urban policies in interviews and documents and are a much-debated issue, a new and evolving challenge to Italy's political culture, national identity and welfare policy, thus more likely affecting the Italian discourse on diversity in the near future.
After contextualizing urban and diversity policy in Italy (chapter 2), we will critically analyse discourses on diversity in Milan (chapter 3). This analysis will be based on 15 interviews with key informants and documents issued by national and local actors on policy strategies and specific initiatives (see Appendix for details). The analysis will include both governmental (section 3.1) and non-governmental (section 3.2) views on the issue. The relationship between these two views is strongly influenced by the specific role played by non-governmental actors in policy networks and public-private partnerships: they not only implement diversity-related measures, but also contribute to their design, planning and even funding. The relevance of their role becomes evident when we go beyond the “big players” (like bank foundations), and consider small-scale grassroots groups in activating all sort of resources (e.g. also skills, time, social relations) that can improve the effectiveness of diversity policies. All of that implies an intense cross-referencing between sections 3.1. and 3.2. aimed at grasping the mutual influence the different actors exert in the construction of the discourses.
Our main argument is that, even if such a wide plurality of actors portraying discourses on diversity is not enough to build-up an explicit policy strategy, quite clear priorities and definitions preferred among most key informants and actors are emerging. This process, however, takes place more implicitly and incrementally rather than by design. Especially governmental actors mainly see diversity not as a resource but as a disadvantage that needs to be addressed through policies for equity and redistribution.
Social cohesion problems and the risks of ghettoization – mentioned by almost every interviewee – are considered the result of a diversity that needs to be addressed through an integrationist/intercultural approach. Diversity can find room in the public space, but mainly as an individual stance, while visibility of group diversity has to be attuned with the concerns (and cultural characteristics) of mainstream society. Diversity is therefore, welcomed especially if it is in a (subordinate?) relation with the majority.
Reference to an integrationist/intercultural approach is slowly declining, in particular at city and neighbourhood levels. There, especially non-governmental actors are paying a growing attention to policies aimed at the recognition of multiple voices and the creation of spaces of encounter, like for instance the creation of dedicated centres to fight discrimination and to make diversity visible. The general frame, however, stays mainly integrationist/intercultural.
2. Overview of the political system and governance structure in Italy and Milan 2.1. The political system and governance structure for urban diversity policy Italy, though characterized by very relevant internal divides and diversities2, has been traditionally a unitary State. In the last decades, however, its governance structure changed toward a stronger regionalist frame (Kazepov, 2009). We can identify three weaves of decentralization: 1970s;
Italy started its decentralization process in the 1970s, with the establishment of Regions and the devolution of some administrative responsibilities to municipalities (e.g. in the area of social assistance). This trend was limited by centralized public expenditure, controlling local financial autonomy and policy planning through severe budget constraints.
Centralized investment and redistribution policies, also aimed at addressing the gap between disadvantaged and successful areas of the country, proved not to be so effective: a low degree of institutionalization and institutional performance was coupled with a high degree of local variation. As a consequence of 1970s reforms, in the 1980s a wave of Regional laws devolved further tasks from Regions to Local Authorities (e.g. in social and labour policies), with an increase of institutional fragmentation (Kazepov, 1996; Fargion, 1997). Priorities of the Regions where hardly coordinated and different regional policy-making styles started to sum up to longlasting territorial divides (Burroni 2001).
A renewed attention for the territorial dimension of public policies and for cities was back in the 1990s. The establishment of the short-lived Ministry for Urban Affairs (1987-1993) was an effort to govern the process of devolution that started in 1990 with the framework law on Local Authorities. In 1993, the direct election of mayors was introduced and intra-city district councils were reformed first in 1990 and then in 19993. Established in 1976, intra-city district councils foresaw innovative forms of political participation and civic engagement.
Between 1991 and 1996, new area-based tools were also defined to intervene on neighbourhoods and the urban fabric (mainly aiming at networking and public-private partnerships for redevelopment purposes) and for local development (mainly aiming at coordinating local labour and economic policies).
In 1997-98 laws reforming the public administration devolved many responsibilities to regions and local authorities, enforcing the principle of subsidiarity and reaching the maximum level of decentralization possible with the then-existing Constitution. Some 40 per cent of State functions were devolved to Regions, Provinces and Municipalities (Raimondo, 2001), with a cutback of external controls, the introduction of bargaining arenas between the State and local authorities and the increase of financial autonomy. At the same time, a concern for equality and rights 2 We can mention, in particular, the North-South divide, but also social class disparities, Italy being one of the Western European countries where social mobility is lower and inequality higher (Pisati and Schizzerotto 2004).
3 The long-term outcome has often been a loss of role and of effectiveness in providing services and representation. We can see it in the case of Milan. The 20 local councils set in the 1970s were aggregated in 9 districts in a Bundt-cake shape – the “hole” being the city centre, and 9 slices putting together diverse semicentral, semi-peripheral and peripheral areas of the Municipality. These larger and mixed areas had less power and were less representative, not corresponding to existing neighbourhoods.
6 DIVERCITIES 319970 4 August 2014 produced an attempt to provide general and policy-area framework laws (indicating roles and relations between different territorial levels), e.g. on childhood policies (1997), immigration (1998) and social services (2000). These framework laws created national earmarked funds, to be transferred to Regions according to national policy guidelines.
This coordination attempt was severely challenged by the 2001 Constitutional reform that paved the way to the most recent decentralization wave. The new institutional setting gave Regions the exclusive legislative power on all policy areas not listed as State responsibility in the Constitution itself (including social policy), and a concurrent legislative power in many other policy domains (e.g. education, planning). In addition, “metropolitan cities” – a new government level for the ten larger urban areas in Italy, including Milan, introduced by the 1990 Law on Local Authorities – entered in the 2001 Constitutional Reform. Aimed at providing a more coordinated planning and management of urban policies in metropolitan areas, where many tasks are up to individual municipalities,4 and at substituting Provinces, their implementation has not yet started.
With the Constitutional reform, the traditional local fragmentation of Italian policy found a further source of institutional differentiation (Kazepov, 2008, 2010). The difficult implementation of the 2001 Reform led to highly conflictual relations between State and local authorities, as the dramatic increase of the number of appeals to the Constitutional Court shows (more than 100 in 2002). At the same time the opportunity to define national minimum standards of quality and policies in some fields (e.g. social policy) (Barberis, 2010) has not been taken up to now.
Within this frame, also the role of private actors was redefined. On the one hand the trend toward local autonomy, flexible local planning and the use of New Public Management tools brought about an increased market regulation within public policy (Gori, 2011). On the other hand, a growing formal acknowledgement of the role of voluntary associations, social cooperatives and association of social promotion took place from the 1990s onwards. This trend climaxed in 2000, when the framework law on social services granted social partners and NGOs the participation in local social planning.
Partnerships and multi-actor agreements were often required, in order to involve social parties and relevant stakeholders in the new policy programmes – be it social policy, development policy or urban regeneration measures. The laws passed from the 1990s onwards legitimize this change of paradigm as both an increase in social participation and an effort for more efficiency, while not rarely the involvement of private organizations has been necessary to complement scarce resources.
Notwithstanding this clear-cut path towards downscaling, the actual effectiveness of local policymaking has been jeopardized by the lack of a clear fiscal autonomy. The strong devolution to local authorities was accompanied by weak coordination tools, a relevant delegation to private (profit and non-profit, depending on the policy area) actors, an unclear funding – and a consequent fragmented governance and passive form of subsidiarity (Kazepov, 2008).
In recent years, we can acknowledge a renewed attention for coordination and worries for the territorial and institutional fragmentation associated with the regionalist devolution. From 2011, the political agenda started to prioritize the problem of cohesion and national standards: in urban policy, with the role given to the new Ministry of Territorial Cohesion (without portfolio) and the effort for a national plan for cities and for disadvantaged areas in welfare policy, with new inputs 4 The future Metropolitan City of Milan, and the present Province of Milan, has 134 Municipalities.
on national standards. However, no conclusions can be drawn yet, since these efforts are at an early stage of the policy process.