Gioiosa Ionica is a small municipality (7.000 inhabitants) located in Locride area, a part of Italy with highest rate of unemployment and mafia infiltration. However, the new Municipal council, elected in 2013 and composed by young and motivated administrators, is trying to “revolutionise” the local political, social and economic situation that had characterized the town in the last 50 years. In 2014, the Municipality launched a number of significant policies and activities to stimulate the active participation of local citizens and to involve them in main decision- making processes. When it comes to integration policies, the Municipality has been acknowledged as one of the most interesting examples in Southern Italy. As the number of immigrants increased drastically in the last year, the local administrations decided to approach this phenomenon as an opportunity by activating a number of instruments to allow immigrants to participate in development of their “new” home community.
Gioiosa Ionica is the coordinator of the project and responsible for the organization of the first and final event. The events will be organized in collaboration with RECOSOL and several local associations that are supporting the administration in implementation of integration policies. It will involve in project activities also administrators and stakeholders from surrounding municipalities that are facing the recent wave of immigration, in order to motivate them to put more efforts in promotion of immigrants’ democratic participations. It will set up an internal working group composed by representatives from the Municipality, local associations, operators & immigrants. In cooperation with RECOSOL, the Municipality will be the initiator of the new Network. As project coordinator, it will take part in all international events by sending its representatives and members of local working group.