The Associative Movement of Italians Abroad (MAIE) is a cultural, social and political movement. It doesn’t favor any particular ideology, but represents and defends the value of the Italian community abroad.
The movement is driven by three principles: social protection of Italian migrants, promotion of Italian culture and language, and the construction of the "sistema Italia" around the world.
These convictions led the MAIE to oppose previous Italian governments that have destroyed the Italian consular network in the world, violated the rights of Italians living abroad (introducing the tax on citizenship and the IMU), abandoned new Italian emigrants and have cut funds for the promotion of Italian language and culture and for Italian Chambers of Commerce abroad.
The MAIE program summarized in 10 points:
1. Consular network: more resources, less delays.
The consular network is the business card of Italy around the world and it is essential to find a solution to its catastrophic state. By granting each consulate an adequate number of employees its efficiency will be improved. Those who have governed the last 10 years have left us in a chaotic and unbearable situation. Currently, obtaining a passport or recognizing a citizenship takes years of waiting. A progressive increase of funds up to € 97 million per year is required to correctly staff the consulates. This amount represents only 0.0019% of the Italian public expenditure, which is completely viable. With more parliamentarians of the MAIE – the only party of the Italians abroad – we will have more strength to impose this fundamental goal.
2. Italian Citizenship: no to the tax, yes to gender equality in the transmission of the citizenship.
Eliminate the citizenship tax: Italian law states that the son or daughter of an Italian citizen has the citizenship by birth right. Payment of a fee of 300 Euros in order to obtain this recognition, is unconstitutional. In a state of law, a fee is required for the provision of a service, not for the recognition of a right; doing it means transforming our state in a plutocratic system, because the right is only recognized to people who have enough money to pay for it. The Italian State, as such, must guarantee consular services.
Gender equality: Mitigate unjust discrimination that still affects women. Many children of Italian mothers born before 1948 (and therefore all their descendants) cannot access Italian citizenship today, due to an antiquated and discriminatory law on women that must be changed.
3. Italian language and culture.
The spread of Italian language and culture is one of the most important tools for strengthening and promoting Italy's presence in the world. Assigning more funds to this sector, far from being a cost to the collectivity, constitutes an investment that will turn into concrete benefits for Italy. Language promotion must be complete, not just for children and youth, but also for adults who, due to their origin or because of the cultural attraction of our country, want to strengthen their ties with Italy.
It is necessary to achieve a greater coordination between the different actors in the system, through an official agency promoting the language, formation of teachers abroad, and by establishing a Cultural Promoter in the main consulates, who interacts with associations and organizations for the Italian community abroad. It is also essential to promote the study of the Italian language in foreign public schools.
4. Chambers of Commerce.
Enhancing and strengthening Italian Chambers of Commerce abroad, through an increase in funds and a reform of the regulations governing the system, must be one of the priorities of the Italian government for promoting Italy's economic presence in the world.
5. Eliminate the IMU.
Italians living abroad, today pay the IMU tax on their home in Italy, due to the fact that it is not considered "first home", an unjust discrimination that must be revoked.
6. Promote University and scientific exchange.
In a globalized world, Italy must further promote its excellent universities. Developing a scholarship system for young people of Italian origin to be trained in Italy and to promote scientific cooperation with researchers of Italian origin is the solution.
7. Control illegal immigration and facilitate the return of Italian families.
Italian migration policy must give priority to the entry of Italian families or people of Italian origin from abroad and, contrary to what has been done in recent years, control and reject illegal immigration.
8. Health care in Italy
Provide medical care to Italian residents abroad when they return temporarily to Italy. Italian citizens must have free access to the health care system in the country even if their residence is abroad.
9. Reopening of Consulates and reassignment of personnel.
Regarding the need to strengthen the consular network, it is necessary to reopen the consulates that have been closed in recent years. For example: Montevideo (Uruguay), Newark (USA), St. Gallen (Switzerland). And to open new consulates in territories with large Italian communities such as, for example, the Brazilian states of Espiritu Santo and Santa Catarina.
10. Protection of new mobility.
Globalization involves mobility: workers, researchers, students and professionals look for job opportunities in other countries, for this reason, there are so many young Italians who go abroad or Italians born abroad who temporarily move their residence to other countries. Furthermore, there are also migrations deriving from political or economic crises (as in Venezuela). It is necessary to reform the AIRE (the Registry of Italians Residents Abroad), in order to combat this phenomenon more effectively and protect the rights of the migrating Italian citizens.