A step forward in promoting legality in Emilia Romagna

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Bologna, Italy, November 2016 – As Italy strives to curb the Mafia economy and promote legality, the Emilia Romagna Region has recently made a significant contribution by producing a framework document summarising all the regional measures that can be used to this end.

Titled Single Text for the Promotion of Legality and Enhancement of Citizenship and Responsible Economy, this document was officially released on 26 October. It is the first time in Italy that such work is carried out by a region to promote legality. The objective is to reduce red tape and encourage local enterprises and citizens to contribute to this endeavour.

The ‘Single Text’ summarises in 49 articles the 170 measures of the regional legislation that are relative to legality, security, and the fight against illegal phenomena. It is part of the comprehensive regional security plan, and includes innovative measures to promote legality in economic exchanges and support citizens, notably victims of racket.

The President of the Region, Stefano Bonaccini, said it was “a significant step in the fight against the Mafia and criminal organisations,” during a press conference in Bologna, the regional capital, on 26 October.

One of the measures presented as part of the region’s comprehensive strategy is the fact that economic associations and the construction industry have been included in the “Charter of Corporate Responsibility Principles”, with the objective of guaranteeing transparency in public or private tenders. Law-abiding companies will be included in a “List of Honourable Enterprises and Economic Agents”, a move aimed at encouraging contractors to resort to these companies rather than to unlisted ones.

Regarding citizens, the Region set up a scheme whereby employees of companies that are under investigation are guaranteed to keep their job. More broadly, the creation of a citizen network and an Observatory on Crime will also contribute to the fight against the “virus of illegality,” said Massimo Mezzeti, regional elected official in charge of Policies for Legality.

Regional authorities have included in the Single Text a chapter on gambling and gambling addiction, which can drive people to fall prey of loan sharks. A special support programme has been set up for victims. Moreover, it is now forbidden to open betting and gaming rooms in areas listed as “sensitive”, e.g. near schools or other places where young people gather.

Another interesting aspect concerns the protection of the environment. There will now be stricter control and tighter cooperation between regional authorities and agencies in charge of the surveillance, prevention and sanction of environmental offences, notably those affecting forests.