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Normativa Comites Cgie


Normativa Comites Cgie
COMITES & CGIE Legislation


Set up by law no. 368 of 6 November 1989 (amended by law no. 198 of 18 June 1998), and governed by Presidential Decree no. 329 of 14 September 1998, C.G.I.E. plays an advisory role for the Government on important subjects of interest to Italians abroad. It not only represents the first step in the development of the Italian communities’ involvement in the country’s political life abroad, but it is also the fundamental institution permanently connecting them with Italy.

C.G.I.E. meets in Plenary Meetings, Continental Committees and Thematic Committees. It is made up of 94 members, 65 of whom are elected directly by Italians residing abroad every five years through local electoral colleges (the last elections took place in June 2004 on the basis of a geographical division laid down by a Decree of the Minister of Foreign Affairs dated 4 May 2004). Besides elected members there are 29 members appointed through a Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers and nominated by the Italian emigration associations, the political parties with a parliamentary representation, the Trade Unions and the main Italian welfare agencies.

The President of CGIE is the Minister of Foreign Affairs, whereas the following are elective posts: Secretary General (who calls the Plenary Meeting and the Chair Committee, supervises the works and implements the decisions made); the four Deputy Secretary Generals for the three geographical areas (Europe and Northern Africa; Latin America; English-speaking extra European countries) and for the group of members appointed by the Government; the Chair Committee (made up of a total of 17 members), which meets at least 6 times a year.
In the two annual Plenary Meetings, CGIE, an advisory body, examines the problems of the Italian communities abroad, delivers opinions, proposals and recommendations in the field of initiatives of legislation and administration of the State or the Regions, international agreements and community legislation concerning Italian communities abroad. In particular, CGIE delivers compulsory opinion on the Government guidelines concerning the following matters: State appropriations for the communities abroad; multiannual programmes and relating funding for schools politics, professional training, social and social security protection; criteria for granting contributions to national associations, Italian welfare agencies, vocational training institutions; press agencies; TV and radio programmes for the communities abroad; guidelines for the reform of consular, school and social services.


Set up by law no. 205/1985, Com.It.Es. are bodies representing our communities, elected directly by Italians residing abroad in each consular district where at least 3,000 Italian reside; however, the Committees can be appointed by the diplomatic/consular authority in districts where fewer than 3,000 Italians reside.

The legislation concerning has been greatly changed by law no. 286 of 26 October 2003, and by Presidential Decree no. 395 of 29 December 2003 (Executory Decision). The first of the numerous innovations is the introduction of the postal vote in the elections of the Committees; the law refers to the procedures set forth by law no. 459 of 27 December. Therefore, the electoral base is the same as the one for the election of the representatives at the Italian Parliament.

The Com.It.Es. are made up of either 12 or 18 members, depending on whether they are elected in consular districts with 100,000 Italians residing or more, as per the updated list used to elect the representatives at the Italian Parliament. Once elected, the committee can then decide to co-opt 4 or 6 members, foreign citizens of Italian descent.

A particular innovation has been introduced by art. 1, subpara. 2 of law 286/2003, which defines for the first time the Com.It.Es. as "bodies representing Italians abroad in their relationships with the diplomatic/consular missions "; this way their role is enhanced, as much towards the community that they represent, as towards the consular authority. The new law emphathises the close cooperation relations which need to be built between the consular authority and the committees, also through a “regular stream of information”.

As for their functions, Com.It.Es. contribute, also through studies and research, to identify the the needs in terms of social, cultural and civil development of the reference community. Special attention is given to the young people’s participation, equal opportunities, social security, school assistance, professional training, recreational sector, sport and free time.

The committees are also asked to co-operate with the consular authorities in the safeguard of the rights and interests of Italians residing in the consular catchment area. Following the elections of March 2004, there are now 126 Com.It.Es., in 38 countries, 69 of which are in Europe, 23 in Latin America, 4 in Central America , 16 in North America, 7 in Asia and 7 in Africa.