An overlook

by Eugenio Torrese


Differently from the other two preceding Reports, the length of time considered in the present edition spans from 2003 to 2005 (up to the 31 st of december). It is thus a three-year span that constitues, for the great deal of data and the important changes, a compelling task for its analysis and interpretation.

The most important change is represented by the widening of the European Community to 25, occurred on the 1st of May 2004, shortly preceding the next one, planned for the 1st of January 2007, with the entrance of Romania and Bulgary.

Therefore, aside the elaboration of a triennal period, we have to assure the necessary distinctions, already regulated on a legal level, yet still extremely demanding our attention from the point of view of society and human mobility. The example is represented by what media call the “polish hydraulic engineer invasion syndrome”. Such worries, as some might recall, led to the individuation of a different regime for countries newly included in the Union ( Paesi neocomunitari ), with the application of transitory norms, based in Italy on the definition of distinct entrance quota, yet of the same entity (170.000) of the one regarding the non-communitarian. The country who has registered the most consistent flux of entrance has been the Great Britain, with about 600.000 unities and with an incidence of 62% of people coming from Polony. Concerning Italy, it has not been registered a similar movement and, still regarding Polony, the number of entrances has not registered significant growths: in 2003 ISTAT counted 40.314 residents, in 2004 50.794 and in 2005 60.823.

The second change is represented by the “great regularization”, happened in 2002, which in 2003 has consolidated and led to a chain reaction of furtherly raising and giving a larger visibility of both the presences (as happened before) and the requests of family reconjuction.

The trend

Before moving forward to show some logistic issues that cannot be ignored for the interpretation of subsequent elaborations, we ask to pay attention on what seem to be the trends, confirmed by datas: the numbers increase, the stabilization registers high levels, if we think of the two main reasons of permit request (work and family), the number of sons arrived and born in Italy increases.

We have therefore to face a further necessary change of mentality: from contingency to structurality, and the awareness that Italy is nowadays a highly developed country, a constant shore for of immigration. Adequate decisions, according to the consequent responsabilities, are now necessary, besides being an expression of national and social maturity. In other words, we have to shift from an exploitative view of immigration (an increasing elderly age for italians, the urgent need of workers for companies facing failure), to a more wordlwide view of a country, seen in his economic, social and cultural processes and in his consequent need for adequate immediate and future resolutions.

Statistic suffering

In december 2005 ( ), the head director of ISTAT, Linda Laura Sabbadini, during an important meeting on foreign presence in Italy, declared that regarding statistic observation a “copernican revolution” was needed, adding that it was necessary to give “equal opportunities in official statistics regarding italians”(Ibidem). The necessity expressed is based on a situation demanding a change in the method of data recollection concerning foreign presence in Italy: multiple and not necessarily agreening sources, the prevalence of an administrative approach to such sources, different times and methods of spread.

The publication of data concerning the 2005 demografic survey, which took place in this year's October, was an important signal that gives us hopes for the future.

Menwhile, we have to keep in mind that is impossible, as in this case, to draw premises punctual to presentations of data and observations, as the comparisons must be accompanied by a still elevated number of warnings and specifications.

National data

How many are the immigrants?

Up to now, it is still difficult to carefully answer to such a simple question. In fact, ISTAT relies on data regarding immigrants given by the communal registry offices every 31 st of December each year, organized by nationality, but still does not apply this distinction to minors and babies. On the other hand, Caritas, with its report on a national level, now at its 16 th edition, and Fondazione ISMU , at its 11 th , supply esteems, relying on data from Ministero dell'Interno and ISTAT. In addition to that, Caritas also publishes its data on the 31 st of December each year, While ISMU does it on the 1 st of July.

Comparisons become therefore unreliable and have to be labeled as “indicative”. In 2003 2.193.999 immigrants with an alllowance to stay are registered, in 2004 the whole esteem raises to 2.786.340, while by the end of 2005 the number goes to 2.271.680. It may seem a reduction, but the esteem proposed by Caritas raises the number to 3.035.144 persons. (cfr. Dossier Caritas 2006, pp. 107 - 108). The progression is thus confirmed, even if there are differences between informations from ISTAT and Ministero dell'Interno , mainly caused by different methods of work and release of permits, children and babies registration, insertion difficulties determined by a housing problems, which are often ground for exploitation. ISTAT therefore offers in his survey the following numbers: 2003 with 1.990.159 foreign residents, 2004 with 2.402.157 and 2005 with 2.670.154.

In all of the three relevations we must keep in mind that we consider everyone having a non-italian citizenship, embracing therefore all citizen without distinction between communitarian country and non-communitarian country, whether their countries with a strong migration pression ( Paesi a forte pressione migratoria – Pfpm ) or not. It is then the juridic condition to be the main variable factor in the analysis.

According to the Dossier Caritas 2006 , women who have obtained the allowance to stay for working reasons, by the end of 2005 are the 46,3%, opposite a 44,9% for family reconjunction. This double percentage contains the two main aspects of immigration in Italy: the feminization of the migratory movement and the role women play in the “migratory project”. Besides women coming from Eastern Europe, particularly Ucraina, the bolivian presence is also strongly feminized, in the province. Those two facts are different from cultural base and for the reasons of the migratory “choice”: the first ones with specific, short-term projects, the second ones with a long-term temporality, if not definitive, with plans of general improvement and with an effect of callback of the kinsmen. The opposite happens for women coming from Marocco, for example, who migrate in order to follow the men, already inserted.

The declination of the one-way masculine immigration, therefore, not only must be carefully verified (even in the recent decades some different nationalities presented such characteristics), but also requires to understand that feminine migration causes deep changes in the family structures in the country of departure (broken families) and in the one of arrival (recomposed families, but with different roles and status among the adults of the group; cases of interrupted pregnancy and “delayed love”). We must add to that the presence, among some groups, of poorly educated and poorly socialized women (sometimes even isolated), which make a significant portion of the world of immigration.

Minors, that means reconjuncted children that arrived in Italy and babies who are born here, are a significant portion of humanity that administrative surveys only seldom include. In Italy they represent the 19,3% of immigrants, while in the province the percentage grows to 25%. Bergamo then fits in the territorial dynamics which see the North prevail with a stronger presence, differently from the Centre and the South, and Lombardia that registers a 21,3% . We are near to the general guidelines, yet with a stronger incidence percentage.

Such a reality shows two important dynamics: the stabilization of the “migratory project” and the presence of diffuse family structures. Through this presence, the different nationalities show different choices, which are compelling for adults and the local society.

Regarding this, on a provincial level we cannot ignore the recent research carried out by the Settore Politiche Sociali of the Provincia di Bergamo : "Figli di immigrati, conoscenza ed azione per favorire l'integrazione" . It represents a “photography” and a first overview that has registered a significant presence in various aspects of local society and in the meantime drew attention on unaccompanied minors (a reality difficult to deal with) and proposed paths of intervention.

The participations of the presentation meeting have furtherly enriched the area of knowledge and proposal, with the principle that is not necessary to give a new charge to the commitment, but instead to change approach, because with immigrants'children, immigration starts to be a “natural” part of society.

Composition by nationality of arrival

On a national level the graduatory of presences in the triennal period sees an important change, which needs careful attention not only from the planners and operators, but from the immigrants as well, who experience significant changes within the statistic reality that concerns them.

By the end of 2003 we witness, in fact, the prevail of Romania and Albania over Marocco, in terms of places in a graduatory (those places switch if we refer to residential data: Albania, Marocco and then Romania), and Ucraina follows right after Marocco. That is to say, Eastern Europe, with regularization, changes the geography of departures, with all the consequent effects: rapidity, different “migratory project” and different relationship with the country of departure. In 2004 (we rely on data on residents, lacking on that on allowance to stay) we register a sign of continuity, with a growing number of chinese residents. By the end of 2005 the Dossier Caritas confirms the known trends, which find in the growing number of residents the consolidation of long-term choices.

In the province of Bergamo the triennal period highlights, as for the residents, a lack of significant changes from the general positions, which see in order Marocco, Albania, Senegal, Romania, India, but registers a diversified rhythm according to these progressions: Marocco from 11.427 presences in 2003 to 15.019 in 2005; Romania from 3227 in 2003 to 5436 in 2005; Albania from 6518 in 2003 to 8831 in 2005; India from 2363 in 2003 to 3975 in 2005; Senegal with the minimal progression, registering a plus 1210 in 2005, shifting from 6076 in 2003 to 7286 in 2005. If we compare the 2005 data with the year of regularization, then the progressions for Romania and India are respectively 288% and 125,7%, Albania + 77,5%, Marocco + 54,5%, Senegal + 47%.

The diversified rhythm emerged from the analysis per nationality assumes a more relevant meaning if we consider the progression in the whole provincial territory. In fact, from 1995 to 1999 we register a constant progression, yet not accelerated, shifting from 9.660 in the first year to 19.460 in the last one (+10.000 in 5 years); in the subsequent two years the number doubles, with more than 9.409, while in the subsequent four years the 10.000 more unities are registered with an annual progression.
The specifity of Bergamo is constituted by the presence of Bolivians. ISTAT, ISMU and Caritas elaborations (including the regional observatory) do not register this relevant particularity, because of the sources used and the method of relevation. Such a presence is in fact definitely exceptional, outnumbering in the main city the total number of foreign residents and offering a relationship between regualrity/irregularity completely opposite from the norm, with the 80% for the second factor. Provincial data, elaborated by the regional observatory, point out a relevant link between territory and presence of the bolivian collective, but are far from denouncing its actual importance and meaning other than the effects on statistic elaborations. According to a survey made by the

Agenzia per l'integrazione , the presence of bolivians by the end of 2004 was esteemed of about 10.000 unities, with a relationship between regularity and irregularity of 80% for the second factor. By the end of 2005 the presence is certainly increased, and so the rate of irregularity.

This specifity also has an important effect on statistic elaborations revealed up to now, as it directly records on the rate of presence in relation with the other nationalities and in relation with italians. In fact, if we consider the esteem pointed out (lower than the survey and than the arrivals in the Bergamo area), then in relation with the data of residents we well see that the number of present bolivians is greater than the number of resident immigrants, and the same relationship between regularity and irregularity esteemed by the regional observatory (28 irregulars on 100 in 2005) should be recalculated with results more oriented toward the second factor. Lastly, this data make those registered on a provincial level increase, and focus regional and national attention on Bergamo as the “capital” of bolivians in Italy.

Therefore Bergamo is a chosen hometown for bolivians, a city of hope for a better future, although signs of alert are not lacking (competition with other collectives in the area of healthcare and elderly care); starting from the 1 st of January 2007 a visa will be mandatory and in Bergamo the activity will be probably started by the honorary cunsul of Bolivia: a confirmation and an auspice.

Two important takeovers

The takeover, besides the structural variables (gender, age…) is one of the turning points in the knowledge of this phenomenon. It signals not only present trends, but helps us to draw a wider picture of the territory and its important diversifications, which, along with the origin, are an essential informative source for elaboration and realization of adequate policies of sector and territory.

Within the national configuration, it constantly emerges the image of a country attracting immigrants in the North, much more than in the centre and South (G.C. Blangiardo, P. Farina, Il mezzogiorno dopo la grande regolarizzazione, immagini e problematiche dell'immigrazione , F. Angeli, 2006). And within the North, Lombardia is the region having the higher numbers. The record is strengthened as is the territorial division registering the higher number of presences. In Lombadia, that is to say, are registered 502.610 allowed to stay (source Dossier Caritas 2003 ), equal to the 22,9% of the national total, and a gathering in the province surrounding Milano of 49%; in 2004 ( Dossier Caritas 2004 ) the esteem amounts to 652.563, which means the 23,4% of the national total, with a density decreasing for the third subsequent year and touching the 46,6%.

Recalling the elaborations made by the Osservatorio Regionale per l'integrazione e la multietnicità (ORIM) , we have a different esteem of the presences, but what is even more important is represented by the considerable increase registered, from 647.600 (1/07/2004) to 794.200 (1/07/2005) with an increase of the 23%: “an extraordinary growth…that has no previous” (pag. 31, Osservatorio Regionale per l'integrazione e la multietnicità, Rapporto 2005. Gli immigrati in Lombardia , Mi, 2006). For the demographer Blangiardo we swing between a minimum of 776.000 and a maximum of 812.000 unities, with an increase of absolute value of 150.000 people.

The internal regional graduatory confirms the collocation of Bergamo on the third place, after Milano and Brescia. The quantification made in various observatories registers differences, even meaningful, but doesn't change the order: for the three years considered, we have Marocco, Albania, Romania, Egypt and Philippines.

In the passage to the territorial reality of the province of Bergamo, we notice that, as observed by A.Rinaldi, the territorial distribution presents two specific aspects. The first one is represented by the area of Zingonia (Osio Sotto, Ciserano, Verdello, Verzellino, Boltiere); the second one is the concentration of bolivian presence in Bergamo and, inside it, within the first Circoscrizione .

These are two takeovers that show many differences, once we deepen the analysis. The gender percentage registers a males prevailing in Zingonia, while the bolivian migration is a feminized one, followed by the subsequent family reconjunction; the migration in Zingonia, particularly that of the senegaleses, is marked by a temporarity, even if a long one, while for bolivians the country left behind is a land of no return; the presence of minors is larger among the bolivians, for whom also the rate of irregularity is higher, differently from the senegaleses, who register anyway a significant percentage. Migration mainly masculine and mainly feminine connote the current migratory condition (as for the bolivian broken families, the senegalese ones are bilocal) and the future development of these groups; internal networks show strong signs of vitality, but even of ambivalence (the positive visions of social capital are not always confirmed), and the risky (alcoholism) or deviate (drug dealing) behaviours require a more careful reflection to avoid considering social and cultural phenomena only in terms of control/contrast, whereas of government.


The attention on this area must consider not only the structural dynamics, but also the conjunctures. This is particularly true reffering to the triennal period we have taken in exam. Three are the major factors that are worth of consideration: 2004 and 2005 have been years of a very reduced growth; the economy of the Bergamo area registered the effects of emerging countries; the number of accidents and casualties on the working place increased.

Annual relations made by Camera di Commercio signaled the conjunctural course, while the Centri per l'impiego registered the arrivals and departure movement of immigrant workers.

An orientative reading of the amount of data and information supplied by the Report draws attention on some dimensions of the phenomenon and some economic dynamics and their consolidation.


The CPI data, along with the Excelsior survey and the campionary study made by the Osservatorio regionale per l'integrazione e la multietnicità , confirms that immigrants are a stable and essential part of the labor market. Such a condition is found particularly in the fields of manufacture and building (cfr. data from Edilcassa and Cassa Edile ) and services.

The percentage of gender varies according to the type of work (males for building, females for assistance and care) and to the type of contract (mostly undetermined for men, mostly determined for women). The contractual conditions vary (from regular to irregular) and the retributions depend on both the cited factors and the working relationships that are created beyond the visible. The recent survey made on a national scale (R. Bichi, L. Zanfrini, E. Zucchetti, Il Mezzogiorno dopo la grande regolarizzazione, la domanda di lavoro immigrato e il ruolo degli attori locali , F. Angeli, 2006) not only confirms this situation, but also signals that the economy and the structure of production and companies in the North favor a better rate of regularity compared to the South, even though in some areas where for example the employer is represented by a family, the rate lowers without significant territorial differences.

We must lastly remark that the CPI province survey shows a resumption of undetermined time contracts (cfr. L'Eco di Bergamo , 9 agosto 2006). The analysis of 2006 and those following will enable to understand if a change of trend took place in the critical two years (2004-2005), as registered in other areas.

An important aspect that this Report does not allow to study, due to the lack of data, is the level of trade-union between immigrants. As on a national level one out of ten of the workers enrolled in trade-union confederations is an immigrant, this is a fact that must be read from the point of view of labor market dynamics, but also of the integration process, without any simplicistic or linear approach.

Independent job

A chapter of its own needs to be dedicated to the enrollments to the Registro delle imprese . The enrollment, with its appropriate increase, shows not only a positive signal, but also an already consolidated diversification (nationality of the enrolled).

Some data can give a meaning to this trend: from 2003 to 2006 we move from 568 to 1.463 holders of individual enterprises, while companies with nominated foreigners pass from 128 to 291. In the individual enterprises the most relevant progressions are: Marocco from 133 (2003) to 296 (2006), Albania from 75 to 218, Romania from 25 to 146, Egypt from 32 to 106 and Senegal from 52 to 100. Those numbers register an evident increase of presence, but the comparison with data concerning the arrival (mainly for the building area) suggest that an independent job is chosen due to its functionality to the characteristics of working relations (cfr. the survey made in the area of Bologna contained in A. Megale and others, Immigrazione e sindacato, IV Rapporto , Ediesse, Roma, 2006). The chinese independent occupation requires a different category, as according the national surveys made by Camera di Commercio of Milano (for 2004 and partially for 2005) it has a national aspect and a presence mainly in the areas of manifacture, commerce and restoration.

The data for this area (furtherly enriched by the research made by this year's Dossier Caritas 2006 – CNA on the world of handicraft of immigrants) can be read in two ways: as a manifestation of a presence, or either comparing the observation with other considerations that invite us to look at this reality with new economic actors. New actors that either mark with numbers and cultures a presence in various sectors, or as in the case of chinese traders, settle in the territory occupying places that respond with an offer of their own to a particolar cunsumer request.

If we follow the first interpretation, we prefer the observation for its own sake, mainly based on the registration of new presences; on the other hand, if we prefer the second interpretation, we see the new economic and production actors as generators of requests that employment associations should take in consideration beyond the mere data and information recollection and spread, and the service offered . Three factors agree with the second hypothesis:

The summer and fall debate on little enterprises, promoted by Il Sole 24 Ore , where some interventions (cfr.. De Rita) focused on the immigrant's entrepreneurial ability, as a tool for the processes of integration and paid attention on immigrants not only as welfare subjects, but as significant clients for credit and consumption.

The occurrence of cases of discrimination, probably the top of an iceberg (cfr. UNAR, Un anno di attività contro la discriminazione razziale - Rapporto 2005 and the survey presented by M. A. Bernardotti on the case of nurses in A. Megale and others, Immigrazione e sindacato... , op. cit).

We have therefore to begin a mature and aware intervention in order to improve the new presence with its social and cultural, other than economic, implications, requiring a combination of practical action and the overcoming of an exploitational view of the immigrants.

An alarming data: accidents

A recent alert has been sent by ASL and trade unions about work accidents. 2006 presents itself up to now with a rate higher than the one of 2005. It's an alarming fact that demands the attention of experts, politicians and specialists, as proven by an appropriate meeting which took place in july 2006, promoted by ASL; the congress drew everyone's attention and invited all the participants to plan an adequate resolution, since the number of work accidents (mostly regarding adults, but also young people) is a sign of personnel management merely intended to assure economic results, in spite of a modern culture of work.

Provincial data contributes to the general national picture, monitored by INAIL with its annual surveys. In its most recent, concerning 2005, Lombardia is at the first place among the regions for number of “accidents occurred to immigrant workers”, 24.149 (21,8% of the national total), 35 of which fatal (25,4%). In the area of Bergamo the total number of accidents in the triennal period considered is such: 3.339 in 2003, 3.531 in 2004, 3.355 in 2005, of which, repectively, 9, 3 and 3 fatal. INAIL's analysis, unfortunately, has no doubts: “in relative terms, which are meaningful due to the degree of risk typical of this community of workers, we must keep in mind that all rates elabored in recent occasions, highlight that for incidence (number of workers/assured) and for frequence (reffered to workers/year, that means unity of work representative/temporal exposure to risk), the values regarding immigrants are clearly higher (50-60%) than those regarding italian workers” (INAIL, Rapporto 2005 , pag.31).

Welfare and immigration

Welfare, as scholastic system, is still the area of major intervention for immigration. A picture of the interventions comprised in the special laws and in the 328/2000, made by the preceding Report, find its own continuity with the present edition. Differently from the previous synthesis, the first triennal period of planning has been realized and the plans for 2006-2008 have been approved, with a relevant new: the drastic decrease of funds of the law 40 and the beginning of the last year of social activity of the law 285/97.

These changes raise various obstacles for territories and subjects operating for a long time in the immigration area, longing for announced normative changes.

Three are the main activities in this area:

  • acceptance
  • front office
  • mediation

Acceptance is one of the pillars of local welfare. Relevations made by the regional observatory allow us to have a picture of the offer, related to the situation of the whole territory of Lombardia. In the triennal period in exam is possible to notice that aside the known structures ( Ass. Comunità Ruah onlus , Galgario ), the offer for women and women with minors has increased, with La Battaina in Urgnano, Casa Giliana in Brembate Sopra, and with two apartments, made available with the project "La casa del Borgo" ( Coop. Migrantes - Comune di Bergamo ). This is a sector always hardly responding, especially during winter, and always needy for huge resources for acquisition and restructure. A new structure is planned to be added for the VI Circoscrizione in the plan of the public works for Bergamo.

Added to the first acceptance, there must be a second one, in order to allow projects of progressive self-sufficiency of the subjects. The activity of Associazione Casa Amica is an intermediate step, as its project "Una casa a colori" works for the restructure of apartments, thus offering a solution to social uneasiness and temporary housing problems, in order to host and at the same time activate the resources of the subjects engaged.

Front office data coordination allows to have the pulse of the development of the territorial presence, being in many cases the strongest contact between immigrants and services. The numer of employess, the links and connections engaged, the activities of volunteers are the backbone of this capillar intervention, which connects the services with the Questura, often functioning as some sort of ‘airbag', as immigrants and operators know very well.

To the front office activity ASL, ASGI, together with the Settore Politiche Sociali of the Provincia di Bergamo , have in the recent years assured a formation on current themes, so to guerantee always increasing skills and a high preparation for operators engaged in this area of intervention.

Mediation deals with a large use of all available economic resources, for schooling and social reasons and healthcare.

The methods of intervention vary according to the offer, yet a replanning, not only due to the progressive decrease of funds, is mandatory, so to enable not only ad hoc interventions, but also to allow larger and more culturally aware forms of intervention.

Alphabetization of the adults is a part of the territorial plannings. This is an activity somewhere in between the system of formation and that of social intervention (law 40). The value of such activities is certainly social for its beneficiaries and users: to give tools of orientation and create places of socialization for weaker collectives, such as women, especially uneducated ones. Assistance and elderly care, in spite being an important part of the italian welfare, remains a difficult ground of intervention. Formation and connections between request (families) and offer (mainly immigrants) are the two factors activated up to now in the province. The juridic status, the large presence of irregular work conditions, the competition between different nationalities and especially the feminization of this area of work make the phenomenon particularly complex, with actions still now below the local attempt, therefore to appreciate for its nature.
A final consideration has to be done for the sake of offering reflections and ideas of further intervention for administrators, operators and immigrants. We refer to an healthy relationship between immigration and local society. Until now, welfare, with its human, cultural and economic resources (reduced in time, cfr. Dossier statistico immigrazione 2006 of Caritas and Migrantes ), seems to be the only way of intervention; its results are undeniable, especially if we think of the territorial synergies, directed toward a local welfare. Yet still, it remains a sectorial policy, even though extremely meaningful, not to be confused with always more required territorial policies. The latter have to be intended as choices and strategies enacted by administrations and local actors (including the world of profit and no profit enterprises) , with all forms of participation allowed by the norms or planned and carried out locally, designed having in mind the immigrants, and not only a special charter theme; in other words, thinking of immigrants not only as targets of the social services and their consequent specific regulations, but as part of the collectivity (the documentation on credit enclosed in the Report is an exemple of that), dealing with all forms of communication and connection, reciprocally enriching, so to facilitate integration and cohesion within society.

The world of the school

Even in this area, Lombardia is at the first place on a national level. In fact, according to Dossier Caritas, during the scholastic year 2003-2004 the region receives a quarter of the national total, the latter being 282.683 foreign pupils, who are in turn the 3,49% of the whole scholastic community, and in the year 2005-2006 the 24,6% of the total, equal to 424.683, corresponding to the 4,8.

In the triennal period considered, schools around Bergamo register the passage from 7867 presences – equal to the 6,1% of the regional total of pupils of non-italian citizenship (a.s. 2003-2004) – to 11.845 – equal to the 7,6% - for the years 2005-2006.

Compared to the total school population of the province, we pass from 6,1% to 7,6%, with an increase of 1,5%.

Relevations examined are not homogenic and therfore do not allow to make deepened comparisons. In fact, only in the first three scholastic years taken in exam (thanks to the third survey "Insieme a scuola" of the Osservatorio Regionale per l'integrazione e la multietnicità , curated by E. Besozzi e M. T. Tiana) is possible to operate the important distinction between pupils born and raised in Italy (more than the 28%) and those arrived from their land of origin and knowing the year of their arrival. These informations allow on one hand to give a statistic shape to a reality that cannot be dismissed without the necessary amount of data and graduations by nationality, on the other they allow to draw various possible “scholastic carreers” that may be prefigured.

If we compare the data concerning the first and the last of the three years is possible to highlight certain positions that, in connection to the ones included in the Report, enrich the whole picture concernine nationalities and presences within the province's school system.

In the school of infancy we register for the scholastic year 2003-2004 a presence of the 22,8% of the total of non-italian pupils, the 43,3% in primary schools, the 22,8% in the secondary of 1st grade, the 11,2% in the superior secondary and lastly 211 universitary students.

For the year 2005-2006 we register: for the school of infancy the 20,5%, in the primary the 40,5%, in the secondary of 1 st grade the 23,8% and in that of 2 nd grade the 15,4%. For the University, the number of students reaches 344.

For what concerns the 5 nationalities with the higher number of students in the different grades, we witness such variations: in the year 2003-2004 from the infancy school to the secondary of 2nd grade the graduatory does not change: Marocco, Albania, Romania, Bolivia, India; for the University, the order is instead: Albania, Marocco, Romania, Bolivia, Bosnia.

In the scholastic year 2005-2006 we register such mutations:

-School of infancy with Marocco, Albania, Senegal, Romania, India;

-Primary school with Marocco, Albania, Romania, Bolivia, Senegal;

-Secondary 1st grade with Marocco, Albania, Romania, Bolivia, India;

-Secondary superior with Marocco, Albania, Bolivia, Romania, Senegal;

-University with the same composition and graduatory order of the year compared with. In both relevations examined we must point out the difference between the students of albanese nationality, respectively 117 and 160, and Marocco that, at the second place, registers respectively 13 and 21 students.

The data analysis demands attention on the comparison of other aspects: the “scholastic delay” exceeds rate 50% starting from the second year of 1st grade secondary school, till the end of the superior scholastic cycle; the delay registers a decrease of the two compared for primary, going down from 23% to 21,3%, for secondary 1st grade from 56,7% to 52,6%, while for the superiors we rise from 70,5% to 74,8%.

With year 2005-2006 relevation, is possibile to have an image of the presences according to the type of institute: professional and technical institutes prevail with a 82,5% of the total, with the growth of one percentage point confronted with 2003-2004. If we add to this rate the number of students enrolled and attending professional courses, then we can claim that the formation system, along with positive efforts and results, demands a more vigile attention, starting from a wider vision including society and its dynamics. All of this to avoid mistaking the commitment of many for the whole system, what deservingly accomplished for future perspectives. It is necessary to overcome with conviction and decision, the vision operating through immediate solutions for immediate problems, which often prefers functionality to complexity, gestion in spite of pedagogy, performances in spite of formation.

A charter a part, yet integrated in the formative system, is constituted by the education of adults.

Rooted on the Centri Territoriali Permanenti (7 in the province), it offers courses for the title of study (specificly, medium licence) and for a lifelong formation for italians and foreigners. For the latter is possible to acceed to the courses for medium licence, like all italians, and to courses “for foreign citizens for integration and social and linguistic interaction”. On a national level, these centres are strongly present in the North, activated and populated with a consequent number of students. In fact, in the formative year 2003-2004 (data published until now are referred to this year ) we register 44.979 students enrolled in the North, 12.844 in the Centre and 3.926 in the South. In the province of Bergamo, in the year 2004-2005 on a total of 8.324 attending students, 2.652 are enrolled in courses of italian language and 519 in courses for title of study (the rate of foreigner presence is unspecified).

A world of its own is represented by the centre operating within the prison of Bergamo, which not only offers courses, but is also engaged in various activities with partners inside the structure and linked to the territory.

It is therefore an important reality, certainly representing the main offer in terms of structure and professionality, to which we must add the one proposed by the private social services with important associations such as the Associazione Comunità Ruah onlus and the Associazione Arcobaleno as well as other groups (cfr. among the others the census made by Comunità Valle Seriana ) ed offers distributed upon all the provincial territory and partly financed by the law 40.

An additional step towards the qualification of the offer is represented by the project "Certifica il tuo italiano" , recently started, which offers to foreigners the oppurtunity to participate to the tests of certification for the first level of italian linguage proficiency.

Some recurring themes and emerging questions

It seems useful to draw attention on some recurring themes in the everyday praxis of the school system: the arrival during the course of the scholastic year; the level of italian language competences, assumed as a lack in relation to the ncessities required by the formative path; the scarce valorization of the pupils'mother language; the insistence on the emergency of new insertions. This means that institutes are always under “stress” and the experiences matured are never transformed into routine of organization, but always as a confirmation of a “problem”. The research "Figli di immigrati" put in evidence, on the contrary, that the institutes responses are all different and not all of them have the burden of urgency or the constant need of outside help.

Among the emerging questions it seems appropriate to put a too functional attention on the italian as a second language, putting in the background its cultural valence, while paradoxally the attention for the mother language is all directed toward its emotional, affective and cultural value.

The increase of requested evaluations by neuropsychiatrical services demands a vigile attention as it seems to signal an incomprehensible declared impotence to deal with situations and dynamics causing “stress” within the climate and the group of the class. The return of the selection affecting many students sons of immigrants, who often choose professional paths of formation for reasons not necessarily of renounce of more compelling choices. Finally, we must draw attention on cases of discrimination and racism, which may cause closures and negative reactions and accumulations by nationality in some schools, with risks of labeling that may be dangerous for all the system and society.

Market of the house

One of the conditions of the integration process is overcoming the initial phase of arrival with often poor and temporary housing solutions (cfr. Ricerca Censis – Casamonitor ) or tied to “interested solidarity” (the mattress market). All observers agree. An all-italian characteristic of this

condition is represented by the variable “property house”. In other words, coherently with the italian culture of little housing properties, considers such property as a pre-condition. It is well known that this characteristic of our market of the house affects deeply the dynamics of request and offer, also considering that an important factor, the discrimination in the selection of the renter, is typical of this sector and of these dynamics (cfr. UNAR, Un anno di attività contro la discriminazione razziale - Rapporto 2005 ).

The private market presents such characteristics and this is also confirmed by a large amount of empty apartments, while the public offer is largely inferior to the request, and the access to those already constructed (cfr. ALER) is often limited by discriminating decisions.

In this picture we have to include the development of credit for the purchase of the house, representing the main topic in the relationship with immigrant customers for many credit institutes. It is an important signal, not only underlined by sector surveys, but also capable of strengthening the integration processes in various territorial contexts. The projects and activities for the association Casa Amica are very important for their interactions with local administrations in order to widen the public patrimony and the residential patrimony with a fixed ceiling price, assuring the owners about the respect of contractual agreements and for the building's restructure expenses and lastly accompanying the immigrants in the credit access.

A brief note has to be made, regarding “condominial conflicts”, evidenced even by the local press. The number seems to be growing and to involve neighbours and renters of the public patrimony. Regarding this, it seems appropriate to distinguish between behaviours caused by cultural differences, behaviours caused by lack of experience and, lastly, behaviours that do not fit in the two previous categories and thus have no other justification. This is anyway an area of intervention where more or less articulated mediation actions have been engaged, yet the APPE ( Associazione della Piccola proprietà edilizia ) decision to create a space for the reconciliation and dealt of such conflicts, could be integrated with a specific mediation, based upon these recent years'experence.

Health and care

The data collected for its specific chapter of the Report puts in evidence that the juridical status makes the first difference. The activity of Associazione OIKOS in fact confirms the characteristics (nationality, type…) of the irregularity and its weight on the territory, and also that a response to this presence comes only indirectlty from the healthcare system.

Particular attention must be paid to the data of the Centro di Aiuto alla Vita , which signal a reality of bad information ( jus soli ), of unwanted pregnancies and uncertain perspectives: this October's meeting on health and women's reproduction, organized by the Consiglio delle donne di Bergamo along with other partners, signaled the many aspects of this reality and the feminization of these issues.

On his part, Bergamo health system is facing a change originated by the new users, the immigrants (men, women and minors), but also by two factors: the first are the operators, widely intended, who feel the need of being adequately prepared and efficient in the interaction with people of other cultures, not only regarding the doctor-patient relationship, but also for what concerns diagnosis and cure; the second factor is represented by regional recommendations, which push to realize through different actions, included formation and mediation, intercultural hospital facilities.

Recently, we notice frequent requests of consideration for the mental health and the psychological dimensions of the migratory experience. It is a difficult ground for a proper quantification and comprehension. The public sector perceives the importance of an action, and in the meantime of the inadequacy of the available resources and the necessity to understand the cultural matrix, while on another ground (private and social private) signs of more competence and knowledge are increasing.

A valuable patrimony

The complete examination of the materials composing the Reports, offers an active and lively picture of the province reality. The rhythm of the various areas are different, as the degrees of consciousness and the needs, the commitments and the responsabilities.

This picture gives a clear view of the vivacity of the associations, which are led by italians and/or immigrants. Waiting for a specific and deepened study, we can already register this situation.

The moments of collaborations have increased, even though with cases of protagonism, and as proven by initiatives like Tracce straniere and Altri percorsi promoted by the Comune di Bergamo , paths of artistic expressions are being explored with determination.
It is an important tool and a resource for everyone, that guarantees a good level of communication and transmission of meaning. Two reasons for a real support.

Not just words

Everyone knows the power of images.

Even in this Report we chose to leave a space for this language. Here are presented the faces and gestures of a presence that is stranger and at the same time always more familiar.
the future of our society will depend on the combination of these two dimensions (alterity/familiarity). For this reason the visual languages of images becomes not an essential tool, rather than an ornament.

From integration to possible integrations

Recently the efforts of integration measurement have multiplied. The Commissione Zincone , and before that Censis and CNEL, had begun the proposition of batteries of indicators in order to understand the situation. The demographers (Golini, Blangiardo, Strozza and others) are making a considerable effort in this direction, and on the other hand the Dossier Caritas , along with CNEL are operating in the same direction. While in the first case batteries of indicators are proposed in order to, as authors claim, configure the conditions of integration, in the second case the plan is to combine data referring to the insertion in various areas (work, housing, etc…), in a strong connection with the specific territorial contexts. Both approaches are based on the distinction between “us” and “them”.

The path is still open and promises future developments. For now, to complete this global look, it is advisable to consider two aspects: the passage from singular to plural; the importance of territorial contexts, far from being secondary backgrounds.

On a local level we have to notice the barometer of integration, that starting from available data, puts the question in other terms, focusing on the relationship, that is the heart of this observation: the relationship between italians and immigrants, immigrants and italians. According to insertion indicators (work, housing, territory), to the relations (positive or not) to service access, and to the analysis of different contexts, is possible to draw a measure capable of suggesting previsions and future evolutions. This is a proposal that is possible to know through the surveys made over the triennal period taken in exam.

The theme of citizenship fully enters into this picture, which offers a landscape with different colours. The resultants of the regional survey made through a collection of samples, with details concerning the province, show that the request of citizenship is the main reason of the unstable condition lived nowadays with the allowance to stay and a particularly unsustainable bureaucratic praxis. The measure of linguistic proficiency and the number of years for the request seem to be secondary determinants for the interviewed.

If it is possible to end with a quick, yet temporary formulation, we might say that the relationship between citizenship and integration is not in any way automatic, which makes everything more difficult for everyone.

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