There are more than 240,000 foreign citizens who are residents in Milan, representing 18% of the local population.
The foreign residents in the City are from 167 countries, said Pierfrancesco Majorino, Milan's Councillor for Social, Cultural Services and Health.
Filipinos are the biggest foreign community in Milan, with 37,651 residents, followed by Egyptians (32,605) and Chinese (21,344).
Mr. Majorino has launched a series of meetings with representatives of various associations and organizations including representatives of immigrants in order to re-think Milan’s Welfare Plan.
The need for local governments to play leading roles in managing immigration emerged from the meetings. This includes handling emergencies and investing in projects to promote social inclusion.
Mr. Majorino said they have listened to stories of many people who live in Milan. The City’s administration must create a strong link with different international communities in the territory because it’s the most effective way of fighting fear of different people, he said.
He added that Milan must be a place that safeguards and ensures that the rights of all citizens – Italians and foreigners are respected.
Right to life, work, health, housing, education, security, one’s culture, and freedom of worship must be respected, Mr. Majorino said, adding that Milan must bank on the international nature of its residents for the City’s economic, social and cultural development.