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Italy: Lapo Pistelli, “the Development co-operation bill is not aimed at eliminating NGOs nor tax relief for them” 0

Rome – Following an article published on Afronline’s publisher Vita Non Profit – in which some critical aspects of  the new bill on Development Cooperation were highlighted – the Italian Deputy minister of Foreign Affairs, Lapo Pistelli, clarifies some points.

“The idea of repealing Law 49/1987  after 6 months since the approval of the new bill was attentively considered and pondered. The fiscal section is not aimed at eliminating NGOs nor tax relief for them.

“First of all I want to thank VITA for its attention on the reform of Italian Cooperation that we are carrying out after almost 30 years, in order to make it an integral part of our Foreign Policy and to update its instruments and strategies according to European and International Standards.

It is a great effort, it involved several administrations and defined diverse aspects such as resources, tools and professionals.  We think this bill is good: not ideological and aimed at modernizing cooperation and its tools. The driving force for me, after many years working on this topic, was the awareness that state funding to development – in both Italy and Europe – is only a little percentage in a greater picture. Philanthropic foundations, CSOs and NGOs demand a new framework: it was time to turn recommendations of the National Forum on Cooperation and of OECD-DAC into reality.

The exchange with Civil Society organizations is an enriching one, I consider  both the parliamentary debate and the discussion created by magazines such as Vita to be very important.

I would also like to draw the attention on the announced repeal of Law 49 within 6 months from the approval of the new bill. The reason why we have decided to repeal it is to have one comprehensive reform that avoids uncertainties or overlaps with the previous one.

As for the fiscal section, it does not aim at eliminating NGOs or limiting their fiscal benefits. It only defines criteria to assess the competences and experience NGOs have actually acquired on development cooperation and will include a list to be published and periodically updated.”

By Lapo Pistelli, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Italian Republic

Translated by Evelina Urgolo

The original version (in Italian) is here.

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