The flows decree for the year 2022 will be updated soon, increasing the number of people who will be allowed to stay in Italy for work purposes. Through statements, Undersecretary Molteni and Minister Lamorgese give evidence of this future change to the previously established quotas.
What does the flows decree state?
The flows decree is the administrative act by which the government establishes each year a quota of non-EU foreign citizens who can enter Italy for work reasons (seasonal work, and non-seasonal work or self-employment).
For the current year, a decree on migration flows had already been published on the Official Gazzette on 17 January 2022, determining a total share of permits to work equal to 69.700 units, to be split among different category of workers. Furthermore, the Italian government had established a specific period for the submission of the application, setting a deadline for 27 January 2022 for some type of workers and 17 March 2022 for others.
However, with the interministerial memo n.2477 of 16 March 2022, the authorities have further extended to 30 September 2022 the deadline for the submission of some applications – among which the conversions of existing permits into permits for subordinate or autonomous work – in order to enable the submission of further requests.
Why does Italy need a new flows decree?
Due to the recent labor shortage in Italy, Italian authorities have communicated that it will be necessary to take in more foreign workers: hence, the importance to draft a new flows decree. This was recently announced by Interior Undersecretary Nicola Molteni, responding to an interpellation to the House Constitutional Affairs Committee. Molteni explained that the enactment of the measure is necessary “to correspond promptly to the requests coming from the productive world.”
The number of units will be higher than the last decree, and the Prime Minister’s Office for the year 2022 is working on it. This was announced on June 4th by Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese during the concluding press conference of the Med5 summit on immigration, together with four other Mediterranean countries.
The minister also stated the following
“Work is being done and the possibility of speeding up procedures is being verified, because there is a lack of personnel in specific areas.”
Extract of an Interview with Minister Lamorgese on the 2nd of June
The risk of “a humanitarian emergency with increased migration flows at Europe’s borders,” is not easy for the EU to control “without a common solidarity response.” On the eve of the Venice summit where ministers of the interior from the Mediterranean countries will ask Europe to extend to flows from the Mediterranean, the solidarity pact applied to Ukrainian refugees, Luciana Lamorgese announces the expansion of legal entry channels into Italy. “The government is working to launch the next decreto flussi that will have to take into account the growing needs of various economic sectors.”
“Migration driven by economic and climatic factors cannot be erased but can also be governed by expanding legal entry channels with quotas of seasonal and skilled labor that, among other things, European economies need. Europe cannot imagine being able to take in all economic migrants who intend to set out from Africa and some Asian countries. That is why the EU must quickly step up its efforts to prepare a plan based on strategic partnerships to support the social stability and economic development of the countries of origin and transit of migratory flows.”
What changes from the previous flows decrees
The last flows decree had already doubled the number of foreigners who would be allowed to cross the border of our country for work purposes for 2022 (69,700 units, including more than 40,000 dedicated to seasonal workers) when compared to those of the past years. But more would be needed to better fill the vacancies. The Undersecretary of the Interior pointed out that for the previous decree, 205,000 applications were received, compared to the 69,700 allowed, among which more than 98,000 applications for seasonal work (compared to 42,000 units allowed).