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Tiziana Caponio (University of Torino and Collegio Carlo Alberto)

4 February 2016 @ 14:00


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4 February 2016
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“Immigrant Integration beyond National Policies? Italian Cities Participation in Transnational Cities Networks”


In the literature on the local dimension of migration policy-making, one can see an emerging interest towards transnational cities networks (TCNs). Networks such as Eurocities can represent policy venues that go beyond the limits of vertical relations between national governments and local authorities to directly lobby EU institutions. Futhermore, TCNs can offer opportunities for policy exchange and learning, leading to the diffusion of policy innovations and best practices.

However, evidence on the concrete functions played by TCNs is still scarce. By focusing on two highly internationalised Italian cities, Milan and Turin, and by taking an actor-centred perspective, this paper highlights how different categories of policy-makers within the municipal administration think about ‘going Europe’. According to our analysis TNCs, rather than accomplishing their official instrumental goals, play primarily symbolic functions like legitimizing local integration policy, building a new city identity, and positioning the city vis-à-vis other European cities and EU institutions. Yet, this does not mean that TNCs are ‘useless’, since the symbolic resources they convey can be crucial in creating consensus among stakeholders at the local level or lobbying national authorities.