It’s fairly easy to take pot shots at disorganized, often badly run, corrupt Italy, but there are plenty of aspects of the country which deserve praise and support.
One shining example of Italy at its best, is the National Association of Virtuous Municipalities, or Associazione Dei Comuni Virtuosi, to give it its Italian title. Founded in 2005 by 4 local councils, the association now counts 69 members.
What exactly is Italy’s Association of Virtuous Local Councils? Well, it’s an organisation which encourages administrative excellence and environment sensitivity within local government. Sustainable government, perhaps? Probably, and you may well agree when you discover some of the association’s aims, which are to encourage:
- a “Zero Waste” strategy – Recycling as much as possible
- a “Zero Growth” urban plan to limit necessary expansion
- EMAS Certification
- Municipal Energy Planning
- Ethical and sustainable Urban Regulation
- Sustainable mobility
Above all, the association wants to harmonize the work of councils which strive to look after Italy’s natural environment and seek to raise the quality of life for their residents. In other words, councils which have been accepted into the association are examples of governance which works and are also local authorities that are working to protect one of Italy’s greatest assets – its environment. In fact, to promote virtuous governance, the association runs the ‘Other School of Administration‘.
Acceptance into the association is is not automatic. There are more than 8,000 local councils in Italy, so there’s still quite a way to go before all Italy’s councils can be considered virtuous. Even so, it’s a start.
A Good Place to Start
For foreign organisations looking to invest in Italy, trying to understand which local authorities are likely to be supportive of certain projects and won’t request, er, down-payments in unmarked banknotes, is not at all easy. Well, a good place to start is probably the councils which have become part of the National Association of Virtuous Municipalities.
A list of the association’s members can be found on the right hand side of this page – National Association of Virtuous Municipalities Members
For promoting virtuous government and helping preserve Italy’s lovely natural environment, Italy’s National Association of Virtuous Municipalities easily qualifies as a Good Italian Thing.
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