Let him who is without foundation cast the first stone. Could the news cases concerning Matteo Renzi’s Open Foundation and Giovanni Toti’s Change Foundation be just the tip of the iceberg? In theory, yes, given that the phenomenon of political foundations is enormously widespread in the scenario of Italian politics, but the question must be analyzed more in depth. The succession of news regarding investigations on foundations could lead to consider them as something cloudy, born for the purpose of carrying out little commendable maneuvers. Obviously this is not the case: net of any offenses that will have to be proven case by case by the judiciary, the foundation’s tool is, on the contrary, very useful for absolutely deserving purposes.
What are foundations for
In our legal system, foundations are entities with private legal personality, which are born in order to manage assets to pursue specific purposes of social utility. For example, foundations are well-known and highly regarded charitable institutions such as the Daily Bread and the Food Bank, which have as their purpose the supply of food to the poor, the Holy Family, who deals with disabilities, or even the newborn Made Quotidiano Foundation, which the newspaper of the same name uses to support similar solidarity initiatives. All more than lawful, therefore, and also noble. The same applies to foundations with different social purposes, such as those bearing the name of illustrious Italians such as Giovanni Agnelli (social research), Franco Zeffirelli (artistic heritage) or Luigi Einaudi (cultural research). Or those that arise as an offshoot of profit-making companies such as Telecom (social inclusion), Pirelli (historical heritage and corporate culture) o Cariplo (philanthropic activities). A variegated and rich picture above all on the human level, which certainly does not deserve to be assimilated to those who hide unconfessable interests behind the purposes of the facade.
The foundations and the center left
Equally large is the list of foundations linked to politics, of every orientation. Why are there so many? Of course foundations, associations and think-tanks they represent precious tools for weaving transversal relationships between different political alignments, as well as between politics and contiguous worlds (such as information or entrepreneurship), but also to stimulate wide-ranging debates and reflections, which do not have an immediate correspondence in the immediate electoral interest. It is the latter, for example, the purpose of the Inequalities and Diversity Forum that has in Fabrizio Barca his point of reference, but which speaks to the progressive area as a whole, without being strictly bound by the internal logic of the Democratic Party. Other foundations of reference of the center are Italian and Europeans, chaired by Massimo D’Alema, Dems – Democracy Europe Society, superimposable to the current of Minister Dem Andrea Orlando, which however is also part of Ecological Solidarity Transition, And Southern Italy, formed around a manifesto promoted by the former minister Claudio De Vincenti.
Center-right and transversal foundations
Foundations also proliferate outside the center-left camp. By the forc ministers Mara Carfagna And Renato Brunetta were born, respectively, We are free voice And Free Foundation. Farefuturo instead it took shape in the bed of the Brothers of Italy and is chaired by the senator Adolfo Urso, while the Association Rousseau it has been the participatory tool of the Five Star Movement for many years, until Davide Casaleggio And Giuseppe Conte they have not decided to part their ways. There are also various foundations that do not have a precise party position, but rather are based precisely on a transversal vocation, even outside the political sphere. Among the best known are Italy-USA, founded by the journalist Corrado Maria Daclon, and theAspen Institute, in whose steering committee there is a very long list of politicians (including Giuliano Amato, Gianni Letta, Giulio Tremonti And Romano Prodi), journalists (Lucia Annunziata And Paul Honeys) and exponents of the business world (Emma Marcegaglia, Luigi Gubitosi And Marco Tronchetti Provera). Equally polyphonic is the Vedrò Foundation: although it was born on the initiative of Enrico Letta, has seen over time the participation of exponents of other parties such as Angelino Alfano, Maurizio Lupi And Nunzia De Girolamo. All three, together with Orlando del Pd, were part of the government chaired by the current secretary DEM in 2013/14.
The hot topic of political financing
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