“Providing municipalities with adequate tools at a complex time in order to bring institutions closer to citizens”: that’s how Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni described the Polis Project in her speech during the presentation of the Poste Italiane initiative at Nuvola dell’Eur, in front of seven thousand mayors of Italian municipalities with less than 15,000 inhabitants. “The President, Maria Bianca Farina, is right,” he began, “I don’t know if you can see it, but the impact on the people present is extraordinary, exciting not only because of the ocean of tricolour sashes but because of what they represent. It’s like being in front of citizens from all over Italy, it’s fascinating and exciting, and what was said in the Polis presentation video is very true: we know that Italy is based above all on its municipalities, we know that each municipality, regardless of size, latitude, distance from a larger city, is fundamental because it is through those municipalities that we preserve our identity, the greatest of the riches that this nation can boast”.

The importance of municipalities

Meloni recalled how municipalities “have always been the institution closest to the lives of citizens, called upon beyond its competences to respond to any problem. We know that mayors are in the front row of political commitment, the most difficult job that is demanded of anyone who chooses to go into politics and represent their citizens. Allow me to make a joke,” Meloni added, “I managed to be Prime Minister but I never got to be mayor, a position that knows no rest, has no boundaries and almost always lacks the resources necessary for the job. A challenge “that is in many respects more demanding for those who are mayors with fewer than 15,000 inhabitants,” she adds, “because the tools and resources are often scarce. For me, it is a particularly happy experience to be here in a room composed of mayors of municipalities with less than 15,000 inhabitants. To them I would like to express the government’s thanks for the dedication, generosity and creativity with which they often do their best to provide answers to citizens under difficult conditions. To them and to all mayors I want to reiterate the government’s commitment to make their task easier, from simplification to digitisation to abuse of authority: no mayor who wants to give answers should be slowed down or be afraid to give those answers to citizens”.

The Polis Project: “An exemplary model”

Meloni stated that at the current juncture “there is no room for personalism, political quarrels on citizens’ skin: let’s all work together with loyalty because this nation needs the responsibility of its ruling class. The Polis Project responds precisely to this need: to provide municipalities with adequate tools to bring institutions closer to citizens at a complex time. An impressive project,” Meloni continued, “a widespread project, an investment of over €1 billion: €800 million from PNRR, €320 million from Poste. This is a model of all-round collaboration between a strategic national company like Poste and local and central government. A model of innovation and social inclusion for Italy and Europe: this nation can still be an example for others to follow, a model for others to copy”.

“A modern and inclusive Italy with Polis”, according to Meloni

In the video shown in the auditorium, Meloni explained, “they said that “Italy has taught others”, but there is still a lot we can teach: this is a project that teaches others and we consider it very important, because the message it gives is that we want to unite the country, we want to strengthen the ties between inland and central areas, we want to repair the fabric between cities, and guarantee all citizens, regardless of where they live, the same right of access to services that are simple and fast. We are not resigned to the idea that there are first-class and second-class citizens: from Rome to Monelapiano, from Naples to Ingria, there is only one Italy, with equal services and rights for all, one Italy in which the state and its extensions are at the service of all citizens. One Italy that does not give in to depopulation, because it knows that every village and bell tower forms its backbone. One modern, sustainable and inclusive Italy”.

The role of Poste Italiane

Such an ambitious project “could only be carried out by Poste Italiane, an irreplaceable company and ally of the state,” Meloni continues. “An extraordinary resource: Poste is there where often almost everything else is missing. An extraordinary point of reference for Italians, the right hand of institutions, a historic company that has never shied away from modernity.  Polis has two objectives: to create one-stop shops for PA, which will make it possible to use many of the services currently provided in a fragmented manner. Then the 250 spaces in Italy that offer Italians the most extensive network of training and coworking, with an eye on environmental sustainability. A project that looks to the future with a 360º perspective and has noticeable and meaningful impact on the lives of citizens. An initiative that helps us save time: I am proud to spend this morning presenting this project, on the day when it is 100 days of the nation’s government, which it is my honour to lead. And I am happy because time is also the key around which our approach to this adventure revolves.

The big goal

“Taking time to make strategic choices, not being chased by performance anxiety, reflecting,” concluded the Prime Minister. “We have a great goal, a five-year government and one that knows that the medium term can give more effective answers. The strategy is a matter of time, a job we can and must do together, choosing where we must take Italy, which must have a role it deserves on the international stage. We are all rowing in the same direction, that of a great goal: this initiative brings together different people who decide to work together at various institutional levels to make Italy once again a nation that is loved and admired around the world”.