My reflections on the international municipal movement
Giulio Dolchi - Former Mayor of Aosta and promoter of Municipal Movement in Italy
By Gian Paolo Morello, Secretary General of C.I.C.U. “Comitato Italiano Città Unite”, Former Secretary General of the UTO 2001-2003
It is to Giulio Dolchi that I owe my first steps in the labyrinth of initiatives to promote and support the approach and recognition of the municipal movement before the International Community and the United Nations. Giulio Dolchi or “Dudo” (former Resistance war name) was from 1946 elected representative for Aosta for 24 years and between 1954 and 1966 Communist Mayor of the City. On the basis of the objectives established by Jean Marie Bressand, Giulio Dolchi built a network of towns and cities in Italy (the Italian section of the FMVJ later the UTO) committed to “a world in which everyone spoke his/her language plus a second language, with a basic goal of creating the necessary conditions so that everybody could understand one another”. I would therefore like to take the opportunity to commemorate “Dudo” to whom I owe my beginning in the international network of local governments.
My first steps in understanding this world then led me to Lille in 1998 for the 15th Congress of UTO after which I began working on the reorganisation of the Italian section of UTO alongside President Mercedes Bresso (at the time President of the Province of Turin). In my role as Secretary General of CICU, I took part in the UTO debate on the dialogue with IULA and in the creation of new cooperation projects for UTO.
Working with Mercedes Bresso was my real baptism and introduction to the international politics of local elected representatives. Over the three years that followed, I worked alongside Jeremy Smith (at the time Secretary General of IULA) on the conditions of the fusion of UTO and IULA, along with Metropolis, that led us to Paris in 2004 and the founding Congress of the new organization. The beginnings of the new organization were marked by differences of language, policies and origins between UTO and IULA, for example the organisation of regional sections caused several debates. The historic heritage of UTO, based on twinning and direct action by elected representatives, led to the creation of the Committees.
I would like to thank the former UTO team (some of whom are still active today within UCLG), as well as the friends of Cités Unies France for having helped me to complete the task that was accorded to me.
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