26th February 2015
In 2011 the Provincial Government of
Alicante - Unit of Foreign Citizens launched a programme of integration and
collaboration which it called PROYECTO OPTIMIZA. This is an initiative aimed at policy
makers and technicians of the municipalities in the province of Alicante where
there is a significant percentage of foreign residents. The philosophy of the program is the integration of activities and projects
among the various municipalities in order to optimize the scarce resources
available to the municipalities for a subject as broad as the foreign resident.
The Provincial Government, through the personnel attached to this department,
planned a programme of activities and initiatives which have been very
successful among the foreign community resident in the province.
These activities have included programmess for the promotion of integration, advisory
service and for concerns of attention to the residents, campaigns of
enumeration, information campaigns about paperwork and legality, and language courses in
Spanish. The object of all these programmes is the integration and improvement of
coexistence of a foreign population that exceeds 25% of the population of the
province of Alicante and that in many cases lacks the knowledge and means for
them to be assisted in accessing the most basic services that are
available as citizens.
On February 3 of this year a meeting of the Project Optimiza was held in Denia
which was attended by all the councillors of the
area. Oscar Anton, Deputy Mayor attended on behalf of Jávea.
During this meeting it was reported to those responsible for this area in the
Marina Alta that the provincial budget for 2015 was now 193,223,234 euros, which
the budget allocated to the
implementation of programmes organised by the Unit of Foreign Citizens as part
Project Optimiza initiative having only 142,300.00 euros. This is a reduction
of some 107,800.00 euros and will
have the effect of the disappearance of the funding for items for grants
to municipalities, associations and for non-profit organisations all
involved in activities relating to foreign citizens.
Therefore the situation is anomalous with a department that assists 25% of
the population of the province allocated just 0.0004
% of the budget. The news was greeted with astonishment by those
gathered at the meeting. Oscar Anton, councillor delegate of Jávea in this area, raised the
possibility of writing a motion to be forwarded to all
municipalities with foreign residents to be proposed at the next full meeting of all those
The Motion proposed to request the refund of the
amount equal to the previous year's budget 2014. With that goal,
councillor Oscar Anton drafted a motion (see below) in order to acknowledge
the need to provide economically to a department that is working and providing
assistance to 25 per cent of the population of Alicante, highlighting the
high degree of commitment that exists between all departments of foreign
resident in the Marina Alta region and in general throughout the province of
He pointed out and that more than 80% of activities that are
organised in the departments of foreigners are free and undertaken
by volunteers at no cost to the administration whilst the budget was oriented
to basic activities that served to assist in areas such as social services or
increase awareness of the needs for registration or courses in Spanish /
Valenciano to promote integration. For all these reasons the Motion will be
put forward in the various municipalities in the Marina Alta during this
month and will require that the Provincial Government of Alicante, through a
modification of credit, restore the budget allocation to this department of the
level in 2014.
MOTION BY THE MUNICIPAL
GROUP XABIA DEMOCRATICA TO THE PLENARY SESSION OF THE XABIA TOWN COUNCIL
Anton Izquierdo, spokesperson of the Municipal Group Xabia Democratica in the
Town Council of Xabia and on behalf thereof, under the provisions of the
applicable regulations, for reasons of urgency, raises the following for
discussion at the Plenary Session of the Municipal Corporation:
the County Council of Alicante (Diputación) -
The Department for Foreign
Citizens launched an integration and collaboration program called; the
‘Optimiza’ Project. It is an initiative
aimed at the politicians and technicians responsible for the foreigners'
departments, in the towns of the province of Alicante with a significant
percentage of foreign residents. The whole idea of the program is the
interaction of activities and projects between different towns, in order to put
the scarce resources available to the towns, to the best use for as wide a
range of subjects as foreign residents.
Through the Diputación and by means of staff assigned to this department
activities and initiatives have been scheduled that have been a great success
among the community of foreign residents throughout the province, activities
campaigns about procedure and legal matters
and integration programs.
· Consulting services and
· Spanish (Castellano)
The purpose of these programs is the
integration and improvement of coexistence of a foreign population that exceeds
25% of the population of the province of Alicante who, in many cases, lack the
knowledge of, or the means to be assisted, by even the most basic of services
available to all citizens.
In addition to the programs already
carried out, meetings between councillors covering these departments and
foreign residents, have created strong ties and a commitment to collaboration
and interaction between the different towns that make up the ‘Optimiza’
In all these programs Javea has been very active and has become known for its
model of the Help Desk which has been
very successful in our town, as well as
English classes taught by volunteers, lectures and many other initiatives that
have been an example for the province.
On the 3rd February, the ’Optimiza’ Project
held a meeting in Denia and was attended
by the councillor representing Javea Town Council. At this meeting we were
informed that for this year, the 2015
budget of the Diputación reached the figure of 193,223,234 euros, the budget for carrying out programs for the Foreign
Citizens Unit, the ‘Optimiza’ project will only have 142,300.00 euros, which is down compared to the figures for these same programs in 2014 by 107,800.00 euros, this reduction
corresponds to the disappearance of budget items like Grants to Local
Councils, Associations and non-profit
entities, for activities covering matters concerning foreign citizens.
Such budget cuts to this
department only cover staff costs because it includes the expenditure on
communications from the provincial government and other dispensations of which
the aforesaid department makes no use. The situation is therefore ABNORMAL; a
department that attends 25% of the population of the province has the 0,0004%
of the budget. Therefore the charges covered by the Diputación in the 2015
budget in force for the department of foreign resident will be 0 euros.
It must be stated that over 80% of activities carried out in the departments
for foreigners are free of charge - i.e. at NO
cost for the administration - the budget was aimed towards basic
activities of protection in areas such as social services or raising awareness
of the need for registration on the Census or for courses of Castilian /
Valencian to promote integration.
To correct this injustice, ALL the members of the ‘Optimiza’ Project in the
Marina Alta, propose a motion be presented in each of the towns that are
members of the ‘Optimiza’ Project with the aim of raising the following at the
Plenary Session of the Diputación of Alicante:
town of Javea represented in the Plenum session raises the following proposal
to the Diputación de Alicante:
1. That the budget for the year 2014 be restored and that in the next proposal
of credit amendment by the Diputación
Provincial de Alicante, a sufficient allocation be made to cover programs in
existence to date.
2. Once the department for foreign residents receives the allocation (as
above), they should then proceed to approve the budget covering the following
* Programs for development and integration.
* Consulting services and resident care
* Census campaigns.
* Spanish Courses (Castilian)