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Foundation for Subsidiarity (Fondazione per la Sussidiarieta') is an Italian think tank founded in Milan, Italy, in 2002 with the goal of enriching the cultural-scientific discourse and to promote a vision of society based on the centrality of the person and the principal of subsidiarity, with a particular emphasis on the aspects of education which relate to it.
Cultural-scientific investigation and spreading of a vision of society which is based on the centrality of the person and on the principle of mutual help, with a particular accent on the connected educational aspects.
The work of the Foundation is deeply rooted in the principal of subsidiarity which affirms the primacy of the person over society and of society over the state, such that all decisions pertaining to general well-being should be made at the level as close as possible to the citizen.
The Foundation’s work is grounded in research by academic departments in the fields of: Banks and Finance; Cooperation and Poverty; Education; Training and Human Capital; Enterprise and Entrepreneurial activities; Welfare and Employment; Public Utilities; Subsidiarity and the State.
To achieve its goals the Foundation is involved in activities which include research, professional training, publications, seminars and conferences on social, economic and political themes.
In-depth coverage of the Foundation’s activities can be found in Atlantide, a quarterly magazine published by RCS-ETAS. It provides an attentive analysis of the Foundation’s work based on a scientific committee of academics and opinion-makers from a wide array of disciplines and schools of thought. These include: Lorenzo Ornaghi, Pietro Ichino, Ferruccio De Bortoli, Stefano Zamagni, Antonio Polito, Alberto Quadrio Curzio, Augusto Barbera, and Giulio Sapelli. Foundation for Subsidiarity has also a daily online magazine, in Italian, English, and Spanish, Il Sussidiario.
Areas of interest
The first area of interest of the Foundation has been the non-profit reality, meant as social enterprises that are capable of distributing services in the so-called welfare sectors: education, health, assistance and culture. In this regard, the priority value of the user’s free choice has been recognized, and immediately a debate has been fostered with the government institutions to promote reforms in support of the mutual help principle. The work done has brought to the introduction of the concept of mutual help and fiscal mutual help in the Italian Constitution.
Other sectors of cultural intervention are the world of the Small and Medium Size Enterprises and the world of public utilities, the latter tightly held between inefficient "statalism" and liberalizations that go against the public interest. As far as the particular moment of crisis going through the world of enterprise, the centrality of the investment of human capital for its development and innovation has been brought to light. The Foundation has, moreover, dealt with the themes concerning the administration of financial resources, internationalization, the juridical base of the relations with the public.
The work of the Foundation is aimed also to bring to light the methodological value of interventions of international cooperation and interventions for the development of the Third World. An ample space has been dedicated to the theme of education: the engagement to educate according to ideal criteria is often abandoned; the resources dedicated to education are insufficient; its quality is not controlled and freedom of education is almost completely impeded. The activity of the Foundation in this sector has had a great influence on the current process of reform.
As far as the discussion about financial resources, the Foundation has supplied instruments in favor of the independence of banking foundations, which are fundamental subjects to finance the non-profit world. Likewise, it takes care of the future of popular banks, country-side banks of deposit, and former savings banks, as non-profit realities that are fundamental for the development of small and medium size enterprises.