The focus of coordination often tends to be on officials working at the same level of government (another ministry or municipal department). However multi-level coordination is equally important for coordination.
The RE.A.DY network brings together officials working in local governments across Italy on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) policies. Members wanted the RE.A.DY network to be acknowledged by national institutions.
RE.A.DY invited national institutions to attend their annual meeting in October 2012. The National Office for Racial Discrimination (UNAR), the Observatory for Citizens Security from Discriminatory Actions (OSCAD), the State Police, the Military Police (Arma dei Carabinieri), the Ministry for Education, as well as universities and researchers accepted the invitation.
These national institutions presented their activities on LGBT anti-discrimination and set up a process of cooperation with RE.A.DY partners. This is a significant step for multi-level coordination on LGBT issues in Italy. It is also the first time cooperation between national and local levels has been formalised to address these fundamental rights.
Source: Interview Eufemio Gianluca Truppa, National Secretariat of RE.A.DY Network, City of Turin LGBT Office, 2012, Italy
Multi-level coordination has different purposes:
Getting policy and legal guidance from the national level
local level officials may need guidance on national legislation and policies. Officials working in national ministries need feedback on how legislation and policies related to fundamental rights impact locally. Establishing contact points in the national ministry for communication with municipalities can facilitate regular bottom-up and top-down updates between national and local levels.
Informing national policies with local level data
Data and information on fundamental rights need to be regularly updated nationally. Providing reliable and up to date information on the situation on the ground to national offices greatly enhances the ability of officials and politicians to analyse problems and draw up appropriate policy responses.
By establishing links to the national level, municipal and regional authorities are able to inform and influence national decision-making processes. This facilitates a joined-up approach to fundamental rights. It is particularly important in areas where different levels of government share responsibilities to implement fundamental rights.