The other Bologna process – bolognese flavoured hypocrisy

I thought it was a bit rich at the time – when on 19 July 1999 The University of Bologna hosted the conference of European ministers of higher education which eventually led to the Bologna Declaration and the Bologna Process; a process aimed at creating the European Higher Education Area based on cooperation between ministries, higher education institutions, students and staff.

On 12 October 1993, Law Professor and Vice-Chancellor of Bologna University , Fabio Roversi-Monaco sacked seventy-four of his foreign lecturers in response to a European Court of Justice ruling which stated that employing foreign teaching staff on short-term contracts – while Italians enjoyed open-ended employment – was in breach of EU single market rules outlawing discrimination based on nationality.

Background – celebrating 10 years of the Bologna process

Roversi-Monaco  then offered the sacked foreigners open-ended contracts as technicians. Neat.

As they say in these parts “the law is something you interpret for yours friends and apply to your enemies”.

65 were re-instated by an injunction – fired again – and re-instated.

All of this was getting Bologna and Italy a rather bad press – see for example: 10 July 1998, The Times Higher Education Supplement, Bolognese flavoured corruption,

A Ministerial conference, a lofty Bologna Declaration and a Bologna process – just the ticket to keep people’s minds off the biggest mass sacking of foreign EU workers (with ECJ judgments in their favour!) in the history of the European Union.

Twenty-eight of those sacked (who refused to sign Roversi-Monaco’s offer they couldn’t refuse)  are still fighting in Italian courts today.

 They will meet in Bologna on 13 March 2010, to coincide with the conference being held in Austria and Budapest 11-13 March where European ministers gather to celebrate  the tenth anniversary of the Bologna process.

European Voice published 4 February 2010: Education reforms are far from successful. The Bologna process is failing lecturers in Italy.

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6 Responses to The other Bologna process – bolognese flavoured hypocrisy

  1. David – fantastic. I’ve just been on the phone to my lawyer. I an sick and tired of being treated so appallingly, by prof and student alike, both of which are aware of my secondary status.

    Were it not for an anonomous person giving me an article on your work I would probably have simply resigned. Now I’m up for a big fight.

  2. Linda Armstrong says:

    It is high time Bologna University was held to account for outright discrimination and non-application of European Law. I hope this is put before European ministers when they gather to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Bologna Process in Austria and Budapest 11-13 March .

  3. shaftedlecturer says:

    European bureaucrats have failed us so badly. The whole credibility of the Treaty of Lisbon is at stake here.

  4. arianna jacobs says:

    I have been doing court cases for the past twenty years. I work at ‘lingue’ (laurea in lettere con indirizzo di linguo moderne) and many of the ‘profs’ I have worked with, have been on our side but have been forced, by the administration of the statale, to keep their distance and to act as witnesses for the university against us. Many other profs, I know are dead against us achieving any kind of equality because we are not part of the establishment which relies on favouring and promoting one’s own personal henchmen and lackeys. Ill never forget one of my hearings during which the university lawyer wanted to highlight the differences between the Italian docenti and the lettori: after all, what the lettori did was simply do drills and exercises. Ón the other hand what the docenti did was “a product of distilled knowledge and experience built up over the years, a product of never-ending research and zealous investigation”. I think Tommy Cooper would have said:’how about that?’. What we think of many of our Italian counterparts is best left unsaid.
    I sincerely hope that after the Padua ruling and the endless work David has done and still has the energy to do we will finally achieve what so many of us have been fighting for for so many years. I started when I was a young postgraduate, I am still at it now that I’m middle-aged. Some if us have died, others have retired and we’re all still waiting to have what is only fair. Lets hope I get what I’m entitled to before I need a carer and assistance from social security while my Italian colleagues enjoy their salaries, automatic increments for years of service and golden handshake at the end of their contracts.

  5. cordeliarossi says:

    Sono una ex studentessa italiana e ho avuto modo di constatare e apprezzare la qualità dell’insegnamento condotto dai lettori di lingua. Essi fanno docenza ! yes, they are teachers! è vergognoso che l’Italia non rispetti accordi europei e sentenze della Corte Europea

  6. MS says:

    Ma neanche nell’Unione Sovietica, cosidetto “regno del male”, non esisteva che non veniva pagata l’anzianità a uno dipendente statale! Tutti erano dipendenti statali, perche c’era la monopolia dello stato. Altri padroni non esistevano. Quindi, in Italia la descriminazione ed ingiustizia statale sono peggiori di quella sovietica!

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