Milan city hall opens to “Question Time”

Citizens can interrogate councillors.

Milan city councillors voted this week to allow residents to put questions to councillors in city hall assemblies with a “Question Time” on the agenda.

The suggestion, proposed by members of the Five Star Movement group, was voted in over the opposition of the centre-right and Milano Progressista councillors.

Participation will be open to citizen groups, committees and associations, as long as the issues they raise are of interest to all residents.

City elders who voted against the proposal objected that it risked miring the work of the council if “hundreds of citizens” tabled questions on minor matters.

Although similar initiatives in the past saw students from Milan schools questioning city councillors in Palazzo Marino, these were one-off educational sessions and not part of the municipality’s regular tools of governance.