To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, the Italian European Movement hosted an event in the Eternal City to discuss proposals on the way forward for Europe.
Around 100 people attended the event at La Sapienza University in Rome, which went under the name: Let’s Change Europe’s Course (‘Cambiamo Rotta all’Europa’)
There were three themes discussed on what could be done to bring about fundamental change to the European project: cities and territories, youth and Europe, and land rights and solidarity.
“European citizens need strong answers, they need reasons and not simply better knowledge of what it means to be European citizens, with all the rights that implies. We must proudly step forward to complete this design, which has been left half finished. Because we can’t go on seeing the European Union walking with only one leg, if we don’t build the other leg: that of integration”, MEP Elly Schlein told the audience.
“And it is to be hoped that the young generation will be the driver of this change, such as those who took part in today’s debate,” she added.
Olimpia Troili of the Alternativa Europea organisation added: “It’s the new generation that needs to create a common vision of the European Union’s future because if we don’t develop a common vision about what kind of Europe we want to have in 20, 40 or 50 years, than it’s clear that the European project will be rudderless.”
Asked about how the young generation could contribute to change, Romano Prodi, the former President of the European Commission, said: “It’s no longer possible to say to the young people that Europe has brought peace. We must ensure that they have sufficient influence to bring about change.”
Prodi added that the best way to continue the journey to European integration was to progress with a multi-speed Europe.
Because, he argues, “Staying together means carrying on with policies that are able to gather the interests of a sufficient number of countries, at least nine, and progressing together.”
Beyond the debates and speeches, actors Fabrizio Gifuini and Monica Guerritore contributed to the event by reading Don Milani and Ursula Hirschmann writings.
To animate the evening there was Alexian Santino Spinelli’s “European Orchestra for Peace” with further, more festive music provided by journalists-cum-musicians the Scoop Jazz Band.
Article contributed by Maria Sara Farci