From 19 to 21 March, partners of the project “WISE – While Innovating and Strengthening Europe” met in Rome for two days of hard debate and work, and for the conference “Spring for Europe – Towards European elections”, which gathered also several high school classes. The event was organized by CIME, European Movement Italy.
Euroscepticism has been raising all over Europe. WISE partners work to promote democratic engagement and active citizenship in policy-making, in order to make citizens aware of the importance of belonging to the EU. Through a number of activities engaging citizens all over the EU and beyond, people will be able to understand concretely how they can make Europe change.
Project partners represent civil society associations, municipalities, and associations of local and regional authorities from Belgium to Portugal, from Montenegro to Albania. They all share the deep feeling that their citizens, especially youth, need to know more, and regain trust in Europe. Otherwise, the very future of the European project is in danger.
The international conference on 21 March, hosted by the Italian National Council of Economy and Labor, focused on the history of the European project and on the importance of the upcoming European Parliament elections 2019. After the welcome speech of the President of CNEL Tiziano Treu, several experts took the floor, moderated by Virgilio Dastoli, President of CIME – European Movement Italy: Eric Jozsef, Journalist from Libération and Le Temps; Paolo Ponzano, European College of Parma; and Roberto Santaniello, DG COMM Italy.
All speakers stressed the fact that the father of Europe, Altiero Spinelli said that the proof of the strength of the EU project is its ability to rebirth from its criticism and losses. And the future will be in the hands of the young generations.
Young people were then at the core of the second panel, organized in an interactive way to make it a dialogue, through quiz about the Union and European citizens’ rights. Through the event, students had the opportunity to dive headfirst into what it really means to be part of Europe, discussing with experts and meeting project partners from the EU and beyond.