Lipetsk, August 16th
I want to give the boys from “Young guard of the UnitedRussia”, the present authorities and Antonio De Lucia, italian delegate to take part in this important meeting between young europeans and russians, the warmest of my greetings. This meeting, once again, offers a precious opportunity to confront, mutually inquire and enrich out of one another’s experience. A way to strenghten, also at a juvenile degree, a bond made out of friendship and mutual interest that Italy and Europe have started with Russia since a long time, a bond which keeps on growing stronger as years go by.
Politics will be the center of this two days long debate, which will sure be intense and full of remarks and proposals. Those same politics that us seniors have to play out as statesmen instead of as politicians strictu senso (as De Gasperi’s dictum goes, “a politician looks to the next elections; a statesman to the next generation”) and that it’s up to you young people to change with determination, courage and strenght towards a more transparent, democratic and groundbreaking model.
I have always believed politics must not be a job nor a hobby; instead, politics has to be a mission of responsability for each one of us to put his skill, proficiency and reliability into in order to be serving the people and to voice the need of fulfilling the demands coming from our people, aming at the respect of human rights and at the improvement of quality of life.
Politics has a duty towards the young: wipe away the hurdles and the shortcuts that stand in the way of merit and expertise. You, on the other hand, have the duty to be prepared when you’ll have to take your place at the starting line to win the competition.
Take the field, and refresh politics and society. That’s the appeal that Italy has more than once issued to the new generations and that Ue and Ppe has raised as a flag of opportunity and spur for the involvment of the young in the democratic process as well.
Best wishes to all of you for the works of this interesting seminar.
President of the Alcide De Gasper Foundation
Co-chair of the EPP ad hoc group on foreign policy
Chairman of People of Freedom Party’s foreign affairs department