11 April 2016
On April 11th 2016, the Department for European Policies organised the conference "From Rome to Lisbon and beyond – building a new political community", which was held at the "Sala della Regina" of the Chamber of Deputies.
The event was aimed at promoting a wide-ranging debate about the future of the European Union.
After the institutional greetings, Laura Boldrini, President of the Chamber of Deputies, focused on the need of "creating a new model of Europe, which can involve the young generations and awake public confidence". Boldrini also recalled the statement "More European integration: the way forward" undersigned by fifteen Presidents of EU national assemblies as a contribution of national Parliaments to the debate on strengthening the Union.
Sandro Gozi, State Secretary to European Affairs, underscored that this new model is more than ever necessary; "if the European 'status quo' remains unchanged, the union will collapse and in 60 years there will be no cause for celebration". He added that "during the financial crisis, which turned into an economic, social and political one, European people and governments lost trust in each other, and now the real challenge is regaining it. Those who believe in Europe must fearlessly counter that trend by rediscovering our fundamental values".
The first work session was closed by Frans Timmermans, first Deputy-President of the European Commission, who reiterated that "we have already experienced times of crisis and pessimism" and that "our purpose is to restore hope in the future among middle classes" through a new "social contract", which calls for an "humbler and more reliable EU".
The debate continued with a roundtable including representatives from the EU Trio Presidency (Netherlands, Slovakia and Malta) and the European Parliament.
The conference was the kick-off event towards the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, on March 25th 2017.
Not only was this an opportunity to celebrate, but also and above all a first step towards a more ambitious will of relaunching the European project as a whole.Treaties of Rome