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John Paul II Foundation Day

Democracy, future and cooperation: these were the themes on which the meeting "Today's Europe and the Europe to come" with Romano Prodi was based.

A morning that saw the students of Tuscany as protagonists, engaged in an open conversation with Romano Prodi invited for the occasion by the John Paul II Foundation. In the customary pre-Christmas event that, every year, brings together in Casentino the most important exponents of the Italian political scene, the Foundation in fact allowed the young people of the territory to dialogue directly with the professor, former president of the European Commission and president of the Council of Ministers, on the most current topics related to Europe such as Brexit, anti-European movements, the future of the planet and the problems of modern democracy.

"The school like the family is also to be considered the house of bread," recalled Monsignor Luciano Giovannetti, president of the John Paul II Foundation during his introduction to the meeting. - Also this year we had the opportunity to discuss the issues and values on which our daily activities are based thanks to the contribution of a prominent speaker such as Professor Prodi and the participation of numerous young people. It was an opportunity that allowed them to reflect on the importance of cooperation and dialogue at the community level."

Moderated by Dr. Marco Italiano, the meeting turned the spotlight on questions posed to Romano Prodi by students from Liceo Giovanni da San Giovanni, Istituto Newton in Scandicci, Istituto Galileo Galilei in Florence and Liceo scientifico Galilei in Poppi, who, in recent weeks, have been preparing themselves on the salient stages in the history of the European Union from the 1950s to the present, identifying some issues worthy of in-depth study such as environmental policy, globalization, integration and prospects for the younger generation in terms of work and study.

Also present at this morning's discussion were a delegation of university students of Middle Eastern origin who, thanks to scholarships activated by the John Paul II Foundation, are carrying out their studies in Italy. "It was nice to be able to dialogue with young people on issues concerning the present and future of Europe," explained Professor Romano Prodi. - I hope that this meeting prompted them to meditate on how democracy is rapidly changing by facing shorter and shorter horizons. At a time of crisis like this, when paradoxically we are witnessing a reawakening of European identity, the task of the new generations is to rethink and strengthen democracy by understanding that divided we count for nothing and working to make Europe a home where it is pleasant to live and where there is equality among those who inhabit it. What the John Paul II Foundation offered me was an exciting opportunity for dialogue and I was very pleased to find a high level of preparation and thinking among the students who participated in the initiative. If all European citizens were like them, the Europe of tomorrow we have already made."

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