The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Luigi di Maio, participated today by videoconference, with his German counterpart Heiko Maas, in the Italian-German Student Dialogue Forum on the Future of Europe.
The Forum gave a group of some 40 Italian and German girls and boys aged 15 to 17 the opportunity to engage in direct dialogue with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the two founding Member States. The young girls and boys asked questions and presented ideas to the Ministers on several issues central to the Conference on the Future of Europe, which opened on 9 May.
Minister di Maio emphasised that Italy and Germany are at the forefront of efforts to engage young people in a dialogue to design the European Union of tomorrow. The determination to proceed together in this project, he added, testifies to the commonality of views on how the Europe of the future should be: solid and faithful to its values, inclusive, sustainable, committed to innovation – in policies and processes – to meet the concrete needs of its citizens.
Addressing the issue of European solidarity, Minister Di Maio recalled the importance of expressing it through concrete and ambitious initiatives, such as ‘Next Generation EU’, to make European countries already meet the expectations of the next generations.
Minister di Maio then underlined how European identity is founded on the shared values of liberal democracy. These values represent the basis on which the European Union can strengthen its role globally, speaking with one single voice on our time’s central issues and international challenges.
The young girls and boys could present and discuss innovative ideas and proposals with the two Ministers. Such synergy will contribute to animate the debate, already underway, on the digital platform and the future of Europe. Ideas and proposals will also be addressed during the youth conference that Italy is organising by the end of 2021. It will involve young people from the Western Balkans and the southern shores of the Mediterranean.