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PM Draghi’s message to Ventotene Europa Festival

9 May 2022

To all the young people participating,
the Ventotene festival over the coming days provides a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the European Union’s role and the ideals that drive it. I wish to thank the ‘La Nuova Europa’ association for making this meeting possible. 
Altiero Spinelli’s dream of a European Federation was born in reaction to the crisis of the nation-state model at the start of the twentieth century, to the isolationism of the twenty-year fascist period and to the horrors of the Second World War. The federalists saw the development of a widespread sense of European identity as being a key part of their project.
Also today, European integration needs to be participatory in order to work. Meetings such as the one being held over the coming days are crucial to raise awareness about the fact we belong to both our respective national communities and the European community at the same time.
Faced with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the values stated in the Ventotene Manifesto are more relevant than ever. The first copy of this Manifesto returning home is an opportunity to renew our commitment to freedom, democracy and peace.
We must remember the role played by the federalist ideology in building a European consciousness, and we must combine this with the pragmatism that formed the basis for the first European institutions and their evolution.
It is with this hope in mind that I wish you all the best for the conference.

[Courtesy translation]