United World Project


Thank you, President Sassoli!

11 January 2022   |   Europe, , European Parliament
[Lic. Creative Commons] 2019-07-03_David-Maria_Sassoli_President_European_Parliament

David Sassoli, the Italian President of the European Parliament, died in the early hours of Tuesday at the age of 65, due to a serious dysfunction of his immune system. In 2021, he had taken part in the ‘DareToCare’ International Forum, the central event of the United World Week. He had agreed to talk to a group of young people involved in the ‘Dare to Care’ campaign. They were international relations students, politicians, communicators and peacemakers from Italy, the Czech Republic, Poland, Belgium, Colombia, Hungary and Rwanda. Their questions touched upon topics such as democracy, Europe’s participation in the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, reception of asylum seekers and humanitarian corridors, and the climate crisis. 

We quote, as his legacy, some of his words taken from that very conversation. Between the lines, one recognises his family and youth background, which was influenced by the school of Giorgio La Pira and, above all, of Don Lorenzo Milani, with his motto: ‘I care’, also meaning ‘I take responsibility’.

“This image of ‘care’ is a meaningful one, because it is the horizon of politics: politics can have no other objective than caring for people, for our communities, for our cities. I think this expression represents your ambition to aim high for the future.

We need skilled politicians who can express a vision and be recognisable as signs of hope, but who also have the capacity to intervene and correct certain mechanisms. And I believe this is a work of civil pedagogy that should concern us in some way – it concerns us politicians and institutions, but it also concerns the whole world of European associations, which is so important. I think that you, in particular, are in a privileged position, because you have already affirmed not only that it is important to take care of other people, but also to take care of other people in order to improve their living conditions. And I believe that this sentiment, which is part of your cultural background, is really precious at this moment in time. […]

Dialogue with young people is fundamental, because if we want to imagine a vision for the future of the European Union, we need to give them space for their voices to be heard. So, use your voices! From my point of view, this is an invitation to naturally discover a vocation, a calling in each of you. The vocation to politics is like any other vocation, of course, it is not better or worse – but it is useful, we know how important it is in order for politics to really address the needs of people. A Christian vision, at this time, is even more important because we know that the mechanisms of the economy and finance can leave many people behind. And that is something we do not want. We cannot afford, we cannot accept to come out of a crisis creating greater inequalities every time. We cannot let that happen, and, for that, we need a cultural background, a spirit that can inspire political action.

I think this is one of those moments in history when we – my generation and yours – are asked to do something extraordinary. It is similar to what history asked of our parents and grandparents, when they fought for democracy, when they suffered the consequences of wars or lived under regimes where there was no freedom – many citizens were asked to uphold a dignity of the human person that was constantly questioned. And I believe that we must all feel together, older and younger, the unique significance of this moment”.

Watch the whole conversation here: