The first stops of our Dialogue on Europe in Athens and Lisbon were now followed up by a Town Hall Meeting in Rome on 5 April 2016. Once again, we invited representatives from civil society, NGOs, local initiatives, startups, think tanks, the cultural sector and from the media to gather and discuss the most urgent challenges Italy and Europe have to face presently, such as the reduction of youth unemployment or the refugee crisis.
We hosted the event in cooperation with our partner organisations, the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and the Fondazione EYU. It took place on 5 April 2016 in the Opificio Romaeuropa, a former factory which has now turned into one of the most important centers for contemporary culture in Rome.
The discussion was divided into four main topics which were “Populism”, “Social Cohesion”, “Migration and Integration” as well as “Sustainable Growth”. Together with the participants, we analysed the public debate on these topics in Italy in order to find common solutions to these challenges. Later in the afternoon, our findings were discussed with the German Minister of State for Europe, Michael Roth.
Ubaldo Villani-Lubelli, Post-Doc Researcher at the Università del Salento in Lecce and co-founder of the initiative “RUB-European Dialogues: Germany and Italy together for Europe” opened the Town Hall Meeting, following the welcoming remarks made by Dominic Schwickert, Executive Director of Das Progressive Zentrum. Nathalie Tocci, Deputy Director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali, finally concluded the event with her closing remarks.
Subsequently, the results of the Italian-German Town Hall Meeting in Rome will be brought together with the findings of the other European Town Hall Meetings in Marseille and Madrid, and serve as a basis for the following multilateral Thinking Labs of the “Dialogue on Europe” we will initiate from Summer 2016 onwards. In these working groups, representatives from all involved countries will work on policy recommendations, and establish a transnational network of young thinkers and practitioners.