Already at the beginning of his speech the Hon. Sassoli, after thanking Fr Miguel Angel García Morcuende, General Councilor for Salesian Youth Ministry, and “the friends of Don Bosco International” for the invitation, said he was “very happy to participate in this meeting which “invites us to reflect on the central role of education in this delicate historical moment.”
Then looking at this “time of huge challenges”, with the pandemic “that has disrupted our lives”, he stressed that “the Europe that will emerge from this emergency will no longer be the same”, but will have to look “to the next generations with renewed optimism and much trust.”
After underscoring how “education and formation are two essential elements to foster mutual understanding and to increase new skills capable of interpreting the rapid transformations of our societies”, the President of the European Parliament directly quoted Don Bosco and one of his most famous mottos, to reiterate that “educating is also 'a thing of the heart, it is wanting the true good of the young'”.
“The educational offer, the dissemination of knowledge must be able to look at an integral development of the person and must be the pivot around which our recovery and inclusion policies are placed, in particular with regard to the green and digital transition,” he added.
For this reason, he illustrated the initiatives carried out by the European institutions in this regard, such as the increase in funds for youth policies (in particular the Erasmus and Youth Guarantee programs). Simple examples of the desire to “guarantee European citizens the right to an inclusive, quality education accessible to all.”
Finally, witnessing a great harmony with the Salesian vision, the Hon. Sassoli expressed: “Europe will not be able to do without young people and education will be a key factor for their complete fulfillment, as well as for the formation of a ruling class that is aware, mature and responsible.”
And he concluded by “thanking Don Bosco International and the Salesian Family once again for their exemplary and lasting commitment in Europe and in the world.”