Today, we have many problems in the EU, but we have the most important thing in our hands: peace
- Martin Schulz, EP President-
Europe was born, because we have understood that we can solve our problems only together
- HRVP Federica Mogherini-
Inspiring and full of energy
The future of Europe, sustainable development and Europe's role in the world were the main themes of the Citizens' Dialogue held by EP President Martin Schulz and High Representative and European Commission Vice-President Federica Mogherini on Europe Day at the EXPO 2015 in Milan. They discussed with more than 1,200 citizens, among them many young people from Northern Italy.
"A political EU does not shy away from open debate with citizens" said Martin Schulz. As a survey among the participants in the room at the beginning of the Dialogue showed, nearly two out of three Europeans do not feel that they can make their voice heard. Consequently the discussion focused on what concerns people: employment, social and environmental standards, but also migration and peace.
Both, the EP President and the Commission Vice-President, warned that Europe would fail if young people cannot find a job and have a perspective for their lives. Hence, they called for growth and investment.
Many of the citizens in the EXPO auditorium were aware that only together Europe can find solutions for global problems. "We need a common vision about our position in the world" underlined Federica Mogherini. "And we need a common European answer with regard to migration" she continued. She agreed with Martin Schulz and many of the participants that solidarity, stability and fairness are the key for preventing further humanitarian catastrophes.
A lot of idealism could be felt in the room with regard to the role that Europe should play in the 21st century. 83% of participants were in favour of a continent that promotes peace, development and human rights. Referring to the history of his own family EP President Schulz said that "thanks to Europe I will be the first member of my family who will never have experienced war throughout my whole life."
For both politicians the Citizens' Dialogue was a great experience that needs to go on. "It was inspiring, full of energy and it was great to see that young people believe that we can solve our problems better together" concluded Vice-President Mogherini.
Following the Dialogue all participants took part in a parade to the EU Pavilion which was inaugurated by EP President Schulz and Vice-President Mogherini.
The Citizens' Dialogue at the EXPO 2015 is part of a series of Citizens' Dialogues that take place in all EU Member States and involve all Commissioners and many other European and national politicians.