3/2017

3/2017 - ATLANTIS

 

 The third issue of Atlantis in 2017 devotes the Dossier to the theme of Heaven and Space with all its implications for sovereignty and territoriality, with all its global strategic implications.

Another presidential intervention by Giulio Terzi of Sant'Agata, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador.
This section continues, the heading on World and Morbillo Diseases.
The country Focus is dedicated to Poland.
Stronger in number, Italian Excellencies in the World: Luigino Rossi, Massimiliano Galante, Marzia Pendini, Davide Cerini and other protagonists of Made in ITaly.
Domenico Letizia is always present and timely.
Stefania Bozzo is dedicated to Contemporary Art of Emerging Countries.

 

Editorial: Resist to win

Editorial: Resist to win - ATLANTIS

 

“We few, we happy few”. 

Long ago, a rapporteur friend of mine, during a conference that I moderated, called me the last of the Mohicans, or better the last of the (Italian) Liberals.

It is not entirely true, although it is true that we are few. Few and joyful (without making any reference to war machines), few and proud, few and fierce, few and combative, few and resistant. We replaced the kalos kai agathos of the education of the young Athenian aristocrat with: few and resistant. But resistant to what? To the true and historical opponent of the liberalism as a field fighter: socialism. Socialism in all its multifaceted manifestations. Every Socialist is a dictator in disguise, wrote Ludwig Von Mises, “Socialism” (1922). 

Socialism with its at least three-pronged historical explanation: 

communism, i.e. totalitarian socialism; 

fascism, i.e. nationalist and even racist and identity socialism;

labour social democracy, perhaps the most devious and slow form of the individual freedom’s attempted killing, with its transformation of the liberal state into a bureaucratic state until the absolutism of bureaucracy. 

Socialism is the last ideological tinsel inherited by the nineteenth-century Hegelian idealism. A philosophical and political illness to which (almost and until now) countries with legal, philosophical, political, Anglo-Saxon culture are immune.

Not the only evil, if we add reactionary conservatism, anti-Western nihilism, religious and even scientific fanaticism like positivism. 

However Marxism, through its transforming changes, has handled the weight of the clash with history and - at least as much as the biblical religions do - still keeps alive the hope for victory (for its interested acolytes, starting from those who benefit the most). 

A journalism master such as Indro Montanelli warned the reader and always invited them to pop the question: qui prodest? In short, who benefits the most from the socialist government? 

Socialism - in theory - should bring the greatest benefit to the working classes, but it is not entirely true. In fact, a narrow elite of politicians and intellectuals use the consensus of that class or mass to exert their leadership role, being naturally well-paid both from the social status and the economic points of view. Indeed, if in the case of totalitarian drifts (communism, fascism, chavism, etc.) when they become absolute leaderships, i.e. not chained anymore to the control of other institutional bodies, the question is clear and almost obvious, in the case of social democracy - welfare or labour, as you want to call it - the situation is more subtle but in the long term equally irreversible. First of all, taxation becomes a mean to redistribute the income together - I take from those who did not vote for me to give to my voter - which could be called vote-buying. Anyway this is not sufficient to give stability to the oligarchic system - a minority organized to achieve consensus – which ends up by tyrannizing an unorganized majority or political minority (the worst danger feared by liberalism). Little by little, the institutional face of the state changes – it is no longer a guarantor and referee among private citizens - but it is a provider of services, an entrepreneur, it issues its (administrative) rights to become the one who steers and conditions the economic and private choices, or Hobbes’ leviathan monster. Until it re-establishes a relationship (almost forgotten because it was overtaken by the institutional framework and by the philosophy of the law of the liberal democracy) it is no longer a state-citizen but a state-servant. It is the triumph of the popular democracy (the holacratic degeneration of democracy, or the government of the worst?) With its consequential juridical corollary:

1) Party - Politics - Government - Administration; 

2) corporations - union - lobby of protected enterprises 

3) State bureaucracy - judiciary - a public enterprise under a monopoly - public employment, untied to any obligation to get a result. In short, state intervention from womb to tomb.

Are we sure that the organized minority, in Italy, is really like this or rather does it simply benefit from a broad and cognitive popular consensus (among categories) in the country? In an analysis of the current parliamentary composition, from the right to the left, we find: the neo-fascists inspired by the Republic of Salo (the highest leftist expression of Fascism), the national-socialists, the neo-Le Pen-inspired league which was for long fighting for independency but always state-controlling and interventionist even in the local government management, Catholics with various tunics but - if not reactionary - all heirs of the social doctrine according to Vatican Council II by Paul VI, all the left, green, extremist, socialist, trade unionist, ecologist, radical and anti-capitalist, illiberal, antimodernist, arcadian, pseudo-sympathetic. Only the fringes that define themselves of liberal inspiration are left, but which - in practice - during political actions have never shown anything liberal neither in legislative nor in governmental actions (which should be different things in a non-parliamentary government as it should be ). Consociationalism has worked, incorporating all the actors of the parliamentary little puppet show, so well that the vox populi, considers them all equals. 

If a system locks itself in a sort of closed oligarchy, perhaps assisted by the bureaucratic absolutism, can it conceivably be rebuilt from the inside? And if the answer is negative, how can we escape it?

What can we do then, in a country that seems to be largely dominated by a climate that is not very inclined to accept the liberal thinking? A sharp answer: Israel is a strip of land - long and tight - like Italy but infinitely tighter and shorter. If, as Flaiano used to joke about, Italy is a country where the Italians are camped, Israel is the country of one of the proudest and most intelligent population ever appeared on earth. So clever that, determined to create in their land an openly socialist state, acknowledging that history, the need for survival and rational choices advised differently, they have built a country that is the crown jewel of the world capitalism. So, what can we do, then, in a country that seems to be largely dominated by a climate that is not very inclined to accept the liberal thinking? Certainly to accept the invitation from Croce to not only contemplate. The commitment is ethical and cultural. For sure it will take a long time, because a desirable Catholic Reformation has been expected for five hundred years and – according to Bergoglio about some certain economic issues – it is not even around the corner. Certainly on the action plan, supporting unconditionally all those who come from the civic society and will intend to provide (temporarily) expertise. The topics are so many: nationalism and identity; Europe and decadence; local identity (language and culture); forma Europae to take over from Einaudi’s writings and De Gasperi’s speeches (surely not from the real Ventotene’s Manifesto); values ​​of tolerance, equality before the law, meritocracy and polyarchy, openness and not closure. In addition, two other topics: the Southern question, the integration of the immigrant and the international terrorism. Meridionalism and welfarism. In the background of aids to the weaker people, there is an income and profit position for the ruling classes - not only for the criminal ones, not only for those in cahoots with organized crime - but for the ruling classes in general, often in the name of disdain for the rabble. In this way, liberalism with its liberal and meritocratic corollary is the most credible social lift. Regarding the immigration phenomenon, it must be both ruled and governed by the inclusive principle: you will be well-received and integrated if, and only if, you accept and subscribe to the social contract of the country that has welcomed you. Finally, religious fundamentalism and terrorism. Shocked by the attacks, we are inclined to believe that fundamentalism is exclusively part of Islam. However, this belief is wrong because fundamentalism can be spread in religions as well as in other currents of thought, even in a secular one. If there had never been Calvin and Luther, the same Christianity would have been very different, not to mention the secularity of Galileo or Voltaire. The problem is millions of human beings affected by illiteracy, and they must, in order to survive, submit themselves to strict pretexts imposed by others. Women in the first place. 

Freedom. In liberal thinking, human lives are themselves a project of freedom. In fact, they are equal in dignity and different - deeply and radically different – in value. Even in this way, freedom is a tough achievement that is opposed to slavery which comes not only from an eventual oppression suffered by other individuals, but also from a personal and moral non-fulfilment.  

This is what we can and we must repeat to ourselves, we few, we happy few. 

For the record and aside the Shakespearian apologetics, the happy, brave, ferocious and fearless few despite being surrounded, outnumbered and with less weapons, finally won the battle of Agincourt in 1415. 

 

Politics, Economy, Prospects for European Integration

Politics, Economy, Prospects for European Integration - ATLANTIS

by Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata

 

In the last twenty days, four meetings - Trump / Merkel, G20 in Baden Baden, Tillerson / Xi Jinping in Beijing, and Trump / Xi at Lake Mar - engaged Americans, European and Chinese people. The images and declarations of those days are so eloquent that they may be able, only by themselves, to sweep away many illusions about “magic formulas” that various coaches on the sidelines propose so that the EU Member States can solve in one shot the political, economic, social and security problems worsened in the decade after Lehman Brothers. 

On one side there is the “sovereign front”, an area with different “shades of grey” or “shades of green” but enough cohesive to identify the evils that must be eradicated: excessive “supranationality” of the Union; economic stagnation caused by the euro; the excessive power of global finance with a concentration of wealth and political influence that undermines the popular sovereignty; enslavement to policies imposed by Germany. The solutions presented go from leaving the euro through shared scaling and negotiations, with unilateral decisions sustained by referendums if necessary, to the replacement of the present Union with a “nation” or “national states” Confederation.

Some of these orientations, which are more cultural than political, would encourage the creation of Confederations among “nations” rather than “states”. Which would result in the fragmentation of many European states according to autonomous and separatist currents on-going for some time. That is an approach that collides with the vigorous affirmation of the identity and sovereignty of the French national state, pushed forward by those who, like Marine Le Pen, insist on a European Confederation, a return to the franc, the exit of France from the EU, the Eurozone and the Atlantic Alliance. In the sovereign front, live together different political and cultural goals, among those who see a European Confederation of national states on the horizon, and those who find in the “regional” dimension - and in the principles of self-determination of national minorities - the key to a new model of  European Confederation.

On the other side, even here with many “distinctions”, there is the area of “shades of blue”, summarized in a recent Jean Monnet interview in Lisbon by Professor Maria Grazia Melchionni. Starting from an analysis of the challenges that Europe will increasingly have to deal with both for its security and for the vital needs of its economy, the Union must quickly reorganize - in depth - to go far beyond what has happened so far in the process of integration and enlargement. This approach suggests in turn a double path of possible integration: on the one hand, the one of variable geometries centred around “structured and permanent cooperations”; on the other hand, integration built around a core of countries interested in strengthening, like for instance in the case of the euro, the common instruments: fiscal, budgetary, audit and control over banks, and mutualisation of the public debt. 

The global role of a Union, based essentially on “soft power”, must absolutely raise its skill levels through the decisive relaunching of its defence capabilities as a “security provider”, even and especially on “hard power” grounds. 

We must get out of the mental cage that wants us to continue to be “Venus,” leaving the United States to the role of “Mars”. Whichever the debate on new European architectures evolves, we must all recognize that a credible Defence represents for a politically integrated Union, as well as for a “Confederal Europe”, the indispensable tool for a foreign and security policy worthy of that name: for Europe as a whole and as well for the individual states that are part of it. There are no other “magic formulas” to coexist in the world scenario with the protagonists: friends and allies like the US; or antagonists and hostile forces who put force above the force of the law as Russia and China have done - global powers with which we must rebuild the right rules of cooperative security - and Iran, North Korea: regional powers with global ambitions which combat the European security interests.

The highest priority therefore concerns the Union’s afterthought in terms of defence and security. Since the decisions that affect the lives of citizens, territorial protection, borders are eminently political, it is not conceivable that a liberal democracy develops a common defence tool - with conventional commands and capabilities and integrated nuclear  - without a common foreign and security policy.

This is a demand that exceeds even the contingencies of Brexit. Immediately after the Merkel-Trump meeting, the British Minister of Defence announced that him and his German colleague are working on a “joint vision” document for future NATO and bilateral co-operations. The Trump administration’s lack of warmth towards NATO and the European Union emerged in the meeting with Angela Merkel and unfortunately confirmed by the news that Tillerson would not attend its first NATO ministerial session in Brussels, due to simultaneous undertakings with the Russians and the Chinese, creates the first unifying effects. The relaunching of the European Defence now seems more sincere; more concrete than the negligence of commitments done for five years, to bring the national contribution to NATO to at least 2% of GDP. The stakes are not only - and this is already a clear responsibility for the Gentiloni government which is not increasing the military budget in any way - those of ensuring a credible defence for the country. This is about ensuring that Italian companies can take the seats as protagonists and not as outcast at the European tables in which projects regarding armaments, research and innovation are being elaborated. Germany, the UK and France have begun to increase their appropriations from three to four times the amount of ours. American half-hearted measures to the Atlantic Alliance can be overcome, as President Trump points out every time he says the word “NATO”, only if everyone does what our main partners are doing. But Italy is not. 

The meetings from late March to today in the US, Germany and China have clarified the route that the White House intends to maintain, even with the sensationalism and contradictions of this political season. 

At the same time, the decision finally ratified by the British Parliament to activate Art.50 for Brexit and the events that in the last six months preceded it, deserve to be studied very carefully by those who believe in a markedly positive effect on the Italian economy in case of exit from the Euro. 

To be honest, a real strategy for an Italexit that takes into consideration the political and economic framework in which Italy would find itself with Frexit wanted by Marine Le Pen, has never been drawn up. This would mean to find the negotiating and legal path to the return to the Lira, ensuring: 

*A) the sustainability of our large public debt; 

*B) the access for our companies to the European Single Market, where more than half of our exports are directed, and to non-European markets, in the presence of a clear risk that hypothetical competitive devaluations would create commercial wars or in any case encourage protectionist measures by business partners towards us. 

*Regarding the sustainability of our public debt, we must consider the credibility that Italy would have leaving the controls and the  restrictions imposed by Brussels, Frankfurt, Basel and Washington - the headquarters of multilateral financial governance - in implementing a markedly “Sovereign” policy and at the same time being responsible for the fulfilment of the commitments taken by the country. From the point of view of the repayment of debts, the foreign investment guarantee, the application of customs tariffs and taxation in line with the agreements signed, the functioning of civil justice - the first, with bureaucracy and corruption, real puzzles for foreign companies in Italy -  would Italy, with untied hands, be more or less credible for our main partners? We must be very careful about the answer, and how to document it. If we respond positively, we must be able to demonstrate that a “sovereign” Italy can be able to drastically reduce the metastases of corruption.

The Euro has worked much better for the Eurozone countries that are less affected by corruption and which, being more “virtuous” than us in public affairs, have debts that are at least thirty percentage points below the Italian level, downward trending. Corruption affects the Italian economy probably more than anything else. There is a clear correlation between debt - GDP and the “index of corruption”. Fifteen Eurozone countries out of nineteen confirm the welding between a debt below 100% of the GDP and a “corruption perception index- CPI” better than the one calculated for Italy. For the “hard core” of the Eurozone, which should ultimately transfer budget resources to the less virtuous in the event of mutual debts and bank deposit guarantees, the low-debt and low-corruption welding is particularly evident. Italy and Greece are respectively at 47 ° and 44 ° place in the “corruption index-CPI”, with debts level of 133% and 196%, Finland, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Estonia and the Netherlands are between the 23rd and the 2nd place of CPI, and have at least 50 points below the Italian debt.

For what concerns the access of our companies to foreign markets, it is worth pointing out that Italy is among those countries with a clearer national interest to keep as open as possible - even in the framework of active support to the “made in Italy “- commercial trades on a global level and combat protectionism. The  “openness degree” of our economy - import plus exports in relation to GDP - is around 50%. Among the OECD countries, we are at the highest levels of internationalization, slightly above France, far above the US 22% and less, of course, than Germany. Our trade balance is about $ 60 billion, one fifth compared to the United States; the German one is 100 billion. 80% of foreign investments in the US, said the High Representative Mogherini during her visit to Washington, comes from Europe.

There are few essential data that give further proof of how vital it is for Europe and Italy to ensure that international trade rules continue to work, with the purpose of combating the resurrection of protectionist practices, competitive devaluations, generalised barriers tariffs and, finally, commercial wars.

Trump said to Merkel that he is neither “isolationist” nor against the “international trade”; instead he wants a “fair trade”. According to some of his ministers, “fair trade” must rebalance America’s trade deficit as a whole and towards every single partner. Tax, financial, “moral suasion” measures are being studied to bring back in the US investments and employment that had been relocated. It is in this background that the Treasury Secretary Mnuchin at the financial G20  stood up to stop the conclusive working statement from reiterating the commitment of all the participating countries to combat protectionism: a policy constantly implemented by Washington since the early post-war years and at the basis of the creation of the GATT, the WTO and many agreements that have led to growth, innovation and development. Similar closures came from the US regarding the December 2015 -COP21- climate conference. 

All of this is producing unexpected realignments on a global scenario that sees China more and more interested than it was just a few years ago into trade liberalization – more towards foreign countries than from abroad – and  into struggle against climate changes. Surely international trade and climate are two top priorities for the Europeans; priorities to support with determination and united against Washington. 

Whether you want to stay in the Euro by strengthening Economic and Monetary Integration with a leap towards political integration, or whether you want to reform the system through its loosening and with agreed fluctuation measures among national currencies replacing the euro, there are therefore minimum conditions in the Union’s competences that cannot be disregarded.

Immediate needs regard:

A) Common Defence; 

B) the rule of law and legality in the Union and in foreign relations.

*Defence. Italy, France and Germany, with the help from other countries in the Eurozone, must strongly re-launch a new push to a process that will necessarily be about differentiated integration. On the legal level, there is no need to make up anything: the Treaty already provides the appropriate tools. In the last few weeks, the Defence Ministers have decided, with British consensus, about the creation of a Command Headquarters for joint missions and training, assuming that there is no duplicate with the Atlantic Alliance. These are attempts that, nevertheless replicating unsuccessful experiences in the past, are now in a new dynamic. Because of the uncertainties that are noticed in Washington and which for sure do not reassure the European allies on the unconditional “coverage”, both conventional and nuclear, that the Washington Treaty guarantees according to its art.5. There was even a debate on nuclear deterrence and on the possibility for Europeans to have their own self-employed nuclear defence system through an extension to all the 27 countries that will remain in the Union after Brexit, about the possible use of the French “force de frappe”. Certainly this is a daring thought, with wide-ranging implications. Indeed the fact that it is discussed shows the climate of insecurity that is felt. 

Another very little explored scope that presents particularly relevant opportunities concerning the “fifth dimension” of security and defence: the cybernetic one. The “Network Information Security-NIS” Directive was adopted on 6th July 2016 by the European Parliament. It is placed in a European strategy aimed at strengthening cybersecurity and cyber resilience of the European Union and moves from the idea that networks, systems and information services have a key role in society and, therefore, it is essential that they are reliable and safe for economic and social activities, particularly for the purposes of making the internal market work. In order to give an effective response to the challenges concerning networks security and information systems, a common approach was adopted by the 28 with common capabilities and rules regarding planning, information exchanges, cooperation and security obligations for essential services providers and digital service providers.

The NIS Directive entered into force in August 2016. States have until May 9th, 2018 to transpose - through national law - into their respective legal systems and another 6 months to identify the “essential services providers”. If the cyber dimension has already become prevailing in the defence systems – also as part of the deterrence strategies and potential response - the excellent work done for the standardization and for the obligation of common capabilities and tools, can be seen from now on as the most promising and dynamic phase of a common European Defence.

* Rule of law and legality. The challenge of the Rule of Law and legality crams all the others. To foreshadow the different scenarios opened by Brexit and by other possible, partial or radical Exits, it is extremely important to seize the common plan of values, essential for every European. The Rule of Law has become the real constituent, legal and political principle of all the states and people that are part of the Union. Article 2 TEU contains the most evident recall and has characterised the evolution of the legal systems of the Member States so much to be defined as a “founding value” rather than a “mere” principle as in the previous Treaties. The concept of “common constitutional traditions” is recalled in the Treaties and in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. It is further mentioned in Article 6, paragraph 3 TEU where it is established that the fundamental rights guaranteed by the CFRUE and “resulting from constitutional traditions common to the Member States are part of EU law as general principles”. The latter constitute a specific source of the EU law developed also in the case-law of the Court of Justice and in the activity defined as “judicial constitutionalization” of the EU law, even before being part of the Treaties.

It is therefore perfectly possible to declare that the Rule of Law is the “principle of principles” in a superior order similar to the one that in past times was called the “Grundnorm” of any legal system. It also implies the respect for the principles of legality, legal certainty, prohibition of arbitrariness of the executive power, independence and impartiality of the judge, effective judicial supervision, equality before the law. 

The Rule of Law must characterize the purposes of foreign policy, tools, resources, training and the very mentality of the European diplomacy. Its fostering interacts with the protection of human rights. No other Scope of Law, as Tom Bingham wrote, has such an evident moral foundation: the thought that every human being, simply in virtue of their own existence, has some essential, and in some cases unconditional, rights and freedoms. For these reasons, the Rule of Law, with all its implications, remains the essential guarantee, the most valuable commitment and the best trust placed in the Europe of tomorrow. 

 

The Council of Europe in Venice

The Council of Europe   in Venice - ATLANTIS

 

The meeting with Luisella Pavan-Woolfe, the Director of the Council of Europe’s Office in Venice, which represents the oldest international institution born from the “idea of Europe”, took place in an atmosphere of warmth on September the 4th. 

 

Mrs. Pavan-Woolfe, what is the Council of Europe?

Founded in 1949, with the gradual entrance of the new democracies from Eastern Europe, the Strasbourg Organization has today acquired a pan-European dimension, including currently 47 Countries (only Belarus has been excluded). The Holy See, the United States, Canada, Japan and Mexico have the observer status. Two are the most important bodies: the Committee of Ministers, composed of the Foreign Ministers of the Member States (usually the Permanent Representatives) and the Parliamentary Assembly, composed of delegates appointed by the national parliaments. The two bodies are assisted by a Secretariat, headed by a Secretary-General elected by the Parliamentary Assembly on recommendation of the Committee of Ministers. There is also a dimension of local communities represented by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities.   

 

Which is its task?

The Council of Europe’s purpose is to promote the ideals which are part of the common heritage of the Member States: Democracy, the rule of law and the respect for human rights. The latter being protected by the most important Council’s Conventions: the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms signed on November 4th, 1950. 

In order to ensure compliance with the Convention, the European Court of Human Rights acts in Strasbourg, and it can be directly enforced by private individuals under certain conditions, making it almost the sole instance among international jurisdictions. Important bodies of the Council of Europe are: the European Commissioner for Human Rights, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), the Consultative Committee for the protection of National Minorities, and the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) . Afterwards, the Council of Europe created, through specific agreements (called “partial agreements”), some important bodies, including the European Commission for Democracy through Law or Venice Commission (also open to countries outside Europe), the Development Bank, Eurimages, the European Pharmacopoeia, the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) and the European Audiovisual Observatory.

 

Which is the meaning of the Council of Europe Office in Venice? 

The Council of Europe opened its office in Italy in 2011, choosing Venice as its venue in recognition of the City’s cultural and artistic wealth, its democratic vocation and the tradition of respect for human rights. The signing of the agreement with the city took place on 1st June of the same year. The Office is located in the heart of the City, in Piazza San Marco in the Procuratie Vecchie. It supports the headquarters of Strasbourg in the organization of activities which range from culture to cultural heritage and to human rights and democracy training.

 

Venice has an evocative resonance, therefore.

Italy is one of the founding members of the Council of Europe and Venice is a cultural centre recognized worldwide. It is a crossroad of trades and civilizations, one of the most visited cities in the world, a meeting place for people, nations and traditions. An important academic centre, it hosts three universities, many international foundations and research centres. 

Venice joins the Network of  the Intercultural Cities of the Council of Europe. The network helps cities to examine their policies through an intercultural lens and develop comprehensive strategies to manage diversity in a positive way. Venice is also one of the four laboratory cities of the Faro Convention in Europe. In this city, the Council of Europe seeks to verify how civil society and local authorities apply this relatively recent Convention regarding Democratic Participation in Cultural Heritage. Venice takes part in the Jewish Heritage Roadmap certified by the Council of Europe. The itinerary goes across the city and stops in the ancient Ghetto, which was 500 years old in 2016, and in the historic Jewish cemetery. In other words, Venice is a workshop and a test bench for certain policies and some particularly significant and innovative programs of the Council of Europe.

 

Goals and tasks.

Human rights, democracy and the rule of law are the fundamental bases of the European project to which the Council of Europe has contributed since its foundation in 1949. Venice, thanks to its institutions, its many universities and research centres, shares and supports these values. The city and its lagoon are World Heritage Sites. As a meeting point for cultures, people and civilizations, the commitment of Venice to dialogue and exchange among countries and communities is proven and well-known. The Venice Office gives priority to activities regarding issues of relevance both for the Council of Europe and the City, working and giving information about the integration of minorities, the gender equality, the citizens’ participation in the democratic processes, the role of women in the  Euro-Mediterranean context, the integration of Roma and the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

 

Are there any local collaboration agreements?

The Office cooperates with the Veneto Region in projects concerning culture and cultural heritage as well as with other important academic centres in the area. The Council of Europe has indeed signed a cooperation agreement at local level with the Venice International University (VIU) for studies and researches concerning globalization, with the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratization (EIUC) to study and promote the human rights and fundamental freedoms and with the University of Ca’ Foscari for activities in the field of human rights, democracy, culture and cultural heritage. The Office regularly hosts human rights and democracy training courses for officials and representatives of the civil society in the southern Mediterranean countries, as well as short duration courses aimed at developing mutual trust in populations living in regions that have recently lived armed conflicts.

The Council of Europe and the European Union celebrate the Europe Day on May 5th, on the date of the anniversary of the Council of Europe’s establishment, and on May 9th, when the Schuman Declaration is commemorated and which is considered the first step towards the establishment of the European Union.

 

Mrs. Pavan-Woolfe, a final consideration and an invitation to believe in the united Europe. 

Europe is an economic and cultural giant but not yet a political one. However, in sixty years huge steps have been made. Brexit is an interlude (perhaps not definitive) and the Trump presidency has put Europeans in front of their responsibilities. The European Union will be able, or better, will have to evolve by standardising its own taxation, its foreign and defence policy, its anti-terrorism coordination. It has to do so without forgetting to emphasize the defence of human rights and the rule of law. Who knows, maybe the European Union could be the crucial support for a Wilsonian vision of the government of the World.

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