Tourism & Culture

In Ventotene a Talk on Youth and Europe

May 2024
By Elisa Tortorolo

The Ventotene Europa Festival ended on Sunday. Sixty young people from across the EU spent four days together on the island.

Ventotene is a small island, but crucial to the history of Europe. This is precisely why, exactly one month before the European elections, from Thursday to Sunday in the Lazio municipality more than sixty young people debated the issues of democracy, active participation, Italian and European citizenship, and the risks related to disinformation.

 The Ventotene Europa Festival, now in its 8th edition, has concluded. The event, conceived by the La Nuova Europa Association and honored with the Medal of the President of the Republic, this year was organized in collaboration with the Italian Youth Agency (AIG) – who selected the participants, coming from all over Europe. The sponsorship is from the Italian Delegation of the European Commission.

The Festival opened with a live concert by the Irish artist Naomi Berril. Many political and institutional speakers followed. Dialogues with experts in European affairs were accompanied by workshops and laboratories, such as those on the Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps training programs, managed by the Italian Youth Agency, or those on sport as a vehicle for inclusion and collaboration between States. Then, a video message to the young people from the Minister for European Affairs Raffaele Fitto, who declared himself “certain that enthusiasm and hope for a better future will be fundamental” for the vote in June.

Many testimonies were brought by young people, many of which are called to the polls for the first time.  Discussion with their peers from different cultures and nationalities, in addition to conferences with experts, also occurred through moments of cultural and leisure interaction, with island discovery tours and nature guided tours.

“It is exciting to see how, exactly one month before the European elections, so many young people have shown an enormous desire to participate actively, committing themselves in person. In fact, more than 700 applications were received,” said Italian Youth Agency Commissioner Federica Celestini Campanari. “It gives us hope ahead of the upcoming appointment of June – where we hope that absenteeism, especially among younger people, will drop considerably.”