"Modena is Europe, Europe is Modena". This is the theme of the series of debates organised by the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions and the Democratic Party at the Modena provincial festival of unity (Festa de l’Unità). From Tuesday 6 to Sunday 11 September, democratic and progressive local and regional representatives and MEPs from across Europe will come to Modena to discuss issues crucial to Europeans' future, from the negotiations on the EU-US free trade agreement to worker mobility, from the sharing economy to the protection of civic rights, from rural development to reforms for future generations.
Guest speakers will include the Maltese minister for civil liberties, Helena Dalli; the chair of the CoR's Socialist Group and president of the region of Umbria, Catiuscia Marini; the president of the Young European Socialists, Laura Slimani; Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi's advisor on European affairs, Marco Piantini; and MEPs Paolo De Castro, Cécile Kyenge and Damiano Zoffoli.
"We are Europe and its future is in our hands," said Benedetta Brighenti, deputy mayor of Castelnuovo Rangone and member of the Committee of the Regions' PES Group. "The time has come for all of Europe's different levels to come together so that we can really develop a United Europe: united in our political choices and in the solutions we choose to the problems troubling and shaping our communities, a Europe of people".
For participants really interested in getting to know European issues better, a study trip to Brussels or Strasbourg is on offer: "We wanted to reward people who come to at least six of the eight meetings scheduled for Europe Week," explained Ms Brighenti. With the support of MEP Cécile Kyenge, people who collect at least 12 stars on the European passport given to participants at the first meeting they attend will be able to visit one of the headquarters of the European Parliament.
The complete programme of the Europe Week is available on the website of the Partito Democratico Modena.