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Forza Italia Giovani

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Article in Bullseye - April 2000 - by Paolo Zanetto
Interview: focus on Forza Italia Giovani

When and why was Forza Italia Giovani founded?

Forza Italia Giovani was founded in 1996, a few months after the foundation of Forza Italia itself. In the beginning of the so-called Italian Second Republic, Forza Italia was the most important party in Italy, and we had to build a nationwide youth movement starting from nothing.

Why should one join Forza Italia Giovani?

Because we want to change the life of young people in our country! We're living in a close society, without opportunities for young people, without the possibility for one to build his own future, to realise his ideas, to find his job. A country that doesn't improve his youth is a country that has in front of itself more past than future: this is our message, this is our bet.

How is Forza Italia Giovani organized?

We have a national level, with a chairman, a national board, and the national council. We have 20 regional branches coordinating 115 local branches. We have special branches for the big cities (e.g. Rome, Milan, etc.). All the local councils have one secretary and 15 members of the local board, all elected by the base.

Does Forza Italia Giovani co-operate with other domestic or international organizations?

In Italy, we are members of the national student councils of the Ministry of Education and of the Ministry of University. About the international organizations, we are member of DEMYC and of IYDU; furthermore we are dialoguing with YEPP (Youth of the EPP) looking forward to presenting our request for application.

What are the most important political issues for Forza Italia Giovani?

First of all, the freedom of education. In Italy most of the students can't choose which school or university to attend, because the private schools are very expensive and the government doesn't help the families who choose these places. We're fighting for giving to the families the freedom of choice, with a 'school voucher' that can be 'spent' in both private and public schools.

Even more important, more job! One Italian below 35 years old out of three is unemployed; in southern Italy, almost 50% of young people have no job. This situation is dramatic, and we need a solution: we need more jobs, that means more investments from the firms. We need to liberalise our economy, to eliminate bureaucracy from our tax system, and to help the young entrepreneurs to raise money for their ideas.

Another point is the digital revolution - Globalisation, Internet, E-commerce: this is a great chance for young people to show how much they can get from the new economy. We have to push the knowledge of the Internet in Italy, we have to make possible that a young Italian with one good idea can find funds to carry it on, we have to ride this Third wave that is coming over Europe.

How does Forza Italia Giovani spread its message?

We organise public events in the territory, through both regional and local branches, like meetings, conferences, etc. Furthermore, we are very active in taking position on the national media: you can often find our positions about the latest news in the most important newspapers, sometimes also in the TV news.

How does a member go about to influence the political position of Forza Italia Giovani?

We have local, regional and national Councils to choose our political orientation on the major issues, and to decide about the organizational priorities. We accept motions, documents, we are always open to the discussion. Of course, any member could run for the being in the local board, or maybe to become local or regional secretary, or also national secretary.

Why did you decide to join EDS and what will the membership of EDS mean to Forza Italia Giovani?

We want to commit ourselves to an ambitious goal that we can achieve being into EDS: that students may be able to really feel European, because at least for them we can erase the existing concrete barriers. We have to make available for young people all the best from our countries; we have to let students learn from the models of other countries, of other people, to proceed without hesitations towards a really united Europe.

Which are the most important issues for EDS to pursue?

First of all, attention to the concrete exigencies of the student world, including the harmonization of European diplomas and academic qualifications, international scholarships and student exchanges, to make students the citizens of a truly united Europe. In the international scenario, EDS should be engaged in the defense of human rights throughout the world.

What do you think can be done better in the EDS?

EDS has no huge problems. We think that the first need is to get more space in the international media, especially during the meetings where we have important people as invitees, and where we have so many young friends coming from many countries (e.g. Winter and Summer Universities).

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