2017 played host to the inaugural edition of the Aspen Initiative for Europe Seminar “Europe: The Next Generation, Shared Values”, organized jointly by the Aspen Initiative for Europe, Aspen Institute Italia, and Aspen Institute España.
The event was held in Spoleto between September 21-24, 2017, with its format based on that of the widely-acclaimed flagship seminar program of The Aspen Institute in the United States.
This initiative was attended by 25 young people from 16 countries, mostly European, selected by the various Aspen Institute partner organizations. The proceedings were significantly enriched by the diversity of the pa
rticipants’ personal and professional backgrounds and nationalities.
The aim of the seminar was to encourage fresh and innovative debate on the future of Europe at a time of great change for the continent.
Through an analysis and discussion of selected readings from classical writers (such as Virgil, Machiavelli, and Dostoevsky) together with contemporary authors (including Max Weber, Primo Levi, and Jürgen Habermas), the participants examined various proposals as well as the challenges that a younger generation of Europeans will have to rise to.
The purpose of the seminar was not to arrive at unanimously agreed solutions, but rather to elicit new ideas geared to inspiring a modern, engaged, and responsible European leadership and citizenry. The discussion was prompted and shepherded by expert Aspen Institute moderators.
The seminar focused on the following six topics as per the event’s agenda:
1. 60 years on from the Treaty of Rome. The journey and how it has played out: a Europe of nations and nations without Europe
2. Human nature and Europe
3. Identity, unity and diversity, and citizenship
4. Welfare systems and public sentiments
5. Peace, war, and Europe’s borders
6. Moving forward: the next steps