European Rotarians Manifesto
Rotary and the European Union have much in common and they can today support each other’s ideals. Rotary with its mission to promote peace, democracy, human rights, sustainable development, and its mottoes, “Service Above Self” and “Doing Good in the World,” can thus renew the European spirit of Messina. The European Union, created 70 years ago to ensure peace, democracy, and well-being on a continent ravaged by war and threatened by the return of rival nationalisms, aims to achieve an ever-closer union among the peoples of Europe through the fusion of their interests. Our Union wants first and foremost to connect its people and citizens.
As European Rotarians, we are proud of our national roots, our histories, cultures, and identities, but we are also proud to share with each other a common European civilization and identity. Following the teachings of our founder Paul Harris, we are committed to our values, that define us, to ensure social equality, solidarity among peoples and to spread the culture of human rights. Sharing the ideals of European integration and serving the community above any personal interest is important to us, so we want to work together at European level to contribute to a fairer, more sustainable and more inclusive society.
Europe is the focus of this action. Our key idea is to see the European Union as a union of values: values which we share and are reflected both in the Rotary Mission Statement and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Our task is to build bridges between the past and the present and move forward by fostering debate between generations.
European integration is a historical necessity and the European Union as an organization is irreversible. Now more than ever it is necessary for the new generations to embrace the spirit of Messina: the idea of no more wars and armed conflicts on the European continent. As Rotarians we are looking forward to a new style of peaceful coexistence among the peoples of Europe and we wish to become a constructive force that creates a stable future Europe.
Young people do understand the need for common solutions and call for greater involvement of citizens. We want to create moments of involvement for the present generations and promote opportunities for the new generations. We therefore intend to cooperate with the institutions in Brussels and Strasbourg, calling for European initiatives to make worker mobility in the single market more effective, to promote self-directed social entrepreneurship, to protect vulnerable people from social exclusion and to implement advanced humanitarian programs. The Rotary network, with all its social capital and expertise, can add bottom-up value to the EU programs in which we want to participate.
With this Inspire@EU Manifesto, we call for action Rotarians and Rotaractors across Europe. We aim for strong unity in Europe and we want to share our common values, starting with each of the six founding countries. We propose that we engage in practical forms of cooperation with the European institutions, in particular with the European Commission and the European Parliament.
In this respect we propose cooperation on two different levels:
1. A practical cooperation allowing Rotaractors and young Rotarians (up to 30 years) to participate in the implementation of the European Solidarity Corps, ( https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity_en (Eng) / https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity_it (Ita) ) initiative launched by the Commission.
2. Two days of EU seminars in Brussels to connect Rotaractors with the work of European institutions such as the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the Council of Europe;
We value the spirit of Messina and we value our way of life. We feel that now more than ever we need to highlight that we are proud of our cultures, both local and national, which are intertwined to shape our common European civilization.
In serving the community – Service Above Self – the young generations can say: In @EU we trust!
ROME, February 23rd, 2019