ROME, May 2019 – Simone Rebichini is a 25-year old candidate in the upcoming EU elections, and the youngest candidate in his race. He is a member of the FI (Forza Italia) party, the mainstream Italian right-wing faction. We at EUtopya would like to extend our appreciation to Mr. Rebichini for agreeing to the following interview with our writer Gabriele Gennarini.
How much hard work has it taken to achieve your success by age 25?
First of all, I thank you for giving me this opportunity. I first experienced the world of student involvement during my high school years through Student Council, in which I represented all students in Rome and the surrounding province at the age of 17. Once at university I restarted and represented my faculty’s students in Sapienza, the biggest university in Europe. I’ve been very lucky to be in a party that gives youth a chance and President Tajani trusts in the career I’ve started, so he gave us youth – and particularly me, who is the youngest of all – the opportunity to apply for the EU elections.
What are the main points of your campaign?
My campaign specifically regards the young people, aged from 18 to 30, whose needs – apart from their political beliefs – revolve around employment. A country competitive in the digital economy can provide job opportunities to its citizens, by taking active part in the tech revolution, mediating migratory flows, and encouraging startup development.
Do you think Italy needs to feel more a part of the EU, and of something wider than national borders?
We already are a EU member State – now it is time to feel part of it. We can do it by teaching civics at schools and encouraging internationalism at all levels: school, university, business. We need to improve our English learning system and start talking about Europe and comparing ourselves within European contexts.
In fact, it seems that Italian people are starting to distrust Europe. Surveys are not so uplifting.
Actually I don’t believe in surveys. Within my party, Forza Italia, we express a firm belief in the EU and can currently count on our European Parliament President, Antonio Tajani, who is from Italy. We also have Mario Draghi expressing the positions of Berlusconi government, so we can say we have a strong presence in EU institutions!
There is another central party in Italy, PD (Partito Democratico), which is pro EU and is from the left-wing. Do you and Forza Italia share their conception of Europe?
I only can speak for myself, and I think that FI is the only pro-EU party which also has achieved results in Europe – for example, the nomination of Antonio Tajani as EP President or Mario Draghi as ECB President; the Antitrust law on unfair competition; and the settlement of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in an Italian city. Other left-wing governments, have lost their battle for the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which resides now in Amsterdam.
What are your expectations about the elections results?
I have the greatest expectations. I will do my best to show that it is possible to achieve great success at the age of 25, with a short campaign, if you are good enough and have a valid political group and supportive friends.
My party has even better hopes than mine, since Tajani is sure to be the EPP [European Popular Party] candidate again for the EP Presidency – and EPP should remain the biggest EP party in the 2019-2024 period.
Thank you for everything, and best wishes to you and to the future of Europe.
Updated to: 20-05-2019
Some quotes have had to be altered in translation from Italian to English.
This interview was released before the elections. Mr. Rebichini has not been elected as an MEP.