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Freitag, 02. März 2018

A Lesson from a former Minister to strengthen the political commitment of the youngest students of ESCP Europe

Going against the current trend of their generation, ESCP Europe students expressed their interest in deepening their understanding about the Italian election of a new government with the former Minister Francesco Profumo.

This weekend Italy will go to the polls in a climate of uncertainty about the future. Italians are going to vote on Sunday 4th of March in order to elect 630 members of the Camera dei Deputati and 315 of the Senato, and as consequence the future Prime Minister.

ESCP Europe international students are interested in better understanding the social, economic and political context in which they live. For this reason – in accordance to the wishes expressed by the students – Associate Professor Chiara Succi organized a debate about the upcoming general election with Professor Francesco Profumo, Chairman of the Italian campus of ESCP Europe and former Minister of Education, University and Research, from November 2011 to April 2013.

About 50 students – out of which 35% were international – from Bachelor in Management and Master in Management programmes took part in the discussion. Aged between 20 and 22 these students are amongst the youngest in the school.

In this kind of "Public Law" lesson, Prof. Profumo explained to his international audience the core objectives of this general election, the main parties as well as the crucial differences among them. He pointed out the key issues to be addressed by political parties, stressed the uncertainty related to the new electoral system, the Rosatellum, and even outlined number of possibilities that may occur as a result of the election.

Especially since there is a chance that the election could result in a hung parliament, leading to lengthy coalition negotiations, or even to new elections. This potential instability within the ruling coalition could have bad consequences for the country, being renowned for its political unstableness having had 64 governments in about 70 years.

Given that the election campaign is a moment to analyze the social situation of the country, out of the discussion in the classroom emerged that the political parties presented promising  electoral programs but in reality they are inevitably short term focused and citizens do not have full confidence in politicians. 

This seems to be the basic problem of the Italian political scene, where no longer a dividing line between right and left appears to be, but rather factions for and against Europe. 

During the meeting, students have asked Prof. Profumo a number of excellent  questions and have shown a curious attitude. The biggest concerns expressed by the students have been about issues related to youth unemployment, the current job market, taxation, migration, and the high national debt.

ESCP Europe students were very keen to find out more about the political scenarios of the upcoming general election. Their eager approach to political issues diverges from their Italian peers. Indeed, Italian young adults traditionally skip the polls because they feel disconnected to the electoral programs, which do not take their needs  into account. Usually only 40% of Italian aged between 18 and 25 go to vote.

Instead, ESCP Europe students recognize the importance of voting for the future of the country and want to be aware of what is going to happen, even though a good percentage of them are not Italian and cannot express their preferences. 

These young students, educated by  ESCP Europe, have demonstrated a high interest and commitment to the political values and Italy’s future.

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