“The Union is not an economic committee, governed by the criterion of give and take, but a community of values. This is the only conviction that truly reflects the historic choice of the founders of the first Community bodies”, the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, said in an interview with Vatican media. “This is effectively perceived, sometimes perhaps unconsciously, above all by two generations: the elderly, who remember the situation of Europe before that choice, and the youth who can travel freely from Trapani to Helsinki and from Lisbon to Stockholm. You see, everyone should reflect on what two terrible world wars, fought mostly in Europe, have caused; and on what it means to live in a Europe split in two by the Iron Curtain, by the Berlin Wall, by the always looming fear of a devastating nuclear conflict”. “Sometimes we forget the value of the conditions in which we live and their price in terms of efforts and sacrifices – President Mattarella added -: we must always remember that these conditions, however imperfect, are to be preserved and strengthened; they are not irreversible and should not be taken for granted”. This “does not mean that everything is going well in the Union”: “The perception that many European voters have of its institutions is not always positive, although it is often the selfishness of States that stifles the European dream – not the institutions. In some aspects – also for the brakes put by some countries -, it may seem that the Union is no longer making progress, as in ordinary administration; as if, satisfied with the present situation, we think the European dream has already been fulfilled. This has significantly tarnished the original vision and perspective, the ideal move towards integration. Pope Francis, with wisdom, indicates the crux of the matter. Europe must recover its original spirit. It should be more concerned about the fate of its people. It should always guarantee ever greater collaboration, equality, economic growth, but this can only be achieved through cultural, civil and moral growth”.