With the auditorium filled with more than 500 young people, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa took the opportunity to move away from the controversial topics that have haunted him – such as the case of the Portuguese-Brazilian twins – and “miss” the times when he taught. “My life was being among young people, I miss that time”he vented as soon as he took to the stage in the auditorium of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation to close the “Democracy Conference: putting youth at the center of participation”, this Wednesday, the 6th. Before launching into a speech about Europe and the challenges in future, the President of the Republic reaffirmed his desire to return to the role of teacher as soon as his last term ends, something he had already revealed during the last presidential campaign. “I hope to satisfy these longings [do papel de professor] within a year and a half, two years”he declared.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa joined the chorus of voices that, during the day, defended the importance of having more young people in “decision-making places”. Going back to his life path, the president recalled that he was a deputy at the age of 25 and that at 26 he participated in the “vote on the Constitution”. “Politics was born with young people in their 20s and 30s,” he recalled. Now, the reality has changed drastically: the parties are “aged” and young people have moved away from democratic processes. “Regimes age when you look at a 40-year-old politician and say he is young. It is a problem of mentality, of civic culture and it is essential to resolve it to build a stronger Europe and democracy”, he said. One of the ways to move towards a solution is to convince the “old people” to “give up seats”, namely, in “decision-making places”. “It is crucial that younger people have a role in politics, public administration, civil society, economic activity of the greatest importance, among economic and social partners. It is at your age that the world is shaped“, he said.
Despite the optimistic speech, the President of the Republic recognized the various “challenges” that young people face, such as the consequences of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the worsening crisis in the Middle East. “Everything happened at the same time. And it fell into your hands, that’s how it is”shot.
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