I think about it every time they advertise House of Cards on TV: reality runs the risk of outdoing fiction. I also think that, since I do not like this model of politics, I cannot and I do not want to give up. I have been fortunate enough to meet many people of great human, cultural, and political value. I have benefited from this extraordinary wealth during the years of my formation as well as afterwards. I have always carried with me those teachings and experiences, trying to come up to the privilege I had been granted.
Servants of the institutions or large “builders” of Europe. Men and women who share a very high sense of public affairs, and the ability to think in a long-term. But also from desire – for some people almost from the anxiety – to meet, reason together, to understand always better. Through study, exercise of doubt, and readiness to listen to the others.
I think our country needs places where to build thought. Or better, “thinking thought”. The same one on which I have insisted so many times. And we need formation initiatives through which young people can discover that politics is still the most noble of human activities. It is commitment to the community and spirit of service: it is passion and participation. It is first and foremost in front of this need of political culture that I got convinced that my main duty – mine, and that of the people who, like me, have received many teachings and many other opportunities, is to make their talents “circular” in accordance with the gospel parable. To engage in a patient and passionate educational effort.
Among the youngest people currently involved in the parties, at all levels, too often it seems to me to discern career building that pushes political professionalism and moves the comparison to other fields of knowledge and with the reality of work, research, and social associations. Instead, who deals with politics must study more to find out more. To be authoritative you have to be independent. And to be independent, you need to be prepared. Contrast between politics and technocracy has never convinced me; it is the last resource of the populists. Which leads to relieving decision makers, who can always blame someone else (buck-passing versus “the buck stops here”, in practice). With the consequence of continuing to feed a disillusionment which consumes democracy and the institutions.
Competent politics, on the contrary, knows how to benefit from “technology”, it respects it and takes decisions by shouldering its responsibilities (this is accountability). Besides, it respects the functions and the prerogatives of the administration and of the State bodies, as well as that of the parties which take part in a transparent way in the public discourse.
Those are the reasons why I decided to create a school of policies. Policies, namely contents which give a sense to present-time politics, understood as passion for the common good, ethical development, system of values which is the basis of public engagement. Because – in this increasingly complex world, interdependence and technical specialization which I tried to outline – politics which wants to affect reality, govern and change, requires a high degree of competence and rigor.
Taken from Going Together, Going Far