A radiant past

Publish date 31-05-2022

by Gianfranco Cattai

Finally a positive return to the past. In the sense of recovering certain values. Within the European Union, NGOs (non-governmental bodies) were characterized by two elements: the ability to propose projects (obviously linked to the effective competence to read needs and establish pacts between European partners in impoverished countries) and the possibility of supporting them also with participation in kind as well as with own funds, i.e. collected through one's own social base.

These two elements have unfortunately disappeared. The planning has been replaced by the ability to participate in tenders and participation in kind - litmus test of the real and not just formal existence of an association - has been replaced by monetary sustainability.
A few days ago I participated in a project control in which the contribution in kind for the work carried out was finally recognized as required by the guidelines of the European call for tenders. In an era in which ways are being sought to respond to the needs of the person, to realize a new welfare, to address inequalities and poverty, to recognize that voluntary and in-kind commitment, naturally documentable, is an effective contribution to the sustainability of the project, it seriously seems to me a positive return to the past to build that community of Europeans that David Sassoli hoped for. A community where it is also important to get involved, where the god of money is not the only governing factor.

We sincerely hope that new forms of public and private grants will take over from tenders. If this system has been convenient for both donors and beneficiaries, the time has come when we must quickly understand creativity seek new ways of collaboration and subsidiarity between civil society entities, administrations and individuals. On subsidiarity, our constitution in article 118 is clear and of a formidable topicality: taking it into account is the task and duty of all of us.

Looking for answers of the common good leads us to think that it is necessary to innovate by creating a system and realistically joining forces and energies: easier said than done. But just think of the question of work, especially for young people, access to a home, birth rate ... to convince us that if we do not reverse certain trends, the answers risk remaining in the world of dreams.

Gianfranco Cattai
NP February 2022

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