assisiFrom 8 to 12 July 2019, we had the opportunity to attend a summer school in Gubbio, Italy, organized by the Federation of European Catholic Universities (FUCE). It was a program for the students of Catholic universities with focus on European values. The theme of the first year of the summer school (hosted by LUMSA) was called European humanism in the making.

 

The summer school program consisted of private and public lectures prepared by representatives of several universities. They divided the theme of European humanism into several sub-themes: Contribution of History to European Consciousness, Literature and the Arts, Translation and European identity, Science, Technology and the Challenges of Humanism in Europe, European Social Humanism, Governance, Democracy and Civic Engagement. The program also included workshops on the topics as well as an afternoon trip to Assisi, where we had the opportunity to visit the Basilica of St. Francis and Basilica of St. Clare.

However, not only the lectures were enriching, but also the discussions that followed. We came from different countries with various ideas about Europe, European identity and many other topics. Nevertheless, mutual respect prevailed in the discussions. We think that this experience is one of the best representations of what Europe should and could be. We must say that this summer school brought together inspiring young people, who were full of interest and desire to change the world, or at least make it a bit better.

 

Whatever interesting facts we have learned about Europe, Europe is made up of people, and with mutual respect and openness to listen to each other and reflect on other opinions, it is possible to move forward - move Europe forward.

 

We are leaving summer schol with new knowledge, broadened horizons, ideas for thinking and especially friendships. Individual countries have ceased to be the information we know about them and have become the people we have come to know. And so they are no longer distant and relatively foreign, quite the contrary. And that is how we think it is best to connect Europe - through friendships.

 

Simona Briššová and Laura Mária Šiškovičová