Pirano, 17 Settembre 2007

Il 17 settembre 2007 la cittÓ di Pirano dedica una scuola alla memoria di Diego de Castro. Alla cerimonia partecipano il Commissario europeo per il multilinguismo Leonard Orban, il Ministro per l'istruzione della Repubblica di Slovenia Milan Zver, il Ministro dell'istruzione della Norvegia Ojsten Djupedal, l'Ambasciatore d'Italia in Slovenia Daniele Verga, il Console generale d'Italia a Capodistria, il sindaco di Pirano Toma× Gantar, il presidente della Giunta di Unione Italiana Maurizio Tremul, il professore Giovanni Panjek Preside della FacoltÓ di Economia dell'UniversitÓ di Trieste e vicepresidente della Fondazione "Franca e Diego de Castro", il preside della scuola "Vincenzo e Diego de Castro" professoressa Marisa Rogiz, alcuni esponenti dell'Unione Italiana e UniversitÓ popolare di Trieste, e i rappresentanti delle organizzazioni della minoranza con i presidenti della CAN Costiera e di Pirano.

The power of example
The Opening of the Primary School "Vincenzo and Diego de Castro"

Honourable Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen, Signore e Signori,
It is a great pleasure for me to be here today to celebrate with you the opening of this school, where you are putting into practice what we often preach at European level: teaching more languages from an early age, laying the foundations of a harmonious coexistence between different communities, promoting a language friendly environment where all languages and cultures are valued.
The persons to whom your school is dedicated, Vincenzo and Diego de Castro, are a good example of such a multinational profile. Vincenzo, journalist and academic, born in Piran in 1808, taught literature in Italy, in the universities of Padova and Roma; decorated by the Austrian Emperor Franz-Joseph II and, with such a background, he published a descriptive Atlas of Europe!
Diego, born in Piran a century later, was a distinguished university professor in various cities in Italy, besides being involved in international diplomacy. As a founder of the International Institute of Statistics, he fulfilled his dream of opening institutes of statistics to foreign students.
You know how much I value multilingualism and how honoured I am to make the case for languages in Europe, and encourage Member States to take language learning and linguistic diversity a step further.
The European Union is built on respect for diversity: diversity of cultures, and also of languages. Languages should not be a barrier to divide us from each other, but a bridge towards each other. That is why language learning is so important, why it is so important to teach languages to children, to raise them taking advantage of a multilingual environment.
They will grow up and they will probably need other languages too, to travel in the wide world. But what they learn here they will never forget: not only the language of their community, but also the readiness to pick up and learn other languages, the awareness of belonging simultaneously to different cultures and languages: they will feel enriched.
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, I wish your school to be a model in educating European citizens, at ease with their community and country cultures and ready to take advantage also of the opportunities offered elsewhere in Europe!
Piran, 17 September 2007

Leonard Orban
European Commissioner responsible for Multilingualism