Delegations from five EU countries came together to launch this conference on the social dimension of development in the European debate.

The Workshop "European Network for Entrepreneurship for Social Integration, Social Inclusion and Development of Regional Rural Territories for a Better European Future" is the third of a series of events related to the ENSIE project. This European project originated in a memorandum of understanding between 11 partners from 10 different EU member countries, funded by the European Commission's Executive Agency for Education, Audiovisual and Culture (EACEA) with an overall contribution of 150,000 euros granted under the Community Program "Europe of Citizens", Measure "City Networks" and ranked in second place.

The first day of the conference, Wednesday 21 March, featured the participation of young students from our local schools here in Penne and also students from our own “Istituto Tecnico Statale Commerciale e Geometri "G. Marconi "of Penne.  Local entrepreneurs were also represented, and the meeting was conducted under the auspices of the heads of the national contact points, these being:

Dr. Gabriella Spina, head of the ‘Europe Direct’ Majella network.

Dr. Serena Manzone, head of the ‘Enterprise Europe’ network of the Agency of the Chamber of Commerce of Chieti and

Prof. Rita Sassu, Senior Project Officer of the ‘Creative Europe’ Desk and of the ECP Italy (National Contact Point for the "Europe of Citizens" Program - Europe for Citizens Point).

In the afternoon, 15-minute presentations of the participating partners and a project team consultation took place in order to evaluate the current situation in the implementation of the project and preparation of the next conference in Serbia. Participants also took part in visit of the Town Hall and the city of Penne.

The second day of the conference, Thursday 22 March, was  coordinated by the journalist and speaker Dottoressa Valentina Tenaglia. Her intention was to target specifically these groups: journalists and communication experts, trade union associations, employers' associations, voluntary associations, trade unions representing rural workers, entrepreneurs, schools, citizens, municipal administrators, regional administrators, tourism operators, psychologists, social workers and other stakeholders.

After opening speeches by the Mayor of the Municipality of Penne, Dr. Mario Semproni, the Councilor for Social Policies of the Municipality of Penne, Dr. Lorenza Di Vincenzo and the Deputy Mayor of the City of Santa Severina, Avv. Pietro Vigna, the work of the conference was continued by Dr. Luciano Monticelli, Councilor with special responsibility for Culture and the European Affairs of the Abruzzo Region, who dealt with the role of the Region in the 2014-2020 European programmes. His contribution was followed by an analysis given jointly by Dr. Lepoldo De Lucia, Manager of the Lega Co-op Abruzzo and Dr. Carmine Masoni, Head of Economics CIA Abruzzo, on the legislative aspects related to the profile of the social enterprise within the New Code of the Third sector. The interests of the rural development sector of the Abruzzo Region were represented by Dr. Roberto Di Muzio, Head of the ‘Territorial Service of Agriculture’ (STA), who dealt with the profile of social responsibility within the Rural Development Program (RDP) 2014-2020.

A press conference was held after the speeches, coordinated by the journalist Dott.ssa Valentina Tenaglia, and interviews were carried out by the Itivù station and coordinated by the journalist Dott. Andrea Di Renzo. The entire plenary session was broadcast live. The debate highlighted the great opportunities that now exist for the purpose of encouraging business start-ups in the social economy and the barriers that have to be overcome in order to create a good practice manual.

For Italy, delegates heard from Dr. Aldo Di Fabrizio - Project manager of the Municipality of Penne and Prof. Luigi Dell'Aquila - Project manager of the Municipality of Santa Severina, and these words from Mayor Semproni:

"The municipal administration of Penne is committed to following the policies outlined in this conference and as proposed by Councilor Vincenzo of the Office of European policies. I would like to thank the municipal administration of Santa Severina, for their valuable collaboration and also all those who assisted with the project: - the speakers, Councilor Monticelli, our European partners, the Associations and the other stakeholders involved”.

Councilor Di Vincenzo added “This event, in putting social responsibility at the very heart of the project, will help to enhance the territory through exploiting its cultural resources (museums, churches and other points of historical-cultural interest) and its human resources. The path we are following aims to make Penne recover its sense of purpose by promoting it internationally through a social dimension.  Penne has on this occasion been the centre for an exchange of dialogue with our European friends and neighbours . The municipal administration is carrying out with determination various European projects in partnership, the most ambitious of which sees us engaged as a leader in the construction of an inter-institutional network of 5 municipalities for ‘the European project in the Empowerment of Local Institutions’. The coming together of citizens, partners and institutions has been fantastic and our culture and popular traditions have been at the centre of the promotion of our territory in a European context”.

“This is the only road that can bring well-being and development to our town, "said Project Manager Dr. Aldo Di Fabrizio. “As the European Union's father Altiero Spinelli said: ‘The task of realizing  European Unity does not belong to an undefinable generation in an undefinable future, but it belongs to our generation’".