The European enhancement of Bosa – Interview with the Mayor of Bosa Pier Franco Casula

The HOSTVET project, funded with European funds ERASMUS PLUS in 2019, addressed to the issues of internationalization and Europeanization of the Region of Sardinia promoted by Tia Formazione and in partnership with three European organizations: IED (GREECE), PROANDI (PORTUGAL), MAD FOR EUROPE (SPAIN), sees in associated partnership the Municipality of Bosa, where the Italian legal site office of TIA Formazione is. The mayor PIER FRANCO CASULA kindly answered to an interview related to the themes of the project, imagining an increasingly European Bosa. We thank him.

Pier Franco Casula, source of the picture:

Interview by Ines Caloisi and Agnieszka Kurzeja

1. The project was approved in 2019 and aims to enhance the role of Europe in Sardinia by bringing opportunities for young people, in particular to welcome European students in Bosa and in the Sardinian territory through internships for students with Sardinian companies: how can this possibility be exploited, do you think it is feasible?

The relationship between “world of School” and “world of work and enterprise” is the connecting element to promote the necessary student internships. These should not have a territorial limit (Sardinia or the whole of the country), but be open to all experiences that, in the sectors concerned, must be followed. It means that it is necessary the territorial knowledge of more languages. In Sardinia, surely, traineeships in the hosting sectors in general should be prevalent, extended to the knowledge of the correct use of the most widespread means of social communication among young people, for the promotion of their business activity and exchange mobility.

2. What is Bosa’s commitment to European projects and how does Bosa invest in European funds?

To date, European planning has mainly interested and involved the world of school. Its organization allows to put in field a programming aimed at the didactic objectives, with consequent projects calibrated according to the students’ attitudes. It is difficult for the Municipality, as it does not have staff with specific professionalism, to invest in the European funds sector, it being understood that this is one of the objectives of this legislature. Starting, in the near future, from the “Smart city” project, shelved in the recent years, but still current.

3. What obstacles do you see in the realization of a greater Europeanisation of Bosa and Europe?

The greatest obstacles are precisely those linked to the absence, in the workforce of the Municipality, of personnel qualified in this sense and with knowledge of the myriad of opportunities that Europe presents us with. The structuring of the Local Authority foreseen by the National Legislation, for municipalities of dimensions like ours, prevents or limits, in fact, a far-sighted vision towards the “New Europe”, which we all hope for. A Europe that is the mother of achievable projects, which aim at concreteness, aimed at the needs of the territories, so different and complex, despite the physical proximity between them.

4. Have you thought about projects that internationalize more Bosa through European funds, for example, that support Education and active citizenship in a European key?

The internationalization of Bosa passes through a Guiding Project that sees the City regain its true identity, made up of environment, of monuments, of history, cradle of civilizations that, over the centuries, have succeeded one another seamlessly. The recovery of the City’s identity passes through the ability to stitch the three founding elements of Bosa: the ancient historic area, the seaside village and the river, as a connecting element. A project idea that will require an immense effort for our Municipality and that only through the involvement of Europe and its channels of funding can materialize: “Identity of Bosa, Project “Ultima Costa”.

Bosa is unique in Sardinia, rare in the Mediterranean, as a reference for a new model of tourism that the world needs, capable of adapting to the situations and to enhance its main strength for the future: young people. Only with such wide-ranging projects will it be possible to stimulate the Schools and the Companies, together with the successive Administrations, to plan themselves taking into account that we are not the “center of the world” but “an important and present part of it”. The Administration can and must encourage so-called “voluntary and intentional emigration” of young people, both incoming and outgoing: to train, to grow, to gain experience, to learn languages, to get to know different cultures, to learn to live with them, to get a sense of hospitality, growing professionally, all goals that are within this project we’re partners in.

5. In order to participate in European VET projects, such as this one funded, it would be important to bring the theme Europe to companies in the hospitality, tourism and food and wine sectors. What do you think would be the keys to bring companies closer to a concept of internship in a European key so that European students can acquire experience in Bosa to take back to their own country?

The new headquarters of the CPI (Center for the development of new businesses) has recently been inaugurated in Bosa, which has become an autonomous seat, with the will of the region to make it into a “SpRInt” Centre (Integrated Regional Desk). This with the aim of fostering the integration between “demand” and “supply” in the world of work, planning training courses calibrated to the need, by making the actors of supply and demand interact within a common path. Involving tourism enterprises in the hospitality sector in general, food and wine, services, artistic crafts, through targeted and direct training and information on the opportunities that the internship in European key would allow to develop (both for European students and local businesses), new and qualifying experiences.

6. In your opinion, what are the main obstacles faced by companies in Bosa that would like to host international students for an internship?

There should be no obstacles if, upstream, training and information are promoted consistently with the objectives of the companies themselves. In particular it is necessary to activate these pathways in time periods where entrepreneurial activity is suspended or reduced, in order to avoid overlapping work commitments to initiatives of this kind that would favour hospitality of international interns.

7. Which European projects does your administration adopt in education and Europe?

More than “adopt”, without entering into the merits of what has been done to date, it would be correct to say “intends to adopt.” In the meantime, by differentiating partnerships, designing and developing ideas for the support for innovation and for the exchange of “good practice”. This is by promoting equal opportunities and social inclusion, raising awareness with appropriate policies of civic engagement and active participation of citizens also on environmental issues (see in this regard the different initiatives recently put in place for plastic free, the smoking ban on the beach, interventions in favour of accessibility to public buildings, etc.). Just as a new approach to understanding the term “sustainability” is fundamental, which is now abused and used to justify the most disparate eco-environmental nature. Together with the principle of sustainability, it lacks the principle of good environmental protection, the principle of good sense and balance.

8. How do you imagine your Bosa, both as a citizen and as Mayor in the light of the relations that the Municipality must have with Europe?

I imagine a City open, free, beautiful, clean, tidy, full of offers for the citizens of the World who make it look like a virtuous reference for the Sardinia, Italy and Europe, a point of reference for those who want to invest in culture, work, opportunities in the field of energy efficiency that take into account the natural beauty that surrounds us.

A City that is capable of investing in Tourism at 360°, enhancing its extraordinary heritage that places it among the greatest Mediterranean examples of a mixture of natural and monumental beauty. A City that is recognized but, above all, feels an integral part of this Europe, that we’d all like a little more “Mom” than “Stepmom.” A City capable of seizing opportunities from the integration of the cultures of the world, without prevarication.

A City that regains its true identity, beautiful and goliardic at the same time, capable of laughing at itself at carnival events, but able to put in place its industriousness and the quality of its workers. If then these dreams can come true, the best would be to be able to do it thanks to the experiences gained by our young people in the World and young Europeans in Bosa, that “bring and import culture”, that promote growth from the bottom of the potential of the new youth enterprise and the economic sectors involved.

Will it remain a dream? Maybe it’ll… But Europe was also a dream many years ago.

We thank Mayor Pier Franco Casula


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