November 20, 2015
Giovanni Seppia’s speech:
It was not easy to decide to go on with this show; it was not easy to decide to have this show running. It was not easy to watch tv, read newspapers, listen to the radio, listen to the police sirens from my hotel room in Brussels. It was not easy to see people who should have supported and participated in this event stepping back because of unjustified concerns or instructions.
The day after the tragedies that occurred in Paris one of the last Italian show-business icons of the fifties died in her house that happened to be a well-known circus, a well-known European circus. Many, many years ago when I met her she told me the story of her circus performing in a Middle-East city while some districts of the town were under rocket attacks. She said she looked at the crowd under the big circus tent from behind the red curtain. She looked at the people who just wanted to have nice time, who worked hard all the week to have some nice time and get away from their daily worries. She decided that the show must have gone on, no matter what was happening outside. And that decision was both to entertain their full house and to show that nobody had the power to shut them up.
The power of Europe stays in its culture, history, languages, people and, above all, unity. I believe there is much more goodness in this continent, much more goodness in this world than what we have seen around in the past days. We are here to highlight it, to highlight the power of freedom, the power of the values that inspired the foundation of the European Union, the power of an Internet extension that helps bringing people together online and profiling themselves as European.
I would like to thank you all for being brave enough to attend this ceremony tonight, and underline that we should never be scared to enjoy our freedoms and values. And thank to all those behind the scenes who worked hard to make this happen.
That said, I am here to present the award to the 2015 .eu Champion, a person who has incredibly contributed to promote the .eu domain name and therefore, Europe. The award for the 2015 .eu Champion goes to Ms Flavia Pennetta.”