Atreju 2023, the Biggest Event of the Year for European Conservatism

Culture - December 4, 2023

We don’t think there is a person who hasn’t heard at least once in his or her life the famous expression, derived hundreds of years ago from a great truth: “Mille viae ducunt homines per saecula Romam” (A thousand roads always lead men to Rome).  This expression refers particularly to the heyday of the Roman Empire, when the 29 public roads that criss-crossed the entire Roman Empire had the same destination: Rome. Therefore, we can firmly affirm that even today this expression can be used with ease considering that from the 15th to the 17th of December the European Conservative roads, from the great family of the European Conservative and Reformist Party, will meet at the end of this year in Rome, where this year’s edition of the Atreju conference will take place.

In this way, those wishing to participate will be able to register for the last event of the year organised by the European Conservative Party, which offers the possibility to participate in the event organised by the Italian conservative youth.

As it was mentioned, the conference will take place from Friday 15th of December to Sunday 17th of December 2023 and those interested can register HERE, opting for the extended version (with an extra night of accommodation and more time to visit the Italian capital), to be able to attend the whole Atreju 2023 event. On this occasion, the organisers offer the opportunity to participants, members and supporters of European conservative parties, to meet and strengthen ties with their Italian counterparts.

What is Atreju and how did it come about?

The Atreju event started in 1998 and was inspired by Atreyu, the warrior child from Michael Ende’s famous novel “A Neverending Story”. Like Atreyu who was sent to save Fantasia, whose name means “son of all”, so is the young man who daily engages in the fight for the values he believes in, against the forces that try to stifle his spirit and ideals. From this spirit Atreju was born, creating a favourable context for leaders from opposing camps to meet in an amicable and respectful way, to express their opinions.

Although the event usually takes place in September, this year the meeting will be held in mid-December at Castel Sant`Angelo in Rome. Castel Sant`Angelo got its present name in 590 and was originally designed as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian and his descendants but the popes converted it into a castle. The mausoleum, built of peperin (a volcanic rock), is circular in shape with a height of 20 metres and a diameter of 64 metres. At the time of its construction, Castel Sant`Angelo was the tallest building in Rome.

Since 2014 the Atreju event has been organized by Gioventù Nazionale, the youth division of the Fratelli d`Italia (FdI) party, and is the largest event organized by the FdI. Since the very first editions, a themed T-shirt was created to include the theme of that year’s event. These T-shirts remain proud memories kept by the participants, reminding them that “Atreju is the symbol of the fight against the Nothing that advances, exhausting the imagination and crushing young people like sardines”.

Atreju is about young people refusing to be silent and refusing to be mere spectators to decisions that influence their future. The young Atreju wants to actively participate in the decisions that influence their future and wants to be a protagonist on the political scene. Thus, in the 25 years since this event started, many young people who are now called the Atreju generation have moved their debates from classrooms or universities to the European political scene, and some of them have even become members of Parliament.

For all these reasons, it is important that Atreju continues because the young people involved today will be the future of tomorrow’s country. If we want a prosperous future, we must invest in young people.

So, see you in Rome because, isn’t it, in December all roads lead to Rome.