Belgium – The European Parliament hosts the Salesian family to promote a positive dialogue about partnerships with the private sector

On the initiative of the Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Ibán García del Blanco (S&D), and in collaboration with the Salesian Youth Ministry Department, DB Tech Europe, Red América Social Salesiana (RASS), Misiones Salesianas, Don Bosco Mondo, VIA Don Bosco, ZwickRoell and Puratos, Don Bosco International (DBI) organised the event on “Ensuring respect for human rights in collaboration with the private sector. A dialogue on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence”, held at the European Parliament on 2 April 2024. 

Around seventy participants attended the event, both in presence and online, during which the Salesian family promoted a constructive dialogue on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence, through Don Bosco’s good practices involving NGOs, European companies, Salesian Vocational Educational Training (VET) centres and Salesian sport centres in third countries.

The examples of the ZwickRoell VET Academy in India, the Puratos Bakery School in El Salvador, and the Real Madrid Foundation social-sports school in Dominican Republic showed how civil society actors and companies can implement sustainable programmes based on common values such as social inclusion, youth empowerment, integral human development, and passion. 

Despite a different nature and final aim, there are companies and NGOs that can share a common vision able to positively change the lives of beneficiaries, especially those of young people from vulnerable backgrounds and at risk of social marginalization. 

As underlined by MEP Ibán García del Blanco, the European Union is taking the first steps to oblige large companies to identify, prevent, end or mitigate adverse impacts of their activities on human rights and on the environment. The Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive would represent an improvement in the protection of children and youth rights, workers, and environmental sustainability. 

In collaboration with social and institutional actors, DBI will continue to advocate promoting Don Bosco’s values in EU policies. 

Among the main speakers: MEP Ibán García del Blanco, Fr. Rafael Bejarano Sdb – Global Coordinator of Salesian Social Works, Piero Fabris – Executive Director of DB Tech Europe, Fr. Alex Figueroa – Director of Red América Social Salesiana (RASS), Tony Cnudde – Corporate Fundraiser at VIA Don Bosco, Jean-Philippe Michaux – CFO – Group Director of Finance, ICT & Legal Affairs at Puratos, Dr. Susanne Franke – in charge of Corporate Co-operation at Don Bosco Mondo, Dr. Jan Stefan Roell – Chairman of the Supervisory Board ZwickRoell AG, Carlos Caballero Alemany – Head of Partnership Department at Misiones Salesianas. 

The event is the result of the advocacy strategy that DBI is implementing in the last year, in order to strengthen the visibility of Salesian actions in Europe and beyond within the European institutions.

Leave A Comment