The celebration of Aosta Valley: 26 February

By Chantal Certan
Alliance Valdôtaine delegate in EFA

On 26 February, there is a celebration for the Aosta Valley. To understand the origin of this celebration, we have to go back through the history of our region to the period between 1944 and 1948, when the Valdôtaine autonomy was first organised. The special Statute, after several decrees and legal initiatives, was defined in Article 166 of the Constitution of Italian Republic and promoted by the constitutional law number 4, on 26 February 1948. This Statute was the result of a compromise and a reduction on the part of the Italian State in relation to the draft statutes discussed in previous years with representatives from the Aosta Valley, with no international guarantee, but it constitutes real autonomy in certain domains.

In these 70 years of Autonomy, the Aosta Valley has certainly not had an easy and expected course. But the celebration of the day of Autonomy and Special Status invites us “today more than ever – in a time when new constitutional reforms are underway – not to forget what was, is and should be the priority objective of our community: the defence and promotion of autonomy, our only and real strength”, as the President of the Region Carlo Perrin declared in 2005.

What does autonomy mean?

To be “small” and autonomous within a state means above all to act politically and administratively with an impeccable, proud, conscious and far-sighted responsibility – a torch that has not always been carried by some Aosta Valley politicians.

To be autonomous in this Europe is to understand the importance of pushing forward with even more conviction for a “Europe of the peoples”, where we must unite not only on the most current themes and urgently find synergies but also affirm our determination and foresight to tackle new challenges. To be autonomous today means being united in and thanks to our differences and to make our “regional perspective” heard both in Rome and in Brussels.

Looking to the future, the challenges that emerge after this period of pandemic will be more difficult, and at the same time banalised by the centralists.

The 26 February 2022 will surely be an important day for our future.