Born in Turin on 6 December 1962. Italian nationality.
1980/81 school year: passed school-leaving examination in science at the social institute of the Jesuit fathersin Turin.
13 April 1987:Graduated cum laude in Political Science (International Studies)from Turin University.
Journalist, international political analyst, expert in the field of associations for social advancement and the third sector. Over the last thirty years he has been extremely prolific, both as a journalist and as the author of essays and contributions to specialist publications; he has also addressed seminars and conferences.
15 June 1991: married Marina Serio; father of Beatrice (born in Moncaliere on 26 January 1999) and Victor (born in Dakar on 3 September 2006).
June 1980 to 2000: active in the field ofINTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, first with CISV (Comunità Impegno Servizio Volontariato – voluntary service organisation) in Turin and then with networks and associations of national and European NGOs.
Specifically, at CISV he was responsible for activities in the areas of information, studies and awareness-raising (in January 1983 launching the magazine Volunteers for Development), fund raising and European campaigns, coordinating all the NGO's development and cooperation projects in Africa.
1984 to end 1999: held various positions in FOCSIV (Federazione Organismi Cristiani Servizio Internazionale Volontario), before becoming national president from February 1994 to September 1999. FOCSIV is an Italian federation of 55 Christian organisations active in international voluntary service, running over 300 cooperation projects in 67 countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia, Oceania and Eastern Europe.
As president, he focused particularly on relations with the Italian institutions (Government and Parliament), the Italian Episcopal Conference and the Holy See and the main organisations of Italian and European civil society.
February 1999 to 2001: Secretary of the Italian ecclesiastical committee for the reduction of the poorest countries' foreign debt, established by the Italian Episcopal Conference as part of the initiatives for the 2000 Jubilee. At the end of 2001, the committee became a foundation, of which he was vice-president until the end of 2004.
June 2000 to 2004: ran theEuropean network of the national presidency of the ACLI (Associazioni Cristiane Lavoratori Italiani – Christian associations of Italian workers); from February 2001 to September 2006 he was vice-president of the International ACLI Federation, based in Brussels. From 2004 to 2008 he was a Member of the National ACLI Presidency, in charge of the Department forInternational Activities and Relations. With over 950 000 members and a wide range of social services and businesses in over 40 countries, the ACLI are now the largest Italian associative system in the world. From June 2008 to March 2012 he was President of the National ACLI Council.
He has also held various positions in Italian and European networks and associations. Specifically, from 2001 to 2006, he was a member of the Council of the Permanent forum for the third sector, which brings together all the main organisations of the Italian social economy; he has been a member of CEDAG since 2001 and of Socialplatform since 2003; since 2001 he has been a promoter of Retinopera, a network of the main Italian Catholic organisations, of which he was secretary from 2005 to 2007; from December 2005 to 2009 he was vice-president of the Forum for a democratic, social and solidarity-based Europe, supported by the European social organisations of Christian workers; since March 2006 he has supportedIXE (Initiative of Christians for Europe), a network of European social organisations; in 2009 he was a member of the Committee promoting the Catholic Social Days for Europe, which took place in Danzig in October 2009, for which I was the coordinator of the final declaration.
Since September 2002 he has been a member of the EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE, belonging to Group III (Various Interests) and the European social economy category. Within the EESC, he has prepared and collaborated on opinions on the European Union's social and cohesion policies as well as on international matters. In September 2004 he was elected vice-president of the EESC's Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship. In October 2006 he was elected vice-president of Group III, member of the Committee Bureau for two years and member of the EU-Croatia and EU-Turkey Joint Consultative Committees. From October 2008 to 2010 he was President of the ACP-EU Follow-up CommitteeandPresident of the Standing group on Immigration and Integration. Among the latest opinions for which he was rapporteur are: The prospects of the social economy in Africa; EU-Africa cooperation with China; The Statute for European Political Parties; The implementation of article 11 of the EU Treaty on Participatory Democracy, The Social Dimension for the reform of EMU and improving the functioning of the EU by building on the Lisbon Treaty (exploratory opinion requested by the European Parliament).
In October 2011 he was elected President of Group III of the EESC and in January 2013 he was reappointed to serve until September 2015. In October 2015, he was unanimously re-elected for a further term (2015-2018) and in this capacity, he will be a member of the EESC's Presidency until 2018.