“Europe is a continent of diversity. It is in diversity that we find the basis of the European identity. That is why intercultural dialogue is so important to the success of the ever-closer cooperation in the European Union. “In Varietate Concordia” (“United in Diversity”) is the motto of the European Union. It symbolizes the commitment of the countries which together form the EU. A Union that links 28 member-states in a shared sovereignty cooperation. Despite our diversity we also share common goals and common aims. The EU treaties are clear in this respect: we want a society based on pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality. This is crucial for the construction of a true European citizenship, in a Union with 24 different languages, multiple creeds and diverse ethnic origins.
The challenges that countries face in the 21st century cannot be solved in isolation. A globalized world, with globalized problems and threats, such as terrorism, cybercrime, climate change, trade wars, rise of the populisms and nationalisms, mass migrations and human, drugs and weapons trafficking. If we want to achieve the 2030 objectives, mainly the 17 Sustainable Development goals, we need to reinforce the role of intercultural dialogue and motivate people and communities to this cause. This requires a true understanding of the opportunity that diversity – in all its dimensions – can bring. From the advantages of an effective cooperation for development to the peaceful conflict resolution ambition, there are vast amounts of critical matters that require a true intercultural dialogue. Not only at decision-making level, but also at citizens level. Both in our daily life and in the exercise of our national and European citizenship.
I am very honored to have the opportunity to work, as Member of the European Parliament, to fulfill the mission of empowering citizens to make the changes we need to progress. I look forward to be an advocate of the REACH Alliance aims, objectives and projects. The priorities linked to refugee’s integration, migration, countering extreme violence and empowering young people are at the very heart of what I have been working on as a Member of the European Parliament. Change does not always come from big leaps forward; many small steps can bring big changes. Let us all take these steps in our daily lives, in the exercise of our citizenship, in our jobs and in every opportunity, we have to make a difference in our society of someone’s life.”
Member to the European Parliament (EPP group) | Previously a Secretary of State for Education at the Portuguese Government and currently member of the IMCO (Internal Market and Consumer Protection); LIBE (Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs) Committees; and STOA (Science and Technology Options Assessment) Panel. Author and co-author of many publications, such as “Europe from A to Z”