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João Onofre: We have to ensure that the EU delivers what citizens expect from it!

Age: 47
Nationality: Portuguese
Occupation: European Commission, Head of Unit at the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural development
Hobbies: Sports (football, tennis, running), reading, cinema, travelling, cooking for friends
Languages you speak: Portuguese, English, French, Spanish, Italian

Versão portoguese
Deutsche Zusammenfassung
Sommaire en français
Another voice from Lisbon: João’s sister

You are Portuguese. What do you think that Europe means to most Portuguese?

When I was born, Portugal was a closed and backward country. My family had been profoundly marked by the right-wing dictatorship and was strongly attached to democratic principles. I grew up in a country looking for openness, democracy and economic development. European membership was a strong rupture with my country’s Atlantic historic tradition but also the obvious choice then. Portugal radically changed since it became member of the EU in 1986, mostly for the better. Harsh reality came upon the Portuguese when an austerity programme was imposed in 2011. Now that the programme ended, relations with the EU will necessarily be much more healthy again.

Even if I am living in Brussels now I have never lost touch with my country. I have a big family in Portugal that I visit regularly. I try to be present at all the major family events. And over time this became easier and cheaper thanks to Europe and to the low cost flights!

“Many positive developments stemming from European decisions are so deeply integrated in our everyday life that you do not even realize anymore that it is about Europe: free travelling, high standards in education, work safety or environmental protection. I wish Europe will be able to continue its role of motor of European integration for the better.”


How did it come that you work for the European Commission?

I started my studies at university at the time when Portugal became member of the EU and when I graduated I immediately applied for a 5 months traineeship at the European Commission. I arrived in Brussels in the autumn of 1991 and decided that I wanted to work for Europe. Those were the times of euro-enthusiasm of the Jacques Delors Commission, the Maastricht Treaty and Objective 92 (the completion of the European Single Market). Europe was a great challenge for a newcomer and I grabbed it at once. And Brussels has turned out to be a great place to live, with so many different people from all over the continent and beyond.

What are you doing concretely in Brussels?

Since almost 3 years I am in charge of the European Commission’s organics unit at the Directorate-general for agriculture and rural development. We are developing and monitoring standards for organic production in the EU, as well as rules for controls and international trade. In this job the link with the everyday lives of citizens is obvious! Organics is a file where there is a perfect alliance between consumers expecting quality food respecting high environmental standards, and farmers getting higher prices for their produce. We work to the end that the EU logo on organic food is a guarantee for all consumers that the labelled products are organic. For me it is a really strong motivation every day to make sure that the EU organic logo delivers what the citizens expect from it. I love my job, but I guess I spend too much time in the office. My 2 teenagers grow very fast and I struggle to spend as much quality time with them as possible.

This seems to be a very stressful live with long working days and much travelling.

I have to admit that I love to travel, especially to far away exotic places, even if it is only for work. And besides my family activities I do as much sport as I can. I used to play football and tennis, but these are no longer very good for my ageing knees. I do long-distance running. Sport really helps me to re-establish my energy levels and my balance after a hard working day.

What is the greatest success of the European Union for you and where could it do better?

The EU’s greatest success is undoubtedly bringing long-lasting peace and stability to this continent. It has been a long and winding road since the Treaty of Rome in 1957. Some results as too detailed legislation may seem strange, but if we keep an eye on the big picture, Europe is an outstanding success! Before the financial crisis, Europe was associated with economic prosperity. With the slumping economy and the challenge of an expanding Europe with 28 different nationalities, prosperity is not so self-evident anymore. Europe has to deliver there because it can only be successful if it will be able to bring economic prosperity to most of its citizens.

Is there a negative myth about Europe you want to rectify? What is your biggest wish for Europe?

Europe is often accused of being a technocratic project and being too far away from citizens’ concerns. This is because Europe is seen as a threat to national interests, and it is only too tempting for national politicians to Playa-en-Algarve-Portugalblame it on Europe if results are not what you expect. In fact many positive developments stemming from European decisions are so deeply integrated in our everyday life that you do not even realize anymore that it is about Europe. Free travelling, high standards in education, work safety or environment are good examples. I wish Europe will be able to continue to fulfil its role of motor of European integration for the better. This is a harder challenge now, in times where the economy slumps and national interest seem to prevail, but as I said, we should not lose sight of the big picture.

Sometimes one has the impression that negotiations in Europe or at international level are useless and turn in circles.

Last year, I spent 2 days in Seoul trying to finalize an equivalence agreement on organic products with Korea. It has been a very frustrating and inconclusive negotiation. There was no way to break the deadlock, even though I used all the possible alternatives and flexibilities available to me. Next day, waiting for my plane back, I got an email from one of the Korean negotiators, written in a very poor English but indicating his respect for me having tried all efforts to conclude the agreement. Having obtained the confidence and respect of my Korean partners, it was much easier to find a very favourable agreement for the EU at the following negotiation. This is what Europe is also very much about!

Stability, Prosperity and Freedom, Europe is our future. It is up to all of us!

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Idade: 47
Nacionalidade: Português
Profissão: Comissão Europeia, chefe de unidade na Direção-Geral da Agricultura e do Desenvolvimento Rural
Ocupação de tempos livres: Desportos (ténis, futebol, jogging), leitura, cinema, viagens, cozinhar para amigos.
Línguas: Português, inglês, francês, espanhol, italiano

João Onofre: Temos de garantir que a UE cumpra as expectativas dos cidadãos!

O que pensa que a Europa significa para mais português?

Quando nasci, Portugal era um país fechado e            atrasado. A minha família foi profundamente marcada pela ditadura de direita e tinha sólidos princípios democráticos. Cresci num país à procura de abertura, na democracia e no desenvolvimento económico. Aderir à União Europeia representou uma verdadeira rutura com a orientação atlântica histórica do meu país, mas que era igualmente a escolha óbvia na altura. Portugal alterou-se radicalmente desde que se tornou membro da UE em 1986, principalmente para melhor. Mais recentemente, os portugueses enfrentaram a dura realidade no âmbito do programa de austeridade imposto em 2011. Uma vez que o programa já terminou, a relação com a UE tornar-se-à muito mais saudável de novo.

Apesar de estar a viver em Bruxelas, tenho mantido sempre o contacto com o meu país. Tenho uma grande família em Portugal, que visito regularmente. Tento estar presente em todas as principais reuniões familiares. E, ao longo do tempo, tornou-se mais muito mais fácil e barato, graças à Europa e aos voos low-cost…

Muitos desenvolvimentos positivos decorrentes de decisões europeias estão tão profundamente enraízados na nossa vida quotidiana que as pessoas nem sequer aperceber-se de que estas foram constituídas em virtude da Europa: a liberdade de viajar e elevados padrões de educação, a segurança no trabalho ou regras de proteção ambiental. Espero que a Europa possa continuar a desempenhar o seu papel de motor da integração


Como vieste trabalhar na Comissão Europeia?

Iniciei os meus estudos universitários no momento em que Portugal se tornou membro da UE e, assim que me licenciei, candidatei-me imediatamente a um estágio de cinco meses na Comissão Europeia. Cheguei a Bruxelas no outono de 1991 e decidi que desejava trabalhar para a Europa. Eram os tempos do “euro-entusiasmo” da Comissão presidida por Jacques Delors, do Tratado de Maastricht, e do objetivo 1992 para a realização do mercado único europeu. A Europa era uma excelente oportunidade e eu agarrei-a imediatamente. E Bruxelas, revelou-se uma ótima cidade para se viver, com uma magnífico ambiente cosmopolita e grande qualidade de vida.

O que está então concretamente a fazer em Bruxelas?

Sou responsável da Comissão Europeia Unidade “Produtos biológicos” na Direção-Geral da Agricultura e do desenvolvimento rural. Desenvolvemos e fazemos aplicar as normas para produção de alimentos biológicos na UE, bem como as correspondentes regras para os controlos e o comércio internacional. Neste trabalho, a ligação com a vida quotidiana dos cidadãos é óbvia! A agricultura biológica faz uma perfeita correspondência entre os consumidores que esperam alimentos de qualidade que respeitem elevados padrões ambientais, e permite aos agricultores a obtenção de preços mais elevados para os seus produtos. Trabalhamos para assegurar que o logótipo de «produto biológico” da UE constitui uma garantia para os consumidores de que os produtos rotulados são biológicos.

Como consegue controlar o stress na sua vida, com longos dias de trabalho e muitas deslocações?

Para mim, é uma motivação forte todos os dias a fim de assegurar que o logótipo de produção biológica da UE respeite o que os cidadãos europeus esperam dele. Gosto muito do meu trabalho, mas passo de facto demasiado tempo no gabinete. Os meus dois filhos adolescentes estão a crescer muito rapidamente e tento passar suficiente tempo de qualidade com eles. Devo confessar a gosto muito de viajar, mesmo que seja apenas em serviço. Para além da minhas atividades familiares, faço regularmente desporto. Costumava jogar futebol e ténis, mas estes já não são especialmente indicados para os meus joelhos…. Gosto de praticar jogging e fazer corridas de longa distância. O desporto contribui efetivamente para me para restabelecer o nível de energia e o equilíbrio após o dia de trabalho.

Na sua opinião, qual é o maior êxito da União Europeia o que é que ela poderia fazer melhor?

O maior êxito da UE é, sem dúvida, a construção da paz e a estabilidade no continente. O percurso da UE desde o Tratado de Roma, em 1957 em sido longo e sinuoso. Mesmo que alguma legislação possa parecer estranha e demasiado pormenorizadas, é importante continuar a olhar para a imagem global, e aí a Europa é um êxito notável! Antes da crise financeira, a Europa era associada à prosperidade económica. Com a estagnação da economia e o desafio de uma Europa em expansão com 28 Estados-Membros com níveis de desenvolvimento muito diferentes, a assegurar a prosperidade dos cidadãos europeus já não parece evidente. A Europa tem de encontrar esse caminho, porque só pode ser bem sucedida se for capaz de continuar a trazer prosperidade económica à maioria dos seus cidadãos.

Existe um mito negativo sobre a Europa que pretende corrigir ? Quais é o seu maior desejo para a Europa?

A Europa é muitas vezes acusada de ser demasiado tecnocrática e distante das preocupações dos cidadãos. Isto porque a Europa é vista como uma ameaça para os interesses nacionais, e é muito tentador para os políticos nacionais para atribuir as culpas à Europa por resultados aquém dos esperados. Na verdade, muitos desenvolvimentos positivos decorrentes de decisões europeias estão tão profundamente enraízados na nossa vida quotidiana que as pessoas nem sequer aperceber-se de que estas foram constituídas em virtude da Europa. A liberdade de viajar e elevados padrões de educação, a segurança no trabalho ou regras de proteção ambiental são bons exemplos. Espero que a Europa possa continuar a desempenhar o seu papel de motor da integração. Trata-se de um desafio mais difícil agora, num momento em que a economia diminui e os interesses nacionais parecem prevalecer — mas, tal como afirmei, não devemos perder de vista o quadro geral….

É uma ideia exata que as negociações europeias ou internacionais são muitas vezes longas e difíceis?

Ano passado, estive dois dias em Seul (Coreia do Sul),n a tentativa de concluir um acordo de equivalência mútua para os produtos biológicos. Foi uma ronda negocial bastante frustrante e inconclusiva. Não havia qualquer forma de ultrapassar o impasse, apesar de eu ter explorado todas as alternativas possíveis. No dia seguinte, enquanto esperava no aeroporto pelo avião de volta a Bruxelas, recebi uma mensagem de correio eletrónico de um dos negociadores coreanos, redigida em inglês muito deficiente, indicando o seu respeito por todos os meus esforços para concluir um acordo. Certo de ter obtido a confiança e o respeito das minhas parceiros coreanos, foi muito mais fácil encontrar um acordo muito favorável para a UE na seguinte ronda de negociações.

Estabilidade, prosperidade e liberdade. A Europa é o nosso futuro. Depende de todos nós!

para

Alter: 47
Nationalität: Portugal
Beruf: Abteilungsleiter in der Generaldirektion Landwirtschaft und ländliche Entwicklung der Europäischen Kommission
Hobbies:
Sport, Lesen, Kino, Reisen, Kochen
Sprachen: Portugiesisch, Englisch, Französisch, Deutsch

Joao Onofre: Europa muss liefern, was sich die Bürger erwarten!

Für den 47jährigen Portugiesen war eine Karriere bei den Europäischen Institutionen die richtige Wahl: Sofort nach seinem Studium entschloss er sich zu einem Praktikum in Brüssel und blieb. Seit drei Jahren arbeitet er in der Generaldirektion Landwirtschaft im Bereich der biologischen Landwirtschaft.

Friede und Stabilität sind für ihn die größten Errungenschaften Europas. Angesichts der derzeitigen Krise liegt die bedeutendste Herausforderung in der Erlangung des wirtschaftlichen Wohlstands für die BürgerInnen. Am meisten stört ihn, dass Europa oft als technokratisches Projekt gesehen wird, das sich zu weit von den BürgerInnen entfernt hat. Nationale PolitikerInnen würden zu oft den bequemen Weg des „Brüssel-bashing“ gehen.

Wenn den polyglotten Vater (er spricht neben seiner Muttersprache Englisch, Französisch, Spanisch und Italienisch) seine beiden Teenager nicht gerade auf Trab halten, versucht er sich mit Sport fit zu halten. Das gibt ihm wieder Energie für einen langen Arbeitstag. João liebt es zu reisen und mit FreundInnen zu kochen. Er liest gerne Geschichtsbücher und geht besonders gern ins Kino.

Stabilität, Wohlstand und Freiheit. Europa ist unsere Zukunft. Es liegt an uns allen!

para

Age: 47
Nationalité: Portugaise
Occupation: Commission européenne, Chef d’unité à la Direction général de l’Agriculture et du Développement rural
Hobbies: Sport, lecture, cinéma, voyages, cuisiner
Langues: Portugais, Anglais, Français, Espagnole, Italien


João Onofre: L’UE doit fournir avant tout ce que les citoyens attendent d’elle!

“L’Europe est souvent accusée d’être un projet technocratique loin des préoccupations des citoyens. C’est parce que l’Europe est perçue comme une menace pour les intérêts nationaux, car il est trop tentant pour les politiciens nationaux de rejeter la faute sur l’Europe !”

D’avoir grandi dans le Portugal des généraux, João a gardé un attachement farouche aux principes démocratiques. Son enthousiasme pour l’adhésion de son pays à l’UE l’a conduit à candidater pour un stage à Bruxelles, à la veille de la signature du Traité de Maastricht. Et vingt-cinq ans plus tard, c’est ce même enthousiasme qui le guide dans son travail dans le domaine de l’agriculture. Il estime que l’Union doit avant tout répondre aux attentes de ses citoyens – aujourd’hui la prospérité économique, comme hier la liberté de mouvement, la sécurité au travail, la qualité de l’éducation ou la protection de l’environnement. João n’a pas perdu de vue ses racines portugaises, et cela d’autant plus qu’il travaille au quotidien sur l’agriculture locale, biologique, et le développement rural.

Stabilité, prospérité, liberté. L’Europe est notre avenir. Cela ne tient qu’à nous !

 

para

Age: 42
Nationality: Portuguese
Occupation: Software Developer/Information Systems Management for the Portuguese 6th National Forest Inventory
Hobbies:  Reading, cinema, sports
My link with main interviewee: Sister

IMG_7923Raquel Onofre Capelo: We need strong leadership in Europe to promote citizens’ rights and well-being for all

You live in Lisbon. How does Europe impact on your life?

One of the most important impacts is how easily people can now move across borders inn Europe. The Schengen Agreement led to free circulation in Europe and, as a result, we better understand each other’s cultures and values. The Euro also reinforces mobility across European countries. For a small country like Portugal, with half its border facing to sea, I find this exchange of cultures quite important.

What do you think that people in your country are most worried about when it comes to Europe?

In Portugal major concerns are focused on the financial crisis we have been living through for some years now. The extreme efforts to comply with national obligations towards the Troika’s loan are very present in our public debate. In spite of these difficulties, Portugal has been able to achieve important goals for its economic recovery such as attracting world-wide attention to the great quality of Portuguese wine, or our textiles and shoes. This has been possible because young innovative entrepreneurs as well and traditional factory owners were closely working together.

What is your biggest wish for Europe?

I wish that Europe will overcome all possible crises by well using its experience and by keeping the lessons we learnt from history as our guide. We need strong leadership in Europe but also full commitment to promote citizens’ rights and well-being for all.

How do you know João Onofre (main interviewee)? If João was your personal ambassador to “Brussels”, what message would you like him or her to deliver there for you and your family, friends, colleagues or business partners?

João is my brother and I strongly support his work. João is a very committed professional, always focused on the best results possible. His ability to critically analyse situations and foreseeing outcomes always impressed me. He is a true European citizen and always shows me a different and interesting perspective to think about. I have always felt João represents me and my ideas well.

 

para

Idade: 42
Nacionalidade: Português
Profissão: Desenvolvimento de software/Gestão de sistemas de informação do sexto Inventário Florestal Nacional, Portugal
Ocupação de tempos livres: Leitura, cinema, desporto
A minha ligação com o principal entrevistado: Irmã

Raquel Onofre Capelo: Precisamos de uma liderança forte na Europa para promover os direitos dos cidadãos e o bem-estar para todos

Vive em Lisboa. Como é que a Europa afeta a sua vida?

Um dos impactos mais importantes é a facilidade com que as pessoas podem agora atravessar as fronteiras na Europa. O Acordo de Schengen conduziu à livre circulação na Europa e, consequentemente, tem havido uma maior partilha de valores entre culturas desde então. O euro também reforça a mobilidade entre países europeus. Para um país pequeno como Portugal, com metade da sua fronteira voltada para o mar, considero este intercâmbio de culturas bastante importante.

O que pensa serem as principais preocupações das pessoas no seu país relativamente à Europa?

Em Portugal, a grande preocupação para a maioria das pessoas é, obviamente, a crise financeira que se tem vivido, assim como os enormes sacrifícios que têm sido exigidos de forma a cumprir com as responsabilidades nacionais face à Troika. Apesar das dificuldades, Portugal tem conseguido objectivos importantes para a sua economia, tais como tornar-se auto-suficiente na produção de azeite ou na captação das atenções internacionais para os excelentes vinhos que produz. O sector dos têxteis e calçado têm vindo a conquistar nova implementação internacional, numa associação inovadora entre a indústria tradicional e jovens empresários. A produção de produtos de elevada qualidade tem sido uma forma comprovada de criar riqueza.

Quais é o seu maior desejo para a Europa?

Espero que a Europa possa ultrapassar os desafios vindouros, atenta à sua história e experiência. O meu maior desejo para a Europa é uma liderança forte que dê prioridade aos direitos e bem-estar dos cidadãos.

Como conhece João Onofre? Se João fosse o seu embaixador em «Bruxelas», que tipo de mensagem gostaria que ele transmitisse, para si e para a sua família, amigos ou colegas?

O João é o meu irmão e eu apoio com entusiamo o seu trabalho. O João é um profissional muito empenhado, que está sempre à procura do melhor resultado possível. A sua capacidade de análise crítica das situações e de antever as consequências, sempre me impressionaram. É um verdadeiro cidadão europeu e mostra-me sempre uma perspectiva diferente e interessante que me faz pensar. Sempre achei que o João me representa bem.

 

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Nicolas Schmit: Pour moi l’Europe doit être une Europe sociale!

para

Age: 62
Nationalité: Luxembourgeois
Occupation: Ministre du travail, de l’emploi et de l’économie sociale et solidaire du Luxembourg

EnglishVersion
Deutsche Zusammenfassung

main1D’où venez-vous ?

Je viens d’une petite ville du Luxembourg qui a été une ville sidérurgique et je suis issu d’un milieu ouvrier.

Que signifie l’Europe pour les Luxembourgeois ?

Je pense que les citoyens luxembourgeois comprennent les enjeux de l’Europe. Une Europe qui commencerait à battre de l’aile ne serait pas bonne pour le Luxembourg. La plus belle réussite de l’Europe c’est d’avoir unifié un continent déchiré à plusieurs reprises et cela dans la paix et dans la liberté, ce que finalement personne n’aurait pensé, ni dans les années 50 ni à la fin des années 80… au début des années 90.

Mais il y a beaucoup de personnes qui ont une mauvaise image de l’Union européenne.

Certains font circuler des mythes négatifs sur l’Europe. L’Europe, c’est une œuvre humaine, donc par définition imparfaite. Ce n’est pas un état définitif, c’est un processus qu’il faut réinventer, créer, tous les jours. Il ne faut pas se laisser au piège de ce mythe que les adversaires, que les ennemis de l’Europe, aiment véhiculer. Moi je crois que, certes, on peut améliorer les choses — il faut les améliorer — mais globalement, l’Europe nous a fait beaucoup progresser        dans beaucoup de domaines.

Mon grand-père a été tué le 10 mai 1940, et cette guerre a été tellement présente dans ma famille, dans ma maison, que j’ai pris en horreur cette idée de guerre. Et je crois qu’avoir pris en horreur cette idée de guerre, c’est finalement construire quelque chose qui exclue la guerre, c’est-à-dire l’Europe.

D’où vient votre conviction européenne ?

Ma conviction Européenne a deux sources: La première c’est une source, je dirais, intellectuelle parce que je me suis toujours occupé, même en tant qu’étudiant, de questions internationales, et donc je crois que, en plus en tant que Luxembourgeois, nous sommes un peu naturellement européens. Et ma deuxième source, c’est le père de mon père, c’est-à-dire mon grand-père a été tué le 10 mai 1940, et cette guerre a été tellement présente dans ma famille, dans ma maison, que j’ai pris en horreur cette idée de guerre. Et je crois qu’avoir pris en horreur cette idée de guerre, c’est finalement construire quelque chose qui exclue la guerre, c’est-à-dire l’Europe.

Quel est, selon vous, le principal défi de l’Europe aujourd’hui ? 53_vignoble_RK-xhdpi

Il faut que nous renouons avec les citoyens Pour faire ceci nous devons résoudre deux grands problèmes. Le premier, c’est de montrer que l’Europe prend très au sérieux la vie quotidienne des citoyens, l’emploi des citoyens, l’avenir des enfants, la sécurité des citoyens européens, et nous devons désidéologiser l’Europe. Ce n’est pas la domination du marché dans toutes les sphères de la vie qui doit être l’essence de l’Europe. C’est précisément une politique qui va droit vers les préoccupations des citoyens.

Y a-t-il un souvenir particulièrement marquant que vous avez gardez du projet européen après y avoir travaillé si longtemps ?

J’étais lors du conseil Européen de Maastricht — j’étais à Maastricht, dans les coulisses — et j’avais participé aussi dans le cadre de la présidence luxembourgeoise, a la négociation de Maastricht, et j’avais du préparé un petit…une petite intervention au premier ministre d’alors, qui était Jacques Santer, sur l’Europe sociale — voyez toujours l’Europe sociale, c’était déjà à l’époque mon domaine. Et Monsieur Santer a présenté cette intervention, et il s’est fait féliciter par François Mitterrand. Et pour moi, c’était un petit moment de bonheur parce que j’étais très admiratif de François Mitterrand, et que donc, à travers Jacques Santer, il m’avait félicité. Et tout le monde d’ailleurs qui le savait a rigolé parce que tout le monde savait que j’étais un grand admirateur de François Mitterrand.

Solidarité, Paix, Démocratie: l’Europe est notre avenir. Cela ne tient qu’à nous!

 

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Age: 62
Nationality: Luxembourger
Occupation: Minister for Labour, Employment, and the Social and Solidarity Economy

servaluxNicolas Schmit: For me it has always been about a Social Europe!

Where do you come from?

I come from a small, steel-producing city in Luxembourg and from a working-class background.

What does Europe mean for a Luxembourger?

I believe that the citizens of Luxembourg understand the issues at stake in Europe. A broken Europe would be bad for Luxembourg. Europe’s greatest accomplishment is to have unified a continent torn on many occasions, both in peace and in freedom, which is something no one would have considered, not in the 50s, not in the late 80s or early 90s.

My grand-father was killed in WWII on 10 May 1940. That war was so evident in my family, in my house, that I have come to loathe the idea of war. I think that having come to loathe this idea of war ultimately means to build something that excludes war, and that’s the European Union.

But many people have a bad image of the European Union.

There are negative myths about Europe that are passed around by some people. Europe is a human invention, meaning imperfect by definition. It is not a definite state but a process which needs to be reinvented, created, every day. We cannot let ourselves become trapped by these negative myths which adversaries—Europe’s enemies—like to convey. Personally, I think that, indeed, there are things on which we can improve—things on which we must improve—but, overall, Europe has enabled us to make progress in many fields.

Where does your European conviction come from?

There are two reasons for my European conviction. The first reason is an intellectual one because I have always taken an interest, even as a student, in international matters, and so I think that, as a national of Luxembourg, we are a bit European by nature. And the second reason is my father’s father. My grand-father was killed in WWII on 10 May 1940. That war was so evident in my family, in my house, that I have come to loathe the idea of war. I think that having come to loathe this idea of war ultimately means to build

something that excludes war, and that’s the European Union.

Where do you see the biggest challenge of Europe today?

We have to reconnect with the citizens again. I believe that we have to solve two big problems: the first one is to show that Europe takes the daily life of citizens, their job, the future of their children, and the security of European citizens very seriously. And we must remove ideology from Europe. The domination of the market in all spheres of life should not be what drives Europe. This is precisely the type of politics that causes citizens to worry.

Working so long for the European project, do you have a special moment you always will remember?

I was at the European Council in Maastricht which created the Euro and the European Political Union. I was in Maastricht, behind the scenes, and I had participated within the framework of the Luxembourg presidency in the negotiation of the Maastricht Treaty. I had to prepare a little speech for the first minister of Luxembourg at that time, Jacques Santer, on Social Europe—you see, for me it has always been about Social Europe. This is, if you want, my personal roadmap for Europe. When Santer had presented this speech, and was congratulated by François Mitterrand I also felt a little surge of happiness because I admired François Mitterrand a lot, and because, through Jacques Santer, he had congratulated me. Actually, everyone who knew had laughed because they all knew that I was a big admirer of François Mitterrand.

Solidarity, Peace, Democracy: Europe is our future. It is up to all of us!

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Alter: 62
Nationalität: Luxemburg
Beruf: Minister für Arbeit und Beschäftigung sowie Sozial- und Solidarwirtschaft

Nicolas Schmit: Europa ist für mich immer auch ein soziales Projekt!

Mein Großvater starb im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Für meine Familie war es immer klar, dass wir etwas wie die Europäische Union bauen müssen, wenn wir Krieg in Europa auf Dauer verhindern wollen.
Nicolas Schmit ist Minister für Arbeit, Beschäftigung sowie Sozial- und Solidarwirtschaft in Luxemburg.
Luxemburg hatte in den letzten 6 Monaten die Präsidentschaft im Ministerrat der Europäischen Union inne. Als Luxemburger ist ihm Europa besonders wichtig. LuxemburgerInnen, die im Herzen Europas zwischen Deutschland und Frankreich leben, würden besonders gut verstehen, worauf es bei Europa ankommt. Europa sei kein fertiges Produkt, sondern müsse sich immer wieder neu erfinden und bewähren, jeden Tag aufs Neue.

Für den Minister ist dabei klar, dass die Europäische Union in vielen Bereichen besser werden muss, insbesondere dürfe Europa nicht nur ein gemeinsamer Markt sein, sondern müsss auch soziale Verantwortung übernehmen. Aber Minister Schmit betont auch, dass Europa bereits große Erfolge erzielt habe, die nicht kleingeredet werden dürfen. Dazu zählt er u.a. die Friedenssicherung über viele Jahrzehnte, die Abschaffung der Grenzen zwischen den 28 EU Staaten und die Festlegung von gemeinsamen Werten in den Europäischen Verträgen.

Solidarität, Frieden, Demokratie: Europa ist unsere Zukunft. Es liegt an uns allen!

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Aurore Tabart: Having an open mind is the secret to success for Europe!

Age: 26
Nationality: Luxembourgish
Occupation: Assistant in the document management centre, Directorate-General for Communication, European Commission
Hobbies: Travelling, literature, cinema and sport
Languages you speak: French, English, German, Spanish

Version en français
Deutsche Zusammenfassung

atabartWhy are you working for Europe?

Travelling has been a passion of mine since I was a child. That’s the reason I decided to study foreign languages for my first degree. Spanish was my favourite class at university. I studied not only the language but also the literature and cultures of both Spain and Latin America. My Master degree focused on a more specific topic – inter-cultural relations and dialogue in Luxembourg. It was a way for me to understand the contacts between people, how they fight against stereotypes and get on well with each other despite the differences between their cultures.

How did you come to work for the European institutions?

I only really started to think about working for Europe while I was a trainee at the European Commission (at DG Communication). Things look different when you are on the ‘inside’ – the idea of the institutions as remote and inaccessible seems wrong somehow. You can see how people really are working to make Europe a better place. This might sound a bit over-the-top, but there really are many different projects and many people working on the problem of how to improve communication between the European Union and the people of Europe. This is not an easy task, of course, but it is one I believe is worth the effort and in which I am personally involved. I work for Europe because I believe in it. For me, Europe is something that all of us can benefit from, where everyone has a role to play, and I certainly want to play my part in helping to make Europe better understood and appreciated by everyone.

What do you do in Brussels?

After my traineeship in the European Commission, I worked as an assistant for a Luxembourgish MEP in the European Parliament, which was a very rewarding experience. Now I work in the document management centre in Directorate General for Communication at the Commission – working on a project that will most probably never end: the history of the European Commission and how best to preserve it. Document management is an important part of this, as it enables people interested in knowing more or researching this history a permanent access to the information they want.

What has been Europe’s greatest achievement?

Being able to cross national borders every day without showing your ID is clearly one of the greatest successes for Europe. I had to cross the Belgium-Luxembourg border every day when I went to school, and never once was I asked to show any form of ID. Imagine how hard it would have been to make this trip, if I had had to show my passport twice a day, on the way to and from school!

I like to think of Europe as a giant jigsaw puzzle, where each country is a piece of the puzzle that joins onto the others. The freedom for people to move from one piece of the puzzle to the next without hindrance is an immense step forward in my opinion. It can help us to get to know our neighbours better and more easily; travel broadens the mind! It is a step towards better inter-cultural dialogue and a greater respect for Europe’s many cultural and religious differences. It is a step towards a more united Europe.

In that sense, the Erasmus programme is the cherry on the cake. Students can live abroad for a couple of months, discovering another culture, speaking another language and sharing this experience with students who come from different countries. It is the best way to learn and to respect the nature/culture of everyone at the same time.

What is currently Europe’s biggest challenge?

What I hope for more than anything else is that we can find a long-term solution to the question of immigration and how to develop multiculturalism. Of course, it is extremely saddening to read, see or hear the tragic news of migrants and refugees struggling to reach Europe for a better life, of the boats sinking. Something needs to be done now to get to grips with this situation, and it is a real challenge for the European Union. What this crisis needs is fast, efficient and long-term solutions. We need a comprehensive solution that takes all the factors into account and which all Member States can support.

There has been a wave of popular support for refugees across Europe. Have you done anything to help?

For a couple of months, I have been volunteering at an association called ASTI – Association de Soutien aux Travailleurs Immigrés (Association for the Support of Immigrant Workers). I have been working for a project called the ‘Intercultural Garden’ whose aim is to give the children of refugees, and asylum seekers a chance to forget their worries for a short time by getting them involved in a range of activities including creating a garden so that they can grow their own fruit and vegetables. Spending time with those kids, sharing the fun, is something I will never forget. Respect for all, respect for people’s differences – these are the values I learned as a child. Respect and open-mindedness are two very important values in my view. They help us go beyond the stereotypes to find something better. If you want to be successful, you have to have an open mind. In my opinion it helps us to better understand not only ourselves but others as well, and to find a better future together.

Many people in Europe are scared of immigration and the multicultural society.

When I think about multiculturalism, it makes me think of my home town of Wiltz in Luxembourg, where there are many different cultures but where people live in harmony together. It doesn’t matter whether they are Luxembourgish, Portuguese, Serbian, Bosnian, Cape Verdean, Albanian, Belgian, French, German, Catholic, Muslim or atheist – there is room for everyone in this small town in the north of Luxembourg. And this is a situation that is replicated in many other places across Luxembourg, Wiltz is not an exception! That’s one of the reasons why people often call Luxembourg ‘little Europe’.

You must have to be multilingual living in such a place…

Multilingualism is the reality of everyday life in Luxembourg – everyone speaks three languages: Luxembourgish, French and German. Any secondary school pupil can take their classes in any of these languages, and also 001-VdL-vielleville-130256-xhdpichoose to learn a couple more European languages if they want (English and Spanish are popular). It’s no surprise then that the majority of Luxembourgish people feel European!

You enjoy sharing your time with people from all different backgrounds then?

Yes, but I have to admit that I am always happiest when I am with my family! As I have lived abroad most of the time since I was 18, I have come to appreciate those privileged moments with my family even more! I was born in Luxembourg but my family is Belgian originally, and Belgian culture has always been part of home life too. For example, my father makes the best steak tartare – a typical Belgian dish. I have eaten it in many restaurants in Brussels, but none of them has ever tasted as delicious as the one my father makes!

Respect, open-mindedness and education. Europe is our future. It is up to all of us!

“I work for Europe because I believe in it. Europe is something that all of us can benefit from, where everyone has a role to play, and I certainly want to play my part in helping to make Europe better understood and appreciated by everyone.”

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Age: 26
Nationalité: Luxembourgeoise
Occupation: Assistant au Centre d’Administration de Documents de la Direction Générale Communication de la Commission européenne
Hobbies: Voyages, littérature, cinéma et sport
Langages: Français, anglais, allemand, espagnol
Dévise personelle: “Little by little, a little becomes a lot.” C’est un proverbe de Tanzanie qui veut dire “Petit à petit, pas à pas, une action après l’autre, nous mène vers de beaux résultats”.

Aurore 3Aurore Tabart: avoir un esprit ouvert est synonyme de réussite pour l’Europe!

Pourquoi vous travaillez pour l’Europe?

Le voyage étant une passion depuis toute petite, je me suis lancée dans des études de langues étrangères. Une façon pour moi de pouvoir mieux interagir avec les locaux des pays que je visite. Mes cours de langue espagnole ont été mes préférés à l’université, car j’ai eu la possibilité d’étudier cette langue, mais aussi d’analyser la littérature pas seulement d’Espagne, mais aussi d’Amérique latine, tout comme son cinéma. Mon master fut plus approfondi, car je me suis lancée dans une recherche sur l’interculturalité et le dialogue interculturel au Luxembourg. Une façon pour moi de mieux comprendre les contacts entre personnes et leur façon de combattre les stéréotypes et de s’entendre malgré leurs différences culturelles.

Et comment vous êtes arrivée à travailler pour une des institutions de l’Union européenne?

Cette envie de travailler pour l’Europe ne s’est vraiment concrétisée que lors d’un stage à la DG Communication de la Commission européenne. Etant interne, les choses apparaissent à nos yeux de façon différente. Cette image d’Institutions européennes inaccessibles se dissipe. Un travail est effectué pour une meilleure Europe. Cela sonne grandiose, mais si on considère ce problème de communication entre l’Union européenne et ses citoyens, nombreux sont les projets et nombreuses sont les personnes travaillant à un meilleur dialogue. Certes, cette tâche est un défi, un défi auquel je crois et participe. Je travaille pour l’Europe, car je crois en elle. Je la considère comme l’affaire de tout le monde, chacun ayant son rôle à jouer et je souhaite participer à cette réalisation qui mènera vers une Europe connue et appréciée de tous.

Qu’est-ce-que vous faites à Bruxelles?

Après mon stage j’ai eu l’opportunité de travailler en tant qu’assistante accréditée pour une MEP luxembourgeoise. Cette expérience fut plus qu’enrichissante. Actuellement, je fais partie de l’équipe CAD – Centre d’Administration de Documents de la DG Communication de la Commission européenne. Nous travaillons en permanence sur un projet qui ne s’achèvera probablement jamais: l’histoire de la Commission européenne et sa préservation. En effet, la gestion de documents est importante afin d’y garder un accès permanent, de retrouver des documents, mais aussi de faire des recherches, et que chaque citoyen y ait accès.

Ou l’Europe a réussie à votre avis?

008-drapeauxlux-ue-201619-xhdpiPasser la frontière d’un pays à un autre sans devoir montrer sa pièce d’identité est un grand succès pour l’Europe. Je me souviens que lorsque je me rendais à l’école, personne ne m’arrêtait à la frontière belgo-luxembourgeoise pour me demander ma carte d’identité. Parfois, je me demande comment se serait déroulé ce fait quotidien de devoir montrer mon titre, chaque jour, en allant et revenant de l’école. A mes yeux, l’Europe est, depuis des années, tel un vaste puzzle où chaque pièce est un pays assemblé à un autre. La liberté de circulation des personnes est un pas immense pour la liberté de chaque citoyen européen. C’est un pas franchi vers une meilleure et plus accessible connaissance de l’autre. Les gens voyagent, et apprennent à connaître leur concitoyen européen, un pas vers un meilleur dialogue interculturel et vers un respect des différences culturelles et religieuses, vers une Europe plus unie.

Dans ce sens, le programme Erasmus est un peu comme la cerise sur le gâteau. De jeunes étudiants partent vivre quelques mois dans un autre pays, découvrant et vivant une autre culture, parlant une autre langue que leur langue maternelle et partageant cette expérience avec d’autres étudiants venus d’autres pays. La meilleure des façons d’apprendre et de respecter la nature/culture de chacun et de se développer soi-même.

Pour vous lequel est le défi le plus grand de l’Europe en ce moment ?

Un de mes plus grands souhaits pour l’Europe est de trouver des solutions durables en matière d’immigration et de multiculturalisme/interculturalité. Plus spécifiquement, les récentes tristes nouvelles de naufrages de bateaux transportant des êtres humains voulant atteindre les côtes européennes pour une nouvelle vie sont plus qu’à prendre en considération et lancent un énorme défi à l’Union européenne. Des solutions rapides, efficaces et durables sont nécessaires, prenant en considération un nombre de facteurs importants et une unité de chaque Etat-Membre face à ce fléau est primordiale.

L’immigration et l’intégration des immigrés est un sujet qui mobilise. Quel est votre point de vue là-dessus?

Durant quelques mois, j’ai travaillé en tant que volontaire avec l’ASTI – Association de Soutien aux Travailleurs Immigrés pour un projet de « Jardin interculturel ». Le but était d’offrir à des enfants de réfugiés et de demandeurs d’asile, la possibilité d’oublier un instant leur situation par des activités tels que des jeux et la réalisation d’un jardin où ils pourraient venir récolter leurs fruits et légumes. Etre entourée de ces enfants et de s’amuser tous ensemble est un souvenir qu’on ne peut oublier.

Le respect de chacun, le respect pour la différence sont des valeurs que j’ai reçues de mon éducation. Le respect, l’ouverture d’esprit sont deux valeurs très importantes à mes yeux, elles permettent d’avancer vers quelque chose de mieux. Il ne faut jamais s’arrêter aux stéréotypes. Avoir un esprit ouvert est synonyme de réussite pour moi, car il nous apprend à nous connaître nous-même, à connaître les autres et delà à aller de l’avant, vers un meilleur « avant ».

Beaucoup de personnes en Europe ont peur de l’immigration et d’une société multiculturelle.

Quand je parle de multiculturalisme je me sens comme citoyen de Wiltz. Wiltz est une petite ville luxembourgeoise comptant un nombre important de cultures différentes et où règne une convivialité remarquée entre elles. 001-grund-alzette-130253-xhdpiLuxembourgeois, Portugais, Serbes, Bosniens, Cap-Verdiens, Albanais, Belges, Français, Allemands, catholiques, musulmans, athées, chacun trouve sa place dans cette petite ville du nord du pays. Cette situation n’est pas uniquement propre à cette ville, mais à l’ensemble du pays. Souvent on parle du Luxembourg, comme de la petite Europe et cela ne pourrait pas être faux.

Dans une telle société il faut parler plusieurs langues…

Le Grand-Duché de Luxembourg pratique déjà le multilinguisme. On parle trois langues officielles: le luxembourgeois, le français et l’allemand. Chaque élève de secondaire suit ses cours dans ces trois langues et a également l’opportunité d’apprendre jusqu’à deux autres langues de l’Union européenne comme l’anglais et l’espagnol. Et la plupart des luxembourgeois se sentent européen(ne). Nous sommes 28 pays unis sous le même drapeau d’étoiles jaunes sur fonds bleu pour les mêmes valeurs et principes, perpétuant nos cultures, et respectant chacune d’entre elles, en faisant de celles-ci notre richesse.

Vous êtes donc un vrai cosmopolite….

Il y a un moment en particulier qui me rend plus qu’heureuse : lorsque je suis entourée de famille. Ayant vécu la plupart du temps à l’étranger depuis mes 18 ans, j’apprécie d’autant plus ces moments privilégiés en famille. Et puis mon père fait le meilleur des tartares. J’ai beau avoir essayé plusieurs restaurants à Bruxelles, aucun n’est aussi délicieux que celui cuisiné par mon père! Et même en ayant la recette familiale, il reste le chef! Née au Luxembourg de parents belges, la cuisine belge a toujours fait partie de la maison et les traditions belges perpétuant.

Respect, ouverture d’esprit et éducation. L’Europe est notre avenir. Cela ne tient qu’à nous!

Je travaille pour l’Europe, car je crois en elle. Je la considère comme l’affaire de tout le monde, chacun ayant son rôle à jouer et je souhaite participer à cette réalisation qui mènera vers une Europe connue et appréciée de tous.”

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Alter: 26
Nationalität: Luxemburg
Hobbies: Reisen, Lesen, Kino, Sport
Sprachen: Luxemburgisch, Französisch, Englisch, Deutsch, Spanisch
Motto: “Little by little, a little becomes a lot.” Das Sprichwort aus Tansania bedeutet “Schritt für Schritt kann man viel erreichen”.

Aurore 2Aurore Tabart: Offenheit ist das Geheimnis des Erfolgs für Europa!

Aurore ist in Luxemburg aufgewachsen. Das kleine Land zwischen Deutschland, Belgien und Frankreich ist schon immer von mehreren Kulturen gekennzeichnet und so ist es ganz normal, dass jeder Französisch, Deutsch und Luxemburgisch spricht. Aber Aurore wollte mehr. Spanisch war Ihre Lieblingssprache und das Tor nach Südamerika! Beruflich stieg Aurore in Brüssel als Mitarbeiterin eines Europaabgeordneten ein, machte ein Praktikum in der Europäischen Kommission und arbeitet heute in der Direktion für Kommunikation der Kommission.

Die Reisefreiheit in Europa, der sogenannte “Schengenraum” benannt nach dem kleinen luxemburgischen Grenzort, ist für Aurore die größte Errungenschaft der EU, die auch angesichts der Migrationskrise nicht aufgegeben werden darf. Aurore hat sich früh für Flüchtlinge interessiert und engagiert. Sie war freiwillige Helferin im Verein ASTI, der Arbeiter aus Immigrationsfamilien unterstützt, sich besser zu integrieren. Im Project ‘Interkultureller Garten” hat sie viel Zeit mit Flüchtlingskindern verbracht. Respekt für andere Kulturen und Offenheit stehen für Aurore auch am Beginn der europäischen Einigung. Und sie ist überzeugt: wie in ihrer Stadt Wiltz, in der Luxemburger, Portugiesen, Serben, Bosnier, Albaner, Belgier, Franzosen, Deutsche, Katholiken, Muslime und Atheisten friedlich zusammenleben, so kann es überall in Europa sein.

Respekt, Offenheit und Bildung. Europa ist unsere Zukunft. Es liegt an uns allen!

 

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Ginevra Sponzilli: The European Union’s potential to create a better Europe is limitless!

Age: 24
Nationality: Italian
Occupation: Trainee at the EU Committee of the Regions (October 2014 to February 2015) and soon student at the Europa College in Bruge
Hobbies: So many! I absolutely love to dance! I love basketball, volleyball, and running. I love jazz and going to live concerts, as well as visiting art galleries and museums.
Favourite book: “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Czech writer Milan Kundera
Favourite song: Edit Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose”, sung by Louis Armstrong
Languages you speak: Italian, English, French and Spanish

Italian version
Deutsche Zusammenfassung
Sommaire en français

Ginevra_and_her_fatherWhere are you from?

I was born in South Africa, but am the daughter of two wonderful Italian parents. Hence, I am a full-on European citizen! And a proud one, too! Due to my father’s job, I have also lived in Italy, Malaysia, Morocco, Singapore, and the United States. I completed my high school in Southeast Asia and then continued onto Boston (USA) to pursue a Bachelor’s of Arts in International Relations with minors in Political Science and Social Entrepreneurship.

How did you end up working as a trainee for the European Union?

After completing my Bachelor of Arts in Boston (May 2014), I had a real desire to return to Europe. I was fortunate enough to be accepted for a traineeship at the EU’s Committee of the Regions. My passion for European politics and the future of this beautiful continent dates back to long before this experience. However, as I had hoped for, these five months at the Committee have provided me with a deep insight into the challenges, the potential, and the charm of the European Union. There are many difficulties, both fundamental and structural, that the EU faces daily. Given this, I have incredible faith in its potential, and in the power that all of us can bring to it – together, united, and positively. The future is challenging, but very, very bright!

What sorts of things did you do as a trainee at the Committee of the Regions?

I was working at the private office of the Secretary General and supported the work of the colleagues there coordinating the different services of the CoR. And alongside other trainees, I organised a conference, which focused on giving European youth a voice and re-integrating them into European society. The conference was a one-day event on 5th February 2015 where people of all ages, from all sorts of professional backgrounds – from academia and civil society to the EU institutions and the private sector – came together to brainstorm and design proposals that can help the European Commission ensure the involvement of youth in the areas of youth (un)employment, European citizenship and political participation, and sustainable development. It felt empowering and inspiring to organise such an event, alongside other trainees and other young Europeans. The future, especially Europe’s future, is up to us!

You have finished your traineeship at the EU. What do you take with you?

I came to Brussels thanks to this traineeship, but with an already strong desire to want to live and understand Europe better. I wanted to feel and live the everyday reality of what it means to be a European, and, especially, what it means to work for Europe. And so I did. And just like true love, my love for Europe has only grown. It is by no means a perfect system of governance, but its potential is limitless in my eyes, and the results it has brought and continues to bring are far more rewarding, significant, and impactful than anything before.

In your view, what is Europe’s greatest achievement?

There are many beautiful things to recognise and appreciate about Europe, but I would say that a key is finding European harmony in our differences. We come from different backgrounds, with different histories, cultures, and traditions. Given this, this idea that we are ‘European’ is really blossoming. We are finding harmony, balance and beauty in our differences and that unites us. It’s a delightful aspect of our diverse society.

What do you think about the fact that many people say that Europe is distant and does not care about the daily problems of people?

I think it’s important to emphasise that the disconnect occurring between the people of Europe and the institutions/institutional authorities is a natural one. It should be addressed and reduced, but it’s also a part of the process. We shouldn’t be blaming the EU officials for being cold-hearted or removing their human side. Europe belongs to all of us. It’s up to all of us. After spending five months working within the Institutions, I can assure you that the people working in them are dedicated, passionate, and very, very human.

Do you think that there are certain values we should defend in Europe?

My father brought me up with the need for such values and principles as respect, honesty, and trust. Principles I hold dear to my heart and in my daily life. Principles that I associate with – both personally and as a European. I find that we live in a society – a European society – that attempts increasingly to reflect and place value in such principles every day!

And the way my father appreciates beauty – the real beauty in literature, in art, in history is important to me. He also instilled in me a great appreciation for history, with special emphasis on European history. The foundations established by the Romans are something we take pride in – those are our ancestors after all! I think these are principles we should aim to defend always.

Do you have a personal motto?

There are many quotes that I love, but one from Mae West I hold dear and find inspiration in every time I read it – “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

Citizenship, culture and diversity: Europe is our future. It is up to all of us!

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EtÀ: 24
Nazionalità: Italiana
Lavoro: Stagista al Comitato delle Regioni dell’UE (ottobre 2014 – febbraio 2015) e studente  al College of Europe à Brugge
Hobbies:  Tantissimi! Adoro ballare – più di qualsiasi altra cosa! Adoro la palla canestro, la             palla volo e la corsa. Apprezzo moltissimo la musica jazz ed anche i concerti live. In  oltre, mi piacciono molto le mostre/gallerie d’arte (in particolare il periodo del   romanticismo).
Libro preferito: è scritto da Milan Kundera (di origine ceca) – “L’insostenibile leggerezza dell’essere.”
Canzone preferita: ‘La Vie en Rose’ cantata non da Edith Piaf ma da Louis Armstrong
Parla: Italiano, Inglese, Francese e Spagnolo.

giniGinevra  Sponzilli: L’Unione europea offre possibilità infinite per un futuro migliore!

Lei e una Italiana nata in Sud Africa

Sono nata in Sud Africa ma mi reputo Italiana essendo la figlia di due incredibili genitori Italiani. Mi considero una cittadina Europea (e tanto fiera di questo!). Per via del lavoro di mio padre, ho avuto la fortuna di abitare in Italia, Malesia, Morocco, Sud Africa e Singapore. Dopo aver completato il liceo a Singapore, ho continuato gli studi universitari a Boston (USA) dove ho completato l’equivalente di una triennale in Relazioni Internazionali con due specializzazioni in Scienze Politiche ed Imprenditoria Sociale.

Come sei arrivata qui come stagista dell’Unione europea?

Dopo aver completato la triennale a Boston (Maggio 2014), avevo un grande desiderio di rientrare in Europa. Ed a mia fortuna, sono stata selezionata per uno stage presso il Comitato delle Regioni qui a Bruxelles. La mia passione per la politica Europea, e per questo grande continente in generale, risale a ben prima di quest’esperienza professionale. Devo comunque ammettere che questi cinque mesi mi hanno offerto una visione più profonda, e cosi anche più genuine delle difficoltà, il potenziale, e il grande fascino dell’Unione Europe. Ci sono tante difficoltà strutturali, che l’UE deve affrontare giornalmente. Ma detto questo, ho una grandissima fiducia nel proprio potenziale e nella sua capacità di unirci, facendoci rimanere ottimisti per il futuro. Sarà un futuro impegnativo, ma assolutamente pieno di possibilità!

Ci puoi dare un esempio di attività svolte durante il tuo stage presso il Comitato delle regioni?

Ho lavorato al gabinetto del Segretario generale aiutando i collegi nel loro lavoro di coordinazione dei servizi del Comitato. E accanto ad altri stagisti del Comitato delle Regioni, ho organizzato una conferenza la quale si svolge intorno al tema della gioventù in Europa, e la reintegrazione dei giovani nella società Europea. La conferenza a preso luogo il 5 Febbraio dove partecipanti, di varie età, sfondi e professioni si sono riuniti per discutere e creare proposte che sono state poi votate alla fine della giornata e inviate alla Commissione Europea per farsi che le voci dei giovani, e soprattutto i temi che li coinvolgono di più, siano all’attenzione di Juncker e coloro che gestiscono la politica Europea. Le proposte hanno a che vedere con tre temi scelti da noi organizzatori: la disoccupazione giovanile, la cittadinanza europea (a che vedere con la partecipazione dei giovani in politica) e lo sviluppo sostenibile.

L’organizzazione di tale conferenza è stata una grande ispirazione, specialmente accanto agli altri stagisti. Il futuro, e specialmente il futuro Europeo, dipende da tutti noi!

Hai finito da poco lo stage cosa porterai con te da questa esperienza?

Sono venuta ad abitare a Bruxelles grazie a questo stage, ma avevo già una grande voglia di rientrare in Europa, specialmente per poterne capire di più. Avevo l’intenzione di vivere la quotidianità e scoprire cosa volesse dire essere Europei, e specialmente, cosa volesse significare lavorare per l’Europa. E cosi ho fatto, e come un vero amore, l’affetto e l’ammirazione che ho per l’Europa sono solo cresciuto. Certamente non è un’istituzione perfetta, ma il suo potenziale è infinito, e i risultati che ha portato e che continua ad offrire, sono molto di più di qualsiasi cosa fatta in passato da nazioni divise.

Quale il successo più grande dell’Unione europea?

Ci sono tante cose da riconoscere e d’apprezzare dell’Europa ma direi che tra tutte queste, è proprio l’armonia che si è creata, in parte anche grazie alle nostre differenze. Veniamo da diverse storie, culture e tradizioni. Detto questo, l’idea che siamo tutti “Europei” è qualcosa di affascinante e che sta tuttora fiorendo. Stiamo trovando una concreta armonia, equilibrio e bellezza nella nostra diversità e questo ci sta unendo profondamente. L’identità Europea è diventata realtà.

Sono tanti a dire che l’Europa est distante e distaccata dai cittadini

E importante riconoscere che “la distanza” tra i cittadini europei e le istituzioni è un aspetto in parte naturale, fa parte delle dinamiche politiche. Certo dovremmo fare tutto il possibile per evitarlo e comunque, cercare di rimuoverne il possibile. Però è anche un particolare che fa parte dello sviluppo. Non dovremmo incolpare coloro che lavorano per le istituzioni togliendoli il loro lato umano. Dopo mesi dentro le istituzioni, posso dire con certezza che la gran parte della gente che ci lavoro è dedicata, appassionata ed anche molto, molto umana come tutti gli altri cittadini Europei.

Pensi che ci siano dei valori da proteggere da parte dell’Europa?

Mio padre mi ha trasmesso i valori e la necessità di principi come il rispetto, l’onesta e la fiducia. Principi ai quali tengo tantissimo e cerco di fargli rispecchiare nella mia vita quotidianamente. Principi con i quali mi ritrovo sia a livello personale, sia come Europea. Penso che viviamo in una società, una società europea, che lavoro per valorizzare e rispecchiare questi principi sempre di più.

Fin da piccolo mio padre ha trasmesso in me un apprezzamento per la storia, in particolare la storia Europea. Le fondazioni portate avanti dai Romani – un aspetto del quale siamo molto fieri – d’altronde sono i nostri antenati!

Sono questi aspetti della nostra società che dovremmo difendere.

Hai una frase ispirante da condividere con noi?

Ci sono tante frasi con le quali mi ritrovo, ma una che mi offre sempre dell’ispirazione è questa:

“Si vive una volta sola, ma se lo fai bene, una volta è abbastanza.” – Mae West

Cittadinanza, cultura e diversità: L’Europa è il nostro futuro. Dipende da tutti noi!

 

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Alter: 24
Nationalität: Italien
Sprachen: Italienisch, Englisch, Französisch, Spanisch

College_of_Europe_BruggeGinevra Sponzilli: Die EU kann in unzähligen Bereichen ein besseres Europa schaffen!

Die 24 Jahre junge Italienerin Ginevra Sponzilli, wollte nach langen Aufenthalten mit ihrer Familie in den USA, Asien und Afrika zurück nach Europa. Die Europäische Idee und die Europäische Union hatten sie schon immer fasziniert und das Praktikum beim Ausschuss der Regionen der Europäischen Union bot ihr die ideale Gelegenheit sich voll in das Europäische Projekt einzubringen. Ihre Begeisterung für Europa ist weiterhin ungebrochen und gewachsen. Im Herbst startet Ginevra am Europa-Kolleg in Brügge einen Europalehrgang.

Ginevra ist sich bewusst, dass die EU nicht perfekt ist, aber sie leistet ihrer Meinung nach viel und hat noch größeres Potential. Für die sprachbegabte Italienerin (sie spricht Italienisch, Englisch, Französisch und Spanisch) liegen die Stärken Europas in seiner Vielfalt und in den gemeinsamen europäischen Werten. Ginevra denkt, dass die EU Institutionen die BürgerInnen besser in ihre Arbeit einbinden müssen, und sie tritt der Meinung entgegen, dass in Brüssel farb- und herzlose Bürokraten arbeiten.

Das Lebensmotto der sport- und musikbegeisterten jungen Frau: Du lebst nur einmal, wenn du es richtig machst, reicht das! (Mae West).

Bürgerrechte, Kultur and Vielfalt: Europa ist unsere Zukunft. Es liegt an uns allen!

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Age: 24
Nationalitéitalienne
Languages qu’elle parle: italien, anglais, français, espagnol

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Ginevra Sponzilli:   L’Union européenne peut construire une Europe meilleure  dans d’innombrables domaines!

Après de longs séjours avec sa famille aux États-Unis, en Asie et en Afrique, la jeune italienne Ginevra Sponzilli voulait revenir en Europe. Le projet européen et l’Union européenne l’avaient toujours fascinée et le stage qu’elle a effectué au Comité des régions de l’Union européenne lui a donné l’occasion de participer au travail quotidien au sein d’une institution européenne. Son enthousiasme pour l’Europe ne s’en est retrouvé que renforcé. En septembre 2015 Ginevra commencera ses études au Collège d’Europe à Bruges.
Ginevra est consciente que l’Union européenne n’est pas parfaite, mais elle met l’accent sur le travail positif que l’Union fait pour les citoyens européens et souligne son potentiel énorme d’apporter des solutions concrètes aux problèmes des citoyens. L’italienne qui parle aussi anglais, français et espagnol voit les atouts de l’Europe dans sa diversité et dans les valeurs européennes communes. Elle pense que les institutions de l’UE devraient mieux communiquer leur travail aux citoyens. Forte de son expérience au Comité des Régions de l’Union européenne, Ginevra veut corriger l’image négative des fonctionnaires européen(ne)s selon laquelle il seraient des bureaucrates gris et sans cœur.

La devise de cette jeune femme sportive est:

Vous ne vivez qu’une fois, si vous le faites bien, ça suffit! (Mae West).

Citoyenneté, culture et diversité: l’Europe est notre avenir. Cela ne tient qu’à nous!

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Dimitrios Koskeridis: I want to see a “United States of Europe” sometime in the future!

Age: 25
Nationality: Greek
Occupation: news producer at the European Commission communication department, Europe by Satellite (EbS)
Hobbies: Training, Travelling, Movie Editing, Cinema
Languages you speak: Greek, English, French, Spanish, German
Personal motto: “Dream it, Live it, Love it”

Greek version
Deutsche Zusammenfassung
Sommaire en français

 

Dimitrios KoskeridisWhat brought you to Brussels to work for the EU?

Before coming to Brussels, I worked as a TV journalist in Greece for local and national stations and then moved to London to complete a Master’s degree in International Journalism. I had limited knowledge of the way the EU worked, and in fact, I was not that interested in Europe. I became interested in covering the EU as a journalist after learning more about the specifics of EU news reporting at London City University. As I started reporting on the European Monetary Union and other news stories of general interest, I realised that Brussels is an unlimited source of stories that could potentially feed any hardworking journalist. So here I am …

But you are not working as a journalist?

No, indeed, though there are some similarities with my former life. As a news producer for the European Commission’s audiovisual services, the news I cover is of course strictly related to the EU, but in many ways the working methods are the same as in the world of journalism.

 What is it exactly you do?

My tasks range from leading projects on specific themes, such as the Digital Single Market, or covering various events taking place across the European institutions in Brussels. My job consists of creating news video packages for ‘Europe by Satellite’ (EbS), the EU’s main broadcasting satellite channel. This means for example that when a VIP comes to visit President Juncker or any of the other Commissioners, I can usually be found in the background managing the crew (TV cameraman, sound engineer and photographer) covering the event.

I also put together excerpts from the various press conferences that take place across the European institutions for the audiovisual press to use if they wish. Our service also provides unedited EU-related video content: this means that more people have access to live material and can more easily follow the reality of the political decisions taken at European level. This is my contribution to increase transparency of EU policymaking and to increase the understanding of what drives and assists the European decision-making process.

So what would you say has been Europe’s greatest success so far? And where could it do better?

The greatest success of the EU was breaking down the physical, social and political barriers between 28 Member States. As a result, EU citizens can travel, work or study in any Member State. However I believe that there is still more than we can do to move forward together in making the European Single Market a success. I would, for example, like to see a more consolidated and proper European economic policy.

How do you see the “Greek crisis” and its effect on Europe?

In light of the recent developments concerning the crisis in Greece, the EU has been accused of undermining democracy in sovereign states. It is true that after 6 years of strict fiscal consolidation, a lot of design mistakes of the European monetary union have surfaced putting pressure on the relations between the Member States. Even the very existence and integrity of the Eurozone was put in question during the 31-hour-long negotiations about the “Grexit” in July 2015.

In the end, the position of Greece in the Eurozone was preserved intact and a major drawback for the European project was averted at the last minute. EU leaders chose discussion and compromise over division and reached “a typical European arrangement” as President Juncker put it.

 Many people say European compromises are bad as they never really solve a problem clearly and definitely.

For me this very unique characteristic of our Union is what makes it so special. There are no winners or losers. This way of solving problems, this “typical European arrangement”, represents the most genuine manifestation of democracy, something every EU citizen needs to be proud of. I hope in the years to come, Europe will solve its existence crisis through solidarity and further deepening of the political, economic and even cultural integration of its peoples. The example of the road Greece chose, staying in the European path despite several anti-EU voices, proves exactly this point; however fiercely family members might fight with each other, they always manage to stick together preserving the integrity of the family.

What is the biggest myth about Europe in your opinion?

There is a widespread belief that the global economic crisis had major negative social implications in many European countries simply because they are part of the EU or the Eurozone. This kind of blame game by the media IMG_5541and/or politicians was particularly widespread in Greece, where I come from. As far as I am concerned, I believe that the EU is the solution and not the problem.

Globalisation creates a lot of fear and opposition, also in Greece.

In a globalised world no state can survive alone. If a country is too small to take on a continental super state such as China, Russia or the USA on its own, what chance does it have to grow and develop? It has to join forces – economically and politically –with other like-minded nations. Thus my biggest wish for Europe would be to see a truly United States of Europe sometime in the future.

And what part can you play in achieving that?

When I first arrived at the European Commission as trainee I really felt that I was helping to bring about change in Europe and it was a wonderful feeling. I have come to realise that the reality is somehow different. Change in Europe is happening slowly and the work in the EU-bubble in Brussels can be frustrating. This does not mean that I stopped thinking about or discussing the future of Europe, but I am less convinced that change will come quickly. Building Europe is a marathon and not a sprint!

Is there one lesson you have learned that has helped you in your life and career?

Dimitrios KoskeridisFrom my family I learned that you can achieve anything you want with hard work. This is something my parents taught me and it has driven everything I have done until now. But I have also learned a thing or two in Brussels that I can now share with my family. For example, working in such a multicultural place I have realised how tremendously important it is to fundamentally respect people regardless of how different they are from yourself. Living with people of different nationalities and cultures, as well as working with people from literally every country in Europe, has been eye-opening for me. This experience has made me a better, more respectful and more open-minded person.

How do you reconcile the different parts of your life as a Greek living and working in Brussels?

Living in Brussels and working in the European institutions I regularly hang out and work together with many Greeks. Especially in the first months of 2015 due to the developments in the Greek political and economic crisis, I find myself talking about Greece almost every day. I watch the Greek TV and follow the news constantly. I am particularly concerned about the future situation of my family and friends in the country and it seems that most of my colleagues and friends regardless their nationality are equally interested.

In general, though, I try to hang out with people of different nationalities, so that I come across different cultures, ethics and stories. I am primarily interested in European politics although for the moment most of my time is devoted to the analysis of the Greek drama.

One thing I believe will never change no matter how long I live in Brussels, is that I will always be Greek when it comes to food! I am very proud of Greek cuisine and I never miss an opportunity to use my mother’s or grandmothers’ recipes.

Respect, Transparency and Stability. Europe is our future. It is up to all of us!

 

Streamer: In a globalised world no state can survive alone. If a country is too small to take on a continental super state such as China, Russia or the USA on its own, what chance does it have to grow and develop? It has to join forces – economically and politically –with other like-minded nations.”

 

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Ηλικία: 25

Εθνικότητα: Ελληνική

Επάγγελμα: Παραγωγός ειδήσεων, Europe by Satellite (EbS)

Ενδιαφέροντα: Σπορ, Ταξίδια, Κινηματογράφος, Βίντεο Μοντάζ

Γλώσσες: Ελληνικά, Αγγλικά, Γαλλικά, Ισπανικά, Γερμανικά

Προσωπική φράση: “Dream it, Live it, Love it” = “Ονειρέψου το, Ζήσε το, Αγάπησέ το”

 

Dimitrios Koskeridis
Δημήτρης Κοσκερίδης: Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες της Ευρώπης, το όνειρο μου για το μέλλον!
Τί σε έκανε να έρθεις στις Βρυξέλλες για δουλειά;

Πριν έρθω στις Βρυξέλλες, εργάστηκα ως δημοσιογράφος στην Ελλάδα, σε τηλεοπτικούς σταθμούς με τοπική, αλλά και εθνική κάλυψη. Αργότερα πήγα στο Λονδίνο για μεταπτυχιακές σπουδές στον τομέα της Διεθνούς Δημοσιογραφίας (MA International Journalism) στο City University London. Πρέπει να πω ότι οι η γνώση που είχα για τον τρόπο λειτουργίας της ΕΕ ήταν αρκετά περιορισμένη. Ξεκίνησα να μαθαίνω για τις τεχνικές και τα τρικ στην κάλυψη των Βρυξελλών κατά τη διάρκεια των μεταπτυχιακών μου σπουδών και γοητεύτηκα από την πολύπαθη ιστορία και την δημοκρατική πολυπλοκότητα της Ένωσης. Όσο περισσότερο έγραφα αναλύσεις και ρεπορτάζ, συνειδητοποιούσα ότι οι Βρυξέλλες είναι μια αστείρευτη πηγή ειδήσεων που δυνητικά θα μπορούσε να θρέψει κάθε σκληρά εργαζόμενο ρεπόρτερ. Συνεπώς here I am …

Μα εδώ δεν εργάζεσαι ως δημοσιογράφος. Σωστά;

Σωστά! Έχετε δίκιο, αν και υπάρχουν κάποιες σημαντικές ομοιότητες σε σχέση με την προηγούμενη επαγγελματική μου ζωή. Ως παραγωγός ειδήσεων για την Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή, οι ειδήσεις που καλύπτω σχετίζονται συνήθως αποκλειστικά με την ΕΕ, αλλά σε πολλές πτυχές ο τρόπος δουλειάς μου είναι ταυτόσημος με εκείνον ενός δημοσιογράφου.

Τα καθήκοντά μου ποικίλουν και αφορούν από συγκεκριμένα projects, όπως η Ενιαία Ευρωπαϊκή Ψηφιακή Αγορά, μέχρι προσωπικές συνεντεύξεις με Ευρωπαίους διπλωμάτες και πολιτικούς, αλλά και κάλυψη συνεντεύξεων τύπου, στις Βρυξέλλες. Η δουλειά μου είναι να φτιάχνω βίντεο κλιπ ειδήσεων για το ‘Europe by Satellite’ (EbS), το ειδησεογραφικό δορυφορικό δίκτυο της Κομισιόν. Αυτό πρακτικά σημάνει ότι όταν, για παράδειγμα, ο πρόεδρος Juncker ή κάποιος άλλος Ευρωπαίος Επίτροπος μετέχει σε κάποιο press event, εγώ είμαι εκεί και συντονίζω το τηλεοπτικό συνεργείο που καλύπτει το γεγονός.

Ακόμη φτιάχνω ρεπορτάζ ειδήσεων με αποσπάσματα από συνεντεύξεις τύπου με στόχο να τα μεταδίδουμε σε άλλα ειδησεογραφικά δίκτυα ανά τον κόσμο. Το EbS, το δίκτυο της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής, προβάλλει ακόμη σε απευθείας μετάδοση σχεδόν κάθε γεγονός ευρωπαϊκού ενδιαφέροντος που συμβαίνει στις Βρυξέλλες και ανά τον κόσμο, γεγονός που επιτρέπει σε οποιονδήποτε να παρακολουθήσει τη διαμόρφωση πολιτικών αποφάσεων σε ευρωπαϊκό επίπεδο. Αυτή είναι και η συμβολή μου στο να αυξηθεί η διαφάνεια στον τρόπο λήψης πολικών αποφάσεων σε επίπεδο ΕΕ.

Ποιά πιστεύεις ότι είναι η μεγαλύτερη επιτυχία της ΕΕ μέχρι τώρα; Σε ποιούς τομείς θα μπορούσε και καλύτερα;

 Θα έλεγα ότι η μεγαλύτερη επιτυχία της ΕΕ είναι ότι κατάφερε να καταρρίψει τα πολιτικά, κοινωνικά, αλλά και φυσικά σύνορα μεταξύ των 28 κρατών-μελών της. Συνεπώς, οι Ευρωπαίοι μπορούν να εργάζονται, να ταξιδεύουν, να σπουδάζουν σε οποιοδήποτε άλλο από τα κράτη-μέλη. Παρόλα αυτά πιστεύω ότι έχουμε ακόμα πολλά να κάνουμε ώστε να προχωρήσει ακόμη περισσότερο η Ευρωπαϊκή Ενιαία Αγορά. Θα ήθελα μάλιστα να δω μια πιο συνεκτική και πιο συντεταγμένη Ευρωπαϊκή κοινή οικονομική πολιτική.

Πώς βλέπεις την ”Ελληνική κρίση” και τα συμπτώματα αυτής στην Ευρώπη;

Ως συνέπεια των πρόσφατων πολιτικών εξελίξεων στην Ελλάδα, η ΕΕ έχει κατηγορηθεί σφοδρά ότι υπονομεύει τη δημοκρατία στα κυρίαρχα κράτη-μέλη της. Είναι αλήθεια ότι 6 χρόνια μετά από μια σκληρή δημοσιονομική προσαρμογή στην Ελλάδα, πολλά από τα λάθη στο σχεδιασμό της Ευρωπαϊκής κοινής οικονομικής πολιτικής ήλθαν στην επιφάνεια ασκώντας πίεση στις διμερείς σχέσεις και τους δεσμούς των μελών της Ένωσης. Μέχρι και η ακεραιότητα της Ευρωζώνης αμφισβητήθηκε κατά τη διάρκεια των σκληρών διαπραγματεύσεων για την αποφυγή του ”Grexit” τον Ιούλιο του 2015.

Στο τέλος η θέση της Ελλάδας στην Ευρωζώνη προασπίστηκε και ένα πολύ σοβαρό χτύπημα για το Ευρωπαϊκό οικοδόμημα αποφεύχθηκε την ύστατη ώρα. Οι Ευρωπαίοι ηγέτες επέλεξαν τη συναίνεση και τη συμβιβασμό, πάνω από τη διαφωνία και τη διαίρεση, και συνεπώς έφτασαν σε “μια τυπική Ευρωπαϊκή λύση” όπως σημείωσε και ο Πρόεδρος Juncker.

Είναι πολλοί που υποστηρίζουν ότι οι Ευρωπαϊκοί συμβιβασμοί ποτέ δε δίνουν λύση στο πρόβλημα ξεκάθαρα και μια για πάντα.

 Για μένα αυτό το ιδιαίτερο χαρακτηριστικό της Ένωσης είναι αυτό που την κάνει και τόσο ξεχωριστή. Δεν υπάρχουν νικητές και ηττημένοι. Αυτός ο τρόπος επίλυσης των προβλημάτων, αυτή η “τυπική Ευρωπαϊκή λύση”, συνιστά την πιο αυθεντική εκδήλωση δημοκρατίας, κάτι για το οποίο κάθε Ευρωπαίος πολίτης πρέπει να νιώθει περήφανος. Ελπίζω ότι στα επόμενα χρόνια, η Ευρώπη θα λύσει το υπαρξιακό της πρόβλημα μέσα από την αλληλεγγύη και την περαιτέρω εκβάθυνση της πολιτικής, οικονομικής και πολιτιστικής ολοκλήρωσης των λαών της. Ο δρόμος που διάλεξε η Ελλάδα, πιστή στην Ευρωπαϊκή πορεία, παρά τις αυξανόμενες αντι-Ευρωπαϊκές φωνές, δείχνει ακριβώς αυτό: όσο κι αν τα μέλη μιας οικογένειας μαλώνουν μεταξύ τους, πάντα θα βρίσκουν τρόπους να υποστηρίζουν ο ένας τον άλλον, διατηρώντας την ακεραιότητα της ίδιας της οικογένειας.

 Ποιός είναι κατά τη γνώμη σου ο μεγαλύτερος μύθος για την ΕΕ;

Υπάρχει μια ακραίως διαδεδομένη πεποίθηση ότι η παγκόσμια χρηματοπιστωτική κρίση είχε φοβερές συνέπειες στα κράτη της ΕΕ, απλά και μόνο επειδή αποτελούσαν μέλη της Ένωσης ή της Ευρωζώνης. Αυτού του είδους το παιχνίδι απόδοσης ευθυνών εκ μέρους των media, αλλά των πολιτικών είναι άκρως διαδεδομένο στη χώρα καταγωγής μου, την Ελλάδα. Κατά την γνώμη μου, η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση είναι η λύση και όχι το πρόβλημα.

Η παγκοσμιοποίηση προκαλεί φόβο και αντίδραση, εξίσου και στην Ελλάδα.

Σε ένα διεθνοποιημένο κόσμο, κανένα κράτος δεν μπορεί να επιβιώσει μοναχό. Αν είναι τόσο μικρό συγκρινόμενο με ηπειρωτικά υπερ-κράτη όπως η Κίνα, η Ρωσία και οι ΗΠΑ, ποιά θα είναι η τύχη του να μεγαλώσει και να αναπτυχθεί μόνο του; Θα πρέπει να ενώσει τις δυνάμεις του – οικονομικά και πολιτικά- με άλλους ομοϊδεάτες. Γι’ αυτό η μεγαλύτερη μου ευχή για την Ευρώπη είναι κάποια στιγμή στο κοντινό μέλλον να δούμε τα Ηνωμένα Έθνη της Ευρώπης!

Και ποιό θα είναι το δικό σου μερίδιο ευθύνης προς αυτόν το στόχο;

 Όταν έφτασα στην Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή ως ασκούμενος, στην αρχή ένιωσα ότι βοηθώ κι εγώ με τη σειρά μου στην προσπάθεια αλλαγής, εκσυγχρονισμού της Ευρώπης, και μάλιστα αυτό ήταν ένα υπέροχο αίσθημα ευθύνης. Με τον καιρό συνειδητοποίησα ότι η πραγματικότητα είναι κάπως διαφορετική. Η αλλαγή στην Ευρώπη λαμβάνει χώρα με αργούς ρυθμούς και η δουλειά στις Βρυξέλλες για αυτό τον σκοπό είναι κάποιες φορές εξαντλητική. Αυτό βέβαια δε σημαίνει ότι σταμάτησα να σκέφτομαι ή να συζητώ για το μέλλον της ΕΕ. Απλά τώρα είμαι πεπεισμένος ότι αυτή η αλλαγή προς το καλύτερο δε θα έρθει άμεσα. Το χτίσιμο του Ευρωπαϊκού οικοδομήματος είναι μαραθώνιος και όχι σπριντ!

Υπάρχει ένα δίδαγμα που έχετε πάρει και σας έχει βοηθήσει στη ζωή και την καριέρα σας;

 Από την οικογένειά μου έμαθα από πολύ μικρός ότι μπορεί κανείς να πετύχει τα πάντα αρκεί να δουλέψει σκληρά. Αυτό είναι ένα δίδαγμα που μου έδωσαν οι γονείς μου και έχει καθορίσει τα βήματά μου σε ό, τι έχω καταφέρει ως τώρα. Αλλά μπορώ να πω ότι και οι Βρυξέλλες μου έδωσαν ένα ή δύο πράγματα, που μπορώ τώρα κι εγώ να μοιραστώ με την οικογένειά μου. Για παράδειγμα, δουλεύοντας σε αυτό το πολυπολιτισμικό περιβάλλον, μαθαίνεις πόσο σημαντικό είναι να έχεις σεβασμό για το συνεργάτη, το συνομιλητή σου, ανεξάρτητα από τις όποιες διαφορές που μπορεί να υπάρχουν. Συμβιώνοντας με ανθρώπους διαφορετικών εθνικοτήτων ή άλλων συνηθειών, κυριολεκτικά από κάθε γωνιά της Ευρώπης και του κόσμου, είναι μια εμπειρία που σου ανοίγει τα μάτια, και σε κάνει καλύτερο και ανοιχτόμυαλο.

 Πώς συνδυάζεις τις διαφορετικές πτυχές του εαυτού σου ως Έλληνας που μένει και εργάζεται στις Βρυξέλλες;

Διαμένοντας σε μια πόλη τόσο πολυπολιτισμική όπως οι Βρυξέλλες και δουλεύοντας στα Ευρωπαϊκά όργανα, συχνά κάνω παρέα ή συνεργάζομαι με πολλούς Έλληνες. Ιδιαίτερα τους πρώτους μήνες του 2015, εξαιτίας των πολιτικών και οικονομικών εξελίξεων στην Ελλάδα, έπιανα τον εαυτό μου να συζητώ για τη χώρα μου κάθε μέρα ανελλιπώς. Παρακολουθώ καθημερινά ελληνική τηλεόραση και διαβάζω ειδήσεις συνεχώς εδώ και χρόνια. Άλλωστε αυτή είναι και η δουλειά μου.

Πρέπει να πω ότι ειδικά τον τελευταίο καιρό, από τις αρχές του έτους, είμαι εξαιρετικά προβληματισμένος για το μέλλον της οικογένειάς μου και για τους φίλους μου στη χώρα, και είναι φανερό πώς πολλοί από τους συναδέλφους μου εδώ στο Βέλγιο ανεξαρτήτως εθνικότητας δείχνουν πολύ ενδιαφέρον.

Γενικά προσπαθώ να κάνω παρέα με ανθρώπους από άλλες χώρες, για να μπορώ να έρχομαι σε επαφή με διαφορετικές κουλτούρες, ήθη και έθιμα, αλλά και να μαθαίνω καινούργιες ιστορίες. Κατά βάση με ενδιαφέρει κυρίως η Ευρωπαϊκή πολιτική αν και για την ώρα απασχολούμαι κυρίως με τις εξελίξεις του Ελληνικού δράματος.

Πάντως ένα πράγμα που νομίζω δε θα αλλάξει όσο καιρό κι αν μένω στις Βρυξέλλες ή στο εξωτερικό, είναι ότι πάντα θα σκέφτομαι ελληνικά όσον αφορά το φαγητό! Είμαι εξαιρετικά υπερήφανος για την ελληνική κουζίνα και δε χάνω ευκαιρία να δοκιμάζω στη πράξη τις συνταγές της μητέρας ή της γιαγιάς μου.

Σεβασμός, Διαφάνεια, Σταθερότητα. Η Ευρώπη είναι το δικό μας μέλλον. Είναι στο χέρι μας!

Σε ένα διεθνοποιημένο κόσμο, κανένα κράτος δεν μπορεί να επιβιώσει μοναχό. Αν είναι τόσο μικρό συγκρινόμενο με ηπειρωτικά υπερ-κράτη όπως η Κίνα, η Ρωσία και οι ΗΠΑ, ποιά θα είναι η τύχη του να μεγαλώσει και να αναπτυχθεί μόνο του; Θα πρέπει να ενώσει τις δυνάμεις του – οικονομικά και πολιτικά- με άλλους ομοϊδεάτες.

 

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Alter: 25
Nationalität: Griechisch
Beruf: TV-Produzent bei der Europäischen Kommission, GD Kommunikation EbS
Hobbies: Training, Film Montage, Kino, Reisen
Sprachen: Griechisch, Englisch, Französisch, Spanisch, Deutsch

Dimitrios Koskeridis
Dimitrios Koskeridis: ich möchte die “Vereinigten Staaten von Europa” erleben!
Der 25jährige Grieche begann als Praktikant bei der Europäischen Kommission, wo er heute beim audiovisuellen Dienst arbeitet. Der ausgebildete polyglotte Journalist liebt das multikulturelle Leben in Brüssel. Tagtäglich bringt ihn sein Job, wenn er über die Arbeit des Präsidenten oder der Kommissare berichtet, ins Zentrum des politischen Geschehens.

Dimitrios glaubt, dass in der Krise viele vergessen haben, dass Europa Teil der Lösung und nicht das Problem ist. Die größten Errungenschaften Europas sind für ihn die Personenfreizügigkeit in Europa und der Binnenmarkt. Auch seinen griechischen Mitbürgern will Dimitrios sagen, dass Europa eine gemeinsame Wirtschaftspolitik braucht, um gegen China, die USA oder Russland bestehen zu können. Daher fände er “Vereinigte Staaten von Europa” gut. Nichtsdestotrotz sollte Europa mehr Entscheidungsmacht an die Regionen abgeben. Nur so würden die nationalen PolitikerInnen Verantwortung auch für Europa übernehmen.

Der begeisterte Koch lebt mit seiner luxemburgischen Freundin in Brüssel und bekocht seine Freunde leidenschaftlich gern mit den griechischen Rezepten seiner Mutter und Großmutter.

 Respekt, Transparenz und Stabilität. Europa ist unsere Zukunft. Es liegt an uns allen!

 

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Age: 25
Nationalite: grec 
Nationalite: Réalisateur de film à la Commission Europeen, DG Communication EbS 

Hobbies: Training, Montage Vidéo, cinema, vojage
Languages vous parlent: grec, anglais, français, espagnol, allemand

 

Dimitrios Koskeridis
Dimitrios Koskeridis: J’aimerais voir les “Etats Unis d’Europe”!
Dimitrios, un jeune grec de 25 ans, a commencé comme stagiaire à la Commission européenne. Il travaille maintenant au service audiovisuel de la Commission. Le journaliste polyglotte aime la vie multiculturelle à Bruxelles et chaque jour son travail de communication sur l’activité de la Commission européenne l’amène au centre des événements politiques européens.

Dimitrios déplore que pendant la crise économique, beaucoup aient oublié que l’Europe fait partie de la solution et non du problème. Pour lui les plus grandes réussites de l’Europe sont la libre circulation des personnes et le marché unique. Et il tient à répéter – aussi à ses concitoyens grecs – que l’Europe a besoin d’une politique économique commune, afin de relever les défis multiples dans ses relations avec la Chine, les Etats-Unis ou encore la Russie. C’est pourquoi Dimitrios est un adepte de la création des “Etats-Unis d’Europe». Mais l’Europe devrait aussi donner plus de pouvoir de décision aux régions pour s’assurer que les hommes et femmes politiques locaux se responsabilisent pour la cause européenne.

Le chef passionné vit avec sa petite amie luxembourgeoise à Bruxelles et adore cuisinier pour ses amis selon les recettes grecques de sa mère et sa grand-mère.

Respect, transparence et stabilité. L’Europe est notre avenir. Cela ne tient qu’à nous!

 

 

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by | July 28, 2015 · 1:23 pm