‘When climate disasters strike the EU is there to help’ – this is the theme of an EU campaign providing humanitarian aid to victims of natural and man-made disasters brought about by climate change. ‘El Niño brings despair, Andres brings repair’ states one of the captions used in the campaign, as Andres, a dedicated EU humanitarian aid worker, helps to provide immediate food assistance and livelihood opportunities to strengthen the resilience of communities affected by drought in Guatemala. This is just one example. But the EU is not only there to help in the aftermath of climate disasters. By bringing forward the European Green Deal, the EU commits to make Europe carbon neutral by 2050, and protect our natural habitat for years to come.
Across the globe, cultural, traditional or religious values continue to be used to justify persecution, discrimination, bullying and ill-treatment against LGBTI persons. Even in countries with legal protection, stigmatisation due to homophobia, transphobia and biphobia remains high. It is our duty to combat this, notably through our policies, concrete actions and communication, which should be inclusive, respectful and leaving no one behind.
Sixty-eight years ago today, French foreign minister Robert Schuman proposed a joint authority to oversee French and German production of coal and steel, launching an ambitious and remarkable project which has shaped the course of European history and redefined Europe's place in the world.
This project – of peace, of partnership, of shared values and solidarity – is far from over.