Biodiversity is the root of all life, both on land and below water. It has an impact on human health, providing the air that we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, natural disease resistance, medicines, as well as climate change mitigation. The emergence of COVID-19 has proved that when we destroy biodiversity, we destroy the system that supports human life. Nature is sending us a message. Aptly, this year’s theme for World Environment Day is biodiversity – a concern that is both urgent and existential. Protecting nature and reversing degradation to ecosystems is at the heart of the EU Green Deal and is the rationale for the new EU biodiversity strategy for 2030.
Today is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT). On this occasion, I want to focus this blog post on people who still suffer discrimination and violence because of their identity and because they cannot freely live and love according to their choice. More specifically, I want to pay tribute to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI+) community and to all the LGBTI+ activists who defend the right to be oneself.
On 9 May, we mark Europe Day. The 70th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration offers a chance to reflect on what European integration means and on the EU’s role in the world. I want to use this blog post to do this from a personal angle, to set out why Europe as an idea and political project is worth defending.