"I’m really a true European: I was born in Rome, I went to a German kindergarten and a French school in Rome, and I lived in a few different European countries before moving to my new home in Sweden. I’m truly fascinated by diversity and the melting pot of different cultures of this continent.
Home for me exists in many different places, broadly I think it is wherever you think you belong. Borders don’t define who I am and have never protected me. We are all united in diversity, and we have to respect it and be inclusive in our actions. As an Italian, I was elected twice as a parliamentarian in Sweden. This is one of the best examples I can give of feeling at home.
I lived for 6 years in Sarajevo and in the ashes of the war there, I learned that you can never take peace or freedom for granted. Fear is stronger than hate, and unfortunately some politicians play up these fears instead of answering to the concerns of the people they serve. Hopefully the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaty will be a good occasion to remember our history – after 200 years of war, Europe has known 60 years of peace.
This was achieved through tolerance, democracy, respect of human rights and dignity. Through dialogue and empathy, we can rebuild this peace and freedom for all migrants, and society at large will be richer for it. It is time to change the narrative on migrants, stop talking about them as a burden and instead consider them as a benefit for our inclusive and diverse societies."
photo credit: IOM/thomas marchal