The one who kept a healthy distance

Matej 1

12:00 . “ I try to go jogging every morning before going to work. There is usually enough time for it. You have to be able to sometimes distance yourself from things in your life – including your job. If you do not do that from time to time, you cannot see the bigger picture and therefore cannot make the right decisions.
You can only do your work well if you manage to have healthy distance from it. That sometimes means having a physical distance as well as a mental one. Running is for me part of finding this distance. It allows me to disconnect from everything, I just put my earphones on and I switch off. “

Matej is the head of cabinet of the European Commissioner for Transport.

“ – I don’t believe in the ‘fashion’ of being constantly under pressure. In fact, I try to avoid the word « busy » as much as I can, because for me being under pressure is a state of mind, more than a state of the affairs. You allow yourself to feel stress. And since you can feel it, then you can also feel something else than stress.
You know – I really believe that in life, there are many things which seem urgent but that are actually not that important, and then there are many important things that are not always urgent. Finding a balance between them is a key.

(About his work at the European Commission)

“ – What is amazing about transport is that, at the heart of transport is connectivity – and that means that no matter what we do, whatever happens in and around Europe, transport is an essential part of it, because without people connecting with each other, one way or another – nothing moves.
So if transport stops, everything stops.
I feel people take transport for granted, especially when it works. But when it doesn’t work then people really see its importance. People then figure out its necessity.
Isn’t one of undisputed benefits of EU an ability that we can all move across and around much of Europe without having to worry about borders?

– I do not believe that people do not believe in the Europe as such, or that they do not feel European.I think citizens get frustrated when they see that certain policies do not respond to what they expect from the EU, or perhaps feel these policies do not work for them. And they have good points we need to address.

– My problem arises when people use identity as justification to build boundaries and discriminate on basis of nationality, religion, sexual orientation, etc. –
For me identity is a personal concept, a unique mosaic: – I am Slovene and I love my country, but I also feel the roots of the Balkans, I love the Arabic culture, and I feel European of course
What would be brave in my opinion would be to face the world naked – without predisposed concepts. To really see our differences and still see that deep down we are very much the same, with the same fears and insecurities. And to actually see we are all equal in our dreams and visions.”

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