16:17 . I must say that I miss actually engaging with citizens in my own country or here at the local level. I want people to feel that we are all in this together – that we have common interests and needs and that Europe is not some zero sum game. The European project is about its people – not creating a coalition of states. Yet throughout the year we focus a lot on what Merkel says, what Macron said and we forgot about this element of unity. Belgium is a country of migration – there are many, many Italians in this city. A lot of them have got nothing to do with the European bubble, but they remain European. They are all humans of the EU ! The EU is a means, it is not the final aim.
Until Brussels I was changing cities every six months, but being in any European country – I felt home everytime. I lived in China too before, I loved it there, people were nice but I mean – I could not even go jogging because the air was so polluted ! So, it was not for me. There is a lot we can do together here in Europe. People must simply get engaged.
– I am currently in my longest relationship – it has been ten years now.
What I love in him ? Oh waw, that is a very personal question ! (He laughs) but I’ll tell you. I simply love that he is such a good person.
I think people who are insecure feel that being strong means being tough. But being strong means creating empathy, in order to create solidarity. Because it is through solidarity that you create home.
Pietro is an adviser at the European External Action Service. He also co-founded Stand Up for Europe, a pan-European citizens’ movement that campaigns for a more democratic and federal Europe.