"As long as we remain aware of our common values and defend them, our cultural diversity represents our greatest strength."
The 30th anniversary of the European CIVIS Media Prize for Integration and Cultural Diversity is an impressive milestone. It manifests the importance of, and the social interest in, the topics of migration, integration and diversity in Europe. As a former journalist, it is a matter dear to my heart that the important work of the media is appreciated and supported. For this reason, it was important to me for the European Parliament to assume the patronage of the European CIVIS Media Prize.
Radio, television and Internet allow journalists and filmmakers to reach people of all ages, nationality and religion, and to touch them uniquely. However, this possibility of influence comes with a special responsibility. In times, in which we observe with concern an increase in hate speech, populism and fake news in social media, it is essential to promote programmes that remind us of our common European values and which make these visible. Democracy, human dignity, tolerance, freedom and equality represent the core of our Union, and the European CIVIS Media Prize honours formats that convey these values to the outside world.
Together with the CIVIS Media Prize, the European Parliament also stands behind all those journalists and filmmakers who are persecuted, threatened or even imprisoned because of their profession, for without their work, no democratic society can exist. As long as we remain aware of our common values and defend them, our cultural diversity represents our greatest strength.
President of the European Parliament