We are stronger together – precisely because of our diversity!
Stories have the power to move people. And this power has never been greater than in today’s digital age, where the stream of information, images and words is never-ending. It is therefore all the more important to highlight the role of those who track down these stories and report them truthfully, critically and without prejudice. As a former journalist myself, it is a pleasure to contribute these greetings to the CIVIS Media Prize.
Europe was founded on the conviction that we are stronger together, precisely because of our diversity. And despite all the problems the European Union is fighting in 2020: more than 70 years of peace prove that we are on the right track. But precisely our diversity is a thorn in the side of Europe's enemies. With lies, hatred and agitation against everything that is different,they poison the public climate and divide our societies. Horrific attacks such as the one in Hanau are also a symptom of this development.
Reports, comments and interviews that give us an understanding of the supposedly other and give those a voice who are otherwise merely talked about at best are incredibly important in these times. They have the power to broaden horizons and open our hearts. Since the CIVIS Media Prize supports media representatives who make outstanding contributions in this field, it also promotes a peaceful coexistence across Europe. For this, I would like to thank you most sincerely.
The European Parliament is also doing its bit. We are, for example, planning to launch a prize for investigative journalism named after the Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. The fact that she was murdered for doing her job should be a warning and an obligation to us all: freedom and democracy should never be taken for granted – they need to be protected and defended with all the strength we’ve got.