Tomáš Zdechovský, Member of the European Parliament, Czech Republic

[Speaking points]

In Europe, we have made a huge amount of progress in the field of human rights and individual freedoms.
It can largely be credited to the unique community of the European Union
There is little doubt that Europe today, truly belongs among the most liberal parts of the world.
Every single member state has their own past and their own distinctive was of arriving until today.., when Europe is the advocate of human rights worldwide.
That does not mean, however, that there would be no issues of our own.
There are quite a few actually.
From weapon sales to warmonger countries, to domestic authoritarianism, just to name a few.
As I see it, we are doing well, probably better than others.., but we still have a lot of work to do.
I am glad that just recently we have voted for Minimal Standards for Minorities in the EU. One of the examples that we cannot stop our own efforts for recognizing the rights of all people.
With this being said, I believe our struggle for universal fundamental freedoms has to be real and provide tangible results.
It should not stop with speeches and declarations on how successful we presume ourselves to be.
Nowadays, rising support for nationalistic populism across EU may be the most serious issue of today. It can jeopardize the whole project and the results Europeans have made in past decades.
At the same time. Not all our goals and efforts can be achieved during one political term or even one career.
For this reason, it is ever more important, to bring up a new generations of young Europeans, who will understand and appreciate the values that EU project brings, and who will carry on the tasks that we have worked on.
This is an important task of the EU.
Youth exchange, study programs and internships provide a unique opportunity for young people to get to know other cultures and their historical background.
To ensure the continuity of our efforts in the field of human rights, we have to raise a generation of young people, who will endorse fundamental freedoms, in spite of those, who are turning their back on them.

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