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“There are many more people in the world who cannot choose their leaders than there are those who can” – meeting with Roberta Metsola at the University of Warsaw

February 15 – Roberta Metsola, the current President of the European Parliament, took part in a meeting with students at the Warsaw University building. It was an opportunity for students to deepen their knowledge of current European Union affairs and understand what challenges Europe is facing. Exchanging views with young people, who are the future of Europe, is becoming crucial in shaping policies that are more attuned to their needs and aspirations.

Freedom of Ukraine, is freedom for all of us

The President’s speech began with an expression of solidarity with Ukraine. In a world marked by conflict, her words resonated with the urgent need for peace and Europe’s collective responsibility in this endeavor. 

We will support Ukraine and stand in solidarity with it, because Ukraine defends the freedom and values for which we have fought. This commitment means that we will support Ukraine for as long as necessary.

The substantial aid package of 80 billion euros is a testament to Europe’s commitment, not only providing immediate assistance, but also committing to the long-term reconstruction of a nation fighting for its freedom. Metsola stressed that peace must be built with Ukraine at the helm, ensuring respect for its sovereignty and dignity.

European Union after Brexit 

The consequences of Brexit were an important part of Metsola’s narrative. She delved into the challenges facing research funding and academic partnerships, highlighting the importance of initiatives such as the European Research Council Fund (ERCF) and STEP to maintain Europe’s innovative edge. 

Making sure we keep our talent here is key. It’s also crucial to make sure we remain at the forefront of research and technology. We know that this has its first priorities.

In the context of Russian aggression, Metsola stressed the need for a European defense union, a critical means of protecting civilian and military communications, drawing insights from Finland’s current experience.

Metsola also referred to the Polish agricultural protests, highlighting the complex challenge of aligning ambitious climate goals with socio-economic realities. Her support for policies that integrate the agricultural sector into Europe’s green transition was both pragmatic and visionary, demonstrating a commitment to a path where environmental aspirations do not sideline social needs.

Elections – your vote counts

With clear enthusiasm, Metsola stressed the importance of young people exercising their democratic rights and influencing the future of Europe. Her words, “let’s use our rights to make a difference,” became the theme of the meeting. The President not only encouraged students to cast their votes, but also called for their involvement in the process of mobilizing their peers, so that the June ballot box would become a testimony to the strong and active attitude of the young generation of Europeans. This moment, full of inspiration and democratic energy, was to become a turning point for many young citizens, who for the first time understood the importance of their voice in shaping the European future.

Career, family and strong ambitions

In a candid moment, Metsola shared her journey in politics, answering a question about juggling the balance between family and political career. Her advice to the younger generation, especially women in politics, was a mix of inspiration and realism – advocating perseverance, resilience and courage to stay true to one’s beliefs.

If you believe in something, don’t give up on it. Many people will tell you: “Don’t do it. You will lose.” I’ve learned a lot of lessons – you can’t cope, you come from a small country; you can’t achieve your goals,” – they said. My answer was always the same: “It’s okay. Let me try. And if I lose, it’s on my own terms, not for someone else’s benefit.” That’s the advice I would give to anyone. If you believe in something, never give up on it. Never

Metsola’s speech at Warsaw University was no ordinary speech; it was a roadmap for the future of the European Union. She addressed the myriad challenges and opportunities facing the continent, from unwavering support for Ukraine to strategic planning for research, defense and democratic processes. Her message was clear: Europe’s future depends on resilience, unity and a progressive approach, ensuring a sustainable, inclusive and democratic continent.

Cover photography: Zuzanna Czernicka

Zuzanna Czernicka
Bio:
I am deeply immersed in the dynamic world of banking and FinTech. My focus encompasses critical areas such as foreign exchange, payments, and the cutting-edge landscape of FinTech regulation. My academic interests span a broad range of topics including electronic payments, Open Banking, blockchain impacts, the DeFi ecosystem, NFTs, ICOs, and tokenization. I am dedicated to understanding and analyzing the new regulatory frameworks shaping the FinTech world. Currently, I am writing my Bachelor's thesis on the robo-advisory services. This work reflects my commitment to understanding and contributing to the regulatory frameworks that are vital for the growth and governance of emerging financial technologies.
Written by:

Zuzanna Czernicka

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