In conversation with Eleonora Evi, Member of the European Parliament
365 Sherpas: Do you consider Europe as your homeland in a similar way you would think of your hometown or home county as your homeland?
Eleonora Evi: Yes, I feel like I have a European identity, and Europe is my home. I think this feeling starts and grows when you are travelling around the globe. I’ve been travelling for work and leisure, in China, Japan, the USA and Brazil. It felt like you are taking a step back and see the bigger picture. You think “I am European”.
365 Sherpas: Do you think that your generation or younger generations, in general, feel more European than those before?
Evi: I believe that our generation is benefiting from the opportunities provided by the European Union, for example, the Erasmus programme. Many students nowadays have the option to study and live in another member state and experience different languages and cultures. This helps them build a European identity. But we should not forget that the past generations are the ones who founded Europe. They were facing traumatic experiences and dreamt of a peaceful continent, which is why they worked on building the European house. I don’t think there was no European identity back then, it just seems more widespread today, and more people call themselves Europeans.
»Twenty years from now, there should be no inequalities in Europe anymore, including unemployment and social exclusion. This way, hopefully, everybody could feel happy.«
365 Sherpas: What do you imagine the EU would look like 20 years from now? What has to be done to achieve your vision for Europe?
Evi: Wow. There are numerous challenges. One of my priorities is a Europe free from fossil fuels. I imagine every citizen and household being able to produce their own energy and a completely changed food system. Our environmental footprint should be reduced to a minimum, stopping Europe’s negative impact on other parts of the world. Twenty years from now, there should be no inequalities in Europe anymore, including unemployment and social exclusion. This way, hopefully, everybody could feel happy.
365 Sherpas: What do you think you as an MEP and a person can do to make people feel more at home in Europe?
Evi: For me, being at home means being comfortable, safe and at ease. It means being free to do what you want. By providing the possibilities to feel that way to everybody, no matter where they come from, Europe can grow in an open and inclusive way. As an MEP, I will do my best to increase protection for our health and the environment.
365 Sherpas: Is there something you miss from your home since you are now spending much time in Brussels or Strasbourg?
Evi: I go back and forth quite often. I like this, as it feels like I am a bridge between Brussels and my Italian constituency. I can tell people what I am doing and why it is important for me to be here. There are not many things I miss. Maybe my two cats, and, I have to say that, my husband (laughs).
Eleonora Evi was born in the Italian city of Milan in 1983. She was elected as a Member of the European Parliament for the 5 Star Movement in 2014 and 2019. In the European Parliament she works in the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, the Petitions Committee and the Delegation for Relations with the People‘s Republic of China.