…is associated with meeting interesting people. And over the years I have met a lot of them. Today I would like to talk about four who are going through difficult times: Oriol, Josep, Raül and Jordi.
One of the first I met was Oriol. Approximately 14 years ago. He was an MEP and we met for lunch in Brussels. In fact, we had met earlier because he, also being a history professor, was interested in discussing with me how some journals in this field were classified in CARHUS, the classification of journals in the Humanities and Social Sciences provided by the Agency for Management of University and Research Grants (AGAUR). The conversation was fluid and frank, and I was really impressed. Very professional.
A few years later I met Jordi. And I have done so on a few more occasions since then. Back then he was making great progress in the world of politics. What I can say about him is that he was always responsive to the issues raised. We did not always share the same point of view, but I am happy to say there was mutual respect and, fortunately, the last few times we met, we were very much in tune with one another.
Josep, as a politician and minister, has always been interested in research and its challenges. He has always understood the role of research centres and universities in Catalonia and has helped move a number of things forward. I can safely say he has always kept his word. And when it was impossible to do something, I would get a late-night call from him to discuss the difficulties. He is a fair and intelligent person.
And finally Raul. He was a teacher of mine on the master’s degree in Foreign Action, which I took years ago. His sessions on the European Union were full of comments based on his personal experience as an MEP. And I clearly remember the videos he showed us in each class. It was his natural way of doing things. I would not be surprised if one of these days he shows a video in court to explain his arguments! He is much liked, sincere and always seeks to improve the country.
So once again I stress that they are people of value and we must get them back in order to build the country we want, built on a knowledge-based, sustainable and prosperous economy.
Good luck and all the best!