Silvia Sáenz Caballé

Interview

Silvia Sáenz Caballé

“I am Spanish and Catalan because I was born in Spain and grew up in the Catalonia region, and I am European because I spent an important part of my life in Central Europe, my children were born in Germany and we live here. I cannot imagine not being part of Spain or Europe because I think I am part of this project.” Here you can find her translation-webpage

Silvia, what is your personal view of Europe?

I think that the European Union is anything but perfect and has a lot of room for improvement. For me, the European idea means freedom and openness.
For me, Europe means a place without borders that is open to receiving and helping other people, just as the Spanish were received in Europe in the past decades.
I do not understand that some countries or regions of Europe want to separate, because this means both a social and an economic restriction. I feel Spanish and at the same time European and I believe that the social, linguistic and cultural enrichment that we are experiencing, as a result, is very great.

In your opinion, what does Europe mean for your home country, Spain?

The EU has exerted a modernizing influence on our country, Spain, in both the public and private sectors, but since the crisis the Spanish have missed an upturn in the European social agenda, which has shrunk as a result of measures, austerity measures – which have led to an increase in inequality within and between countries – and the absence of social and economic convergence mechanisms between northern and southern Europe. Without losing their European vocation, the Spaniards have become more Euro-critical.

Is there anything else you want to say about Europe?

Europe is a task which is open to many generations of Spaniards and other EU citizens and which makes us increasingly homogeneous and diverse.
I believe that European policy should continue to promote the political objectives of countries as a horizon and defend solidarity as a principle of action.
The years have passed and I believe that the 1999 Immigration Act is now outdated and must be updated. The big problem in Europe today, however, is how we can fulfil our commitment to others.

I do not understand that some countries or regions of Europe want to separate, because this means both a social and an economic restriction.

Silvia